Following on to the Innocenti de Tomaso Turbo we featured yesterday, here is another, larger hot Italian hatchback. Known as the Strada ("road" in Italian) where it was sold in North America until 1982, the Ritmo, or "rhythm," was Fiat's answer to the Volkswagen Golf GTI. With the rise in popularity of the hot hatchback in the 1980s, Fiat was not about to be shortchanged. The first sporty Ritmo, the 105TC, appeared in 1981. This car had a 1.5 liter, 104 horsepower twin cam four cylinder engine, however, it lacked the Abarth name. Later that year, the Abarth 125TC was unleashed with a 2.0 liter, 123 horsepower engine. The final evolution of the Abarth Ritmo was the 130TC, with a higher output 2.0 liter engine, producing 128 horsepower. The 130TC was upgraded with twin carburetors, Recaro seats and upgraded alloy wheels. This car could reach 60 mph in 7.8 second, which was extremely fast for its day and outpaced many of its rivals. Our feature car is for sale in the south of Italy with about 40,000 miles on the clock.
From my private collection I am selling my Fiat Ritmo Abarth 130TC series 3, 1985. Amazing undercarriage, perfect Recaro interior, 65,000 km with excellent mechanicals. All documentation, new rubber, trim, fast with excellent roadholding. Price is negotiable, just €9,800 (~ $12,800), plus expenses for the ride. I do not respond to e-mail, I evaluate trade-ins of old cars to my liking, or exchange for a red Alfa Romeo 155 Q4, 156 GTA, 75 turbo America, 3000, 3000 V6, 147 GTA, Escort Cosworth, Renault 5 GT Turbo or other interesting trades.
The Ritmo has was never a favorite of mine, but with the twin cam engine, styling tweaks and Abarth's DNA enfused into it, suddenly this becomes an attractive package. It might not be engineered as well as the VW GTI (most certainly the reason they are more scarce), but it exudes that Latin flair which turns what appears to be an irrational choice into an almost irresistible one.