I sold my barchetta in March 2006 and these pages will not be updated anymore.
Fiat has a long history in producing small roadsters and the barchetta is a natural follower in this line of cars. Its predecessors include cars such as 124 Sport Spider and 850 Spider. The barchetta was first introduced in 1995 and it stayed in production almost unchanged until 2003 when it received a face-lift.
Face-lifted barchetta 2003
Technically the barchetta and other more common Fiat models are close relatives. For example the same engine as the one in barchetta can also be found under the bonnet of Punto HGT and there are many other parts that are similar to other Fiat models. All this helps to keep the running costs relatively low compared to many other specialist cars. The car has a front wheel drive and it has a 1,8 litre engine capable to producing 131 hp which rockets the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 8,9 seconds.
Even though the barchetta is technically quite similar to the other models, you can hardly say the same thing about its looks. Its curvaceous lines are unique and they will most certainly draw the attention of the onlookers. The big difference between barchetta and the family models is the fact that the barchetta is purely a two seater soft-top model. The own design studio of Fiat designed the car but the production of the car has been given to outsiders. The Italian body builder Maggiora assembles the cars.
Mazda MX-5, MGF/TF and Toyota MR-2 are its main competitors. Oh and barchetta really starts with a lowercase b - at least that's what Fiat tells us.
barchetta and Finland
The Finnish climate is not the best possible for open top cars so it's no surprise that the barchetta is a quite rare sight in our country. Very heavy taxation of cars doesn't help either. All this means that between 1995-2002 only three barchettas were registered in Finland.
My good friend Mika owns one of the Finnish barchettas. He imported the tax-free car to Finland when he returned back home from the UN Peacekeeping Forces. I'm partly the person to blame for Mikas decision to import such a special car to Finland.
Since the taxation of imported used cars changed in autumn 2002 the Finnish Fiat importer has imported four barchettas to Finland. In addition to that there has been at least one yellow 1995 barchetta on sale in Finland.
What happens in the future on the import front remains to be seen but I don't think there will be any fear that you have to see other barchettas in every street corner.
More detailed statistics of the Finnish barchettas can be found on the statistics page.
My barchetta story
How I ended up buying a barchetta Practical day to day experiences Driving Faults Extras/modifications
barchetta Limited Edition 1999
The first barchetta Limited Edition was introduced in 1998. The next year saw an introduction of the Limited Edition 1999 which was intended only for the German market. The standard equipment on normal barchettas is pretty basic but the Limited Edition makes an exception on this. The standard equipment on the Limited Edition 1999 includes electric windows and mirrors, central locking, two airbags and ABS. The LE is also equipped with turbine-style alloy wheels.
Two color combinations were available for the Limited Edition 1999. The other one was red with black roof and black leather interior while the other one was metallic black with red roof and red leather interior. The red leather interior of the black car is really special.
The standard equipment on the LE also included the windstop behind the seats and subwoofer for better sound quality.
Fiat barchetta Limited Edition 1999:
Engine capacity 1747 cm2 Max power 96 kW (131 bhp)/6300 min Max torque 164 Nm/4300 min Dimensions: Length 3916 mm Width 1640 mm Wheelbase 2275 mm Height 1265 mm Boot capacity 165 l Weight 1135 kg Performance: Acceleration 0-100 km/h 8,9 s Maximum speed 200 km/h Fuel consumption (EU-combined) 8,5 l
Pictures of my barchetta
By clicking on the thumbnails you can see the bigger versions of the pictures.
Barchetta World Club, the meeting point of all the barchetta enthusiasts. This site has lots of barchetta information and also links to the barchetta clubs in many different countries.
Barchetta-Lexikon, a German barchetta lexicon. It has answers to most of the barchetta questions.
Fiat barchetta Limited Edition Collection, a site dedicated solely to the Limited Edition.
Yahoo! Autos: barchetta, international barchetta discussion group.
barchetta UK Owners Club, I joined the English barchetta club right after I had bought my car. Most likely I won't be attending club meetings on a regular basis.