Can A Honda K20 Motor Fix This Flawed Fiat?

Fiat's are great cars... when they work. The problem is they have this reputation of spending more time on the lift than on the road. But what if you combined Japanese reliability with Italian style? Can the VTEC keep this 1977 X1/9 kicking?

Many of us fantasize about a weekend car for cruising, canyon carving, or attacking our local race track. A car that throws practicality aside for pure driving enjoyment. Therefore, Car Buying has scoured the internet to find a ride for your perfect Sunday Drive!


Brought to you by the fine folks over at Bring A Trailer; this mid-engine, yellow, screamer is currently listed at $26,500. That price may be a little steep but the car was modified by Midwest/Bayless, who removed the 1500cc Italian heart and replaced with the formidable Honda K20 mill pumping out 240hp. Combine that with an upgraded suspension components, bigger brakes and the already low curb-weight and this little Fiat has the potential to run with serious modern sports cars.

The original listing on Xwebfourums has the full details -

  • 2005 Honda K20a from an Acura RSX Type S (engine estimated at 60K miles)
  • 6 speed Honda transmission
  • Hondata Computer-bringing HP up to 240+
  • Koni Coilovers
  • Whoa brakes
  • Vicks Racing Radiator
  • 16 Rota Shakotan Wheels from Allison Automotive
  • Yokohama S-drives for ties (5 K miles)
  • Air Conditioning*
  • New 1974 corn row carpet
  • New clutch/pedal assembly
  • Hertz/Kenwood/ JL Audio system: GPS,[list]
  • AM/FM/Bluetooth/DVD/CD 300 watt with subwooferCustom truck exhaust fab'ed by Midwest
  • New vinyl and leather interior redone in 2012 to match paint
  • Center console, leather Henk visors
  • High intensity lights with Bob Brown insertable wiring harness.
  • All new and very bright dash gauges
  • Comes with Two tops, one black and one yellow
  • Frunk is carpeted
  • Momo matching steering wheel

In true Fiat fashion, not everything is in ideal working order. The air-conditioning needs fixing, some paint needs matching on the trunk and there are a few other minor issues that the owner claims will be rectified soon.


I'm a sucker for 70's Bertone bodywork and mid-engine Italian sports cars. Now when you throw in a tuned Honda K20 that I lusted after during my years reading Sport Compact Car magazine, and I may have just found the best of both worlds.

(Have a tip for Sunday Drive, drop me a line on Twitter @AutomatchTom or and don't forget to include your Kinja handle.)

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