Cicale Racing

The substantial work carried out under the bonnet is in typical "Integrale" spirt. Well camouflaged under the skin of an average looking Fiat there is in fact a lion ready to show it's claws at every press of the accelerator

Until the apparition on the market of Bravo and Bava, more than a million Fiat Tipos had been produced and that made them popular on all our roads.

Front View The Tipo derives from the Ritmo (FIAT Strada) from which it inherits the engine with a maximum size for petrol of 1600 cc. Only at a later stage were 1.8 and 2.0 litre twin cam versions made available. 16 valve versions were also produced which were definitely more appealing to sporty drivers. The engine with the greatest size was used in turbo charged form in other cars from the FIAT range. In particular the Lancia Delta Integrale 16v. Based on this prior experience it appears quite a good choice for Cicale Racing to create a turbo charged version of the Tipo 2.0 16V which features in this article.

Thanks to the extra input of the turbo this 4 cylinder 2 litre Fiat produces 250 bhp thus obtaining 125 bhp/litre.
The precision operation was made easier by the use of components and spares modified from those in mass production, such as the Garrett T4 turbo, the wastegate valve and the exhaust manifold. Using known components increases the chance of the engine handling the power correctly.

In order to guarantee a high margin of reliability, and above all in order to obtain a slight reduction in the compression ratio, they have replaced the original pistons with hand built forged items. The chroming of the connecting rods has also been carried out in order to reduce the inner friction. They modified the camshaft profiles to change the timing and have lightened and balanced the flywheel and crankshaft.

Power Plot
The considerable torque generated by the turbo allows the Cicale Tipo to get out of bends in a smooth and fast way.
It was necessary to fit a new fuel pump and larger injectors. The ECU has been upgraded in order to manage the boast pressure and ignition timing. They obtained 250 bhp but this did not satisfy the demanding owner. The owner wanted to impress everyone. Therefore he asked Cicale Racing to install a NOS injection system for that extra kick. According to the mechanic who did the work this will squeeze another 80 bhp out of the engine. The handmade exhaust system uses a 80mm diameter pipe which only has a rear silencer. The ventilated disc brakes on the front wheels are made by Tar-Ox and uses Ferodo Racing brake pads on all four wheels to improve breaking distance.

Rolling Road
A moment from the rolling road test. The engine actually producing 250 bhp at 5300 rpm.
The suspension set up has been modified and involved the substitution of adjustable Koni shock absorbers and Sparco springs. In order to stiffen the chassis, front and rear strut braces have been fitted. Inside the car the Momo steering wheel is fitted with adjusters to control the NOS pressure. Additional instrumentation consists of a turbo boat gauge and a display connected to an additional lamda probe that allows you to control the ratio of the fuel/air mixture in the combustion chamber. The beige seats taken from a Lancia Delta Integrale give the final touch.

On the track test...

We immediately enter in the inside of Tipo 2.0 16V observing the presence of the Recaro seats from the Delta Integrale. The ignition key is turned and the Italian four cylinders takes to life accompanied by a not so quiet symphony. We fasten our seatbelts and we are therefore ready in order to leave from the pit lane of the Magione circuit. We perform a warm up lap.

Rear View The response of the turbo is somewhat abrupt. Below 2500 rpm the Italian four cylinder engine does not like the low revs. The performance increases (particularly between 2500 rpm and 3500 rpm) and the power becomes more substantial. More than 36 Kgm transferred through the front wheels make the driving difficult. From 4400 rpm (which is the maximum torque) until and beyond 5500 (the maximum power) the rate the revs rise is so fast that you have to be careful not to hit the rev limiter. In second gear the kick of the output is not diminished at all. On the contrary, less wheel spin makes for better acceleration. There is only a very limited transfer of load from front to the rear of the car. The sound of the exhaust during acceleration is substantial due to itís free flowing nature. Thus makes it more suitable for race use than on the public roads.

Close up of turbo
A detailed view of the NOS. In the main view is the direct inlet air filter.
The turn in to the corners is moderately good, if not particularly quick. Half way through the bend the car leans onto the outer wheels. The body roll is constrained which provides a good feel for the track thanks to the precision of the steering. The exit of the corner turns out to be quite challenging. The considerable understeer caused by the large amount of power being transferred through the front wheels turns out to be hardly controllable due to the sudden engine output. The generously proportioned braking system copes without a problem even with the overuse imposed by the track.

In conclusion the upgrade does not sound to be very effective. The rate at which the power is released is very abrupt, but the most demanding drivers will certainly appreciate this feature.

The total cost including all the parts listed below, VAT and labour is 12,000,000 Lira (or roughly £4000)

Standard Tipo 16V
Maximum Power 139 bhp at 6000 rpm
Maximum Speed 205 Km/h
With Upgrade
Maximum Power 250 bhp at 5300 rpm (330 bhp with 1.5 bar of NOS)
Maximum Speed 263 Km/h (with standard gearing)

Upgrade Components
Modified camshafts
Special Pistons
Chromed con rods
lightened and balanced crankshaft
Garrett T4 turbo
Enhanced ignition
Remap of ECU
NOS system with control on steering wheel
Aditional Lamda sensor
Enhanced fuel pump
JR air filter
Home made exhaust system with special manifold
Tar-Ox G88 front discs
Ferodo Racing Pads front and rear
Sparco springs
Adjustable Koni shock absorbers
Front and rear struct braces