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similar but not the same my mate has got a brava HGT which use the same 20v n/a engine, and its not that quick, its a big lump in the front as well and the whole car felt very unbalanced to me and i wouldnt want to throw it into corners too quickly,
Your friend is correct the 2.0 16v Turbo is the Integrale unit and can be tuned very well, they are very good cars, I own the later 20v Turbo at the moment both cars are easily tunable to approx 280-300bhp without changing engine internals or even the turbo, just need a catless big bore exhaust, filter,an uprated intercooler and a Unichip and youll be happy.
The 5 cylinder units are one of the best sounding motors I have heard, thats no bias just because I have one, as its up for sale and I am downgrading to a Clio Cup
Those figures from parkers are a bit conservative, they are the figures from the Fiat brochure which are based on two people plus luggage, I have many car tests of all the Coupe models which better those figures, Ill put them on the web later if anyones inetrested.
I have had a clutch go at 30k which cost me £600 and then it has been back a few times as the monkeys did a sh*t job but no nothing really, lots of tyres and brake pads have come and gone and I have had to replace the wishbones but not had a problem in almost 2yrs, and mine is approx 283bhp with peak 285lb ft of torque, nice flat torque too providing over 250 lb ft of torque from 2.5k rpm to 6k rpm, nice drivable motor be a shmae to see it go.
3000k on repairs sounds like a new engine to me, cam belts probably snapped, you need to follow the service shedule rigidly or it will be expensive.
If he has found these sites they are worth a look
www.fiatcoupe.net (good forum on here, with quality bbs software which this site could do with)
There is also a newly set up club www.fccuk.org arranged much like this clio sport one which I will no doubt join if I get this clio.