A look back at the Giannini 350 GP
Italian tuner Giannini wants to remind enthusiasts it exists, and what better way to build a brand image than with a 350-horsepower Fiat 500?
Named 350 GP4, the car isn’t entirely new. It’s an evolution of the rear-wheel drive, Alfa Romeo 4C-powered 350 GP introduced a few months ago during the Turin Auto Show, an event so small it frequently flies under the radar. Italian website OmniAutoreports Giannini moved the turbo four from behind the front seats to under the hood, where it normally resides. This frees up space for rear seats, assuming you find passengers brave enough to ride with you.
Tuned to 350 hp, the engine sends it power to all four wheels. Giannini will release additional details (such as performance specifications and the type of transmission used) when it’s done putting the car through its paces. We’ll have to be patient to find out what this pocket rocket is capable of.
Along with the monstrous amount of power comes a muscular look that wouldn’t seem out of place on the starting line of a World Rally Championship (WRC) event. Giannini added a deeper front bumper with large vents to give the engine the air it needs to keep cool, a pair of lights to take the rally look a step further, and flares over the four wheels. Out back, the 350 GP4 receives a roof-mounted spoiler, a massive air diffuser, and vents drilled into the hatch. They create a visual link to the rear-engined 500 Fiat built from 1957 to 1975.
Many of the add-ons are made with carbon fiber to keep weight in check. Peeking inside reveals Plexiglas front windows and a full roll cage, among other modifications. This is serious stuff, and it makes Abarth’s hot-rodded 500 look mundane by comparison.
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet. For what it’s worth, the rear-wheel drive model starts at 150,000 euros, a sum which represents roughly $175,000. We expect the addition of all-wheel drive will make the GP4 considerably more expensive, bumping its price even further into supercar territory. For that kind of money, it better offer supercar-like performance and dynamism.
If the name Giannini doesn’t ring a bell, it’s likely because the tuner has remained quiet for the past few decades. It was a lot more active during the 1960s and the 1970s, when it turned the original 500 into a beast of a car that could give comparable Abarth-badged models a run for their money on the track. While cachet isn’t on Giannini’s side, the 350 GP4 suggests the brand is ready to make a stunning comeback.