Though we haven’t seen much live racing in 2020, Fiat hasn’t lost hope yet. Its new Tipo TCR touring car, originally promised for 2018, is going to finally hit the track later this year once events are back on the schedule.
Originally designed for a 2018 debut, the Fiat Tipo TCR is a joining effort between the Italian manufacturer and racing specialist group Tecnodom Sport. After pulling to plug on what was supposed to be the Tipo’s first season in 2018, the team has totally reengineered the car, with one engineer telling motorsport.com that the car is totally new, down to the steering wheel.
That original car featured the 1.7-liter four-cylinder that powers the related Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR race car against which the Tipo will compete. While there is no indication that the basic block has changed since 2018, performance upgrades have taken place that should make the new car more competitive than the one first unveiled two years ago.
What exactly needed to change from the original car is unclear as its limitations were never put on full display in a live race context. Either way, another two years of development should give the car what it needs to take on the competition when racing starts up again, when the car will take on competitors like the fender-flare-laden Mazda 3 TCR, the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, and even Lynk & Co.’s radically cyan 500-horsepower 03 TCR.
Tecnodom Sport tells touringcartimes.com that the car will race in TCR Europe as well as the Italian touring car championship and that it will also compete in select FIA WTCR events. Announcements from 2018 suggested that the car could also compete in South Turkey and South America as well, bringing the car to the markets where it’s actually on sale.
That’s because though the Tipo is a Fiat, it’s really designed for markets outside of continental Europe. Built in Turkey, the Tipo is a compact sedan of a sort that enjoys popularity in developing countries that prefer a three-box body-style. Sharing a lot underneath the bodywork with the Fiat 500L and Jeep Renegade, the car is intended to receive a facelift this year. Perhaps the modified body-work will find its way to the race car once tracks finally open. Eventually.