Page updated Monday, January 13, 1997
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This is my own Cinquecento Sporting!
The 1108 cc Sporting...
(Click on image above to view a larger pic in jpg format:800X573, 79k)

If you don't know it, I own(ed) a Yello(w) Sporting (above), bought new in October 20, 1995. It has covered 11500 kms so far without any problems at all. The top speed (this is all about it anyway, isn't it?!) I have seen is 185 kph. Don't always believe those dials, anyway, as my sources say, the actual speed at that reading is only 155 to 160 km/h. This all happens at 5800-5900 rpm, which is in accordance to what the magazine tests have tested: 150 to 155 km/h. I have not been able to measure the actual 0-to-100 km/h, but after having driven some surely faster cars (Peugeot 106 Rallye 1.3 and Punto GT), I must assume that the tested numbers at 13,5 to 14,5 secs to 100 are fair!
The fuel consumption in the very slow trafic of Athens is sometimes climbing to 9 l/100 km. On a quick 3-day 2500 km trip I had in February 1996, fuel was consumed at a rate of 6 to 6,5 l/100 km. The speed ranged from 120 upwards.
As for the roadholding, this is pure Italian! It understeers in general, but, due to the short wheelbase and the stiff suspension, it can be flicked around and positioned for the turn easily, using left foot braking. Even in heavy rain the Sporting felt pretty secure at 90-to-110 km/h.

The latest info

The Yello was sold on December 29, 1996, for cash, and the next day a new Giallo Ginestra Punto GT was ordered. The Sporting had covered 15820 kms in my hands. What did it "suffer" in these 14 months in my possesion? Almost nothing. Some things have broken, but it was my own fault, or a... bird's!

First things first: The most expensive damage, was also the most foolish: This one happened in exactly the seventh day of my ownership of the new pride and joy! I went to a friend's R/C hobby shop. I parked the car right outside his door, on the one-way street. When I left the shop, I climbed into the car, started it, and decided I'd rather go backwards, near the sidewalk, do a right-rear-90-turn, and go to the next road behind me... Without looking in my mirror, I let the car slowly go towards the corner of the two streets... Ten meters behind my car was a white 1986 BMW 316, parked! You guessed it... I hit it with enough force to break my rear bumper, right near the licence plate and towards the right of the car, while the BM's metal bumper did not suffer anything! This was the costlier thing to replace: I was told a new bumper was worth around 35000 drs and I would need almost the same amount of money for painthing and fitting. Evidence of this damage is to be found here or at the Cinquecento image gallery.

At around 6500 km, during the fast -and only large- trip I made with the Sporting, it happened: Me and my friend Baltzak, were travelling in heavy rain, on the peripheral road of Salonica, in Macedonia, and at about 120 km/h "something" hit the windshield dead-center, then flicked on the roof-mounted antenna, and finally went over the car and behind us. I suspect it was a rather large bird, maybe a pigeon, (Do pigeons, or birds anyway, fly in heavy rain?!) What damage was left on the car was a tiny 1mm area scratched, but the glass never broke more, so I did not attend to it farther.

Next, it was a rainy night when I hit a hidden pothole on the way home from work. The result: A right-front tire with a small "bubble" () on the sidewall and a slightly bent wheel. The expensive tire with only 9500 kms on it was repaired and put back on the rear, along with its pair, while the repaired side was facing towards the inside. It was a safe practice, as I was told to repair this kind of damage on the sidewall. Also, I was overlooking the whole process in the tire shop and went away satisfied from the whole process.

The routine servicing was just fine, easy and quick, albeit a little expensive. At the first free check of the car at 1000 km, all was fine, the guys at the the dealer's shop did a few things on the car, like checking all bolts under the car for tightness, (all were tight!) seeing if any fluids needed filling (nothing here, too...), and lubricated all hinges. A slight noise which was coming from under the driver's seat during cornering, was stopped right after they applied some... vaseline on the rubber stops that keep the seat from hitting its rail when it is folded for rear access. Oil was changed every 5000 kms, along with a genuine oil filter. At the 15000 km service, a few days before it went away, my local Fiat dealer changed the sparks, the oil and oil-filter, the air filter element and did the usual checks on fluids and under-car bolts and nuts. All were just fine, to say the least. This one, cost me around 40000 drs.

Selling the Sporting was quick! A day in the local ads paper fetched around 25 phone calls! Statistically, more than half were from women... The car went to the third man who saw it. He offered cash and was certainly impressed by the way the car felt: "Just like new!". Everything on the car sounded like it should: No sounds at all from the suspension, the handling and ride were like-new, etc... The only thing that was heard when passing over road undulations was the heavy loaded rear shelf, which carried a pair of large 18 cm diameter speakers, bumping on its stops. So, it went away, and to tell you the truth, I felt a little sad when I saw it go away for the last time. However, I have spotted it twice on the road and have sent it a small kiss! Now, we're going for the next one, which will be a Yellow (again!) Punto GT, this one ordered to have an electric sunroof. Later, probably at Easter, an Air Condition is due to be fitted, locally. It is expected to arrive at about March 15, 1997...

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