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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mephistopheles meets Fiat 500 TwinAir on the Balocco test track

Mephistopheles, the historic world speed record breaking Fiat built by Sir Ernest Eldridge and recently exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show 2011, was brought to the Balocco test track to test alongside the new Fiat 500 TwinAir.

On July 12, 1924, the Mephistopheles (or Demon) - so called because of the explosions and puffs of smoke emitted during the conquest of the world speed record - faced a long straight dirt road to achieve the extraordinary speed of 234.980 kph (146 mph).

The car, derived from a racing Fiat SB4 of 1908, was modified by Sir Ernest Eldrige and features a lengthened chassis using pieces derived from a London bus and a Fiat A12 ("A-12 Bis") aircraft engine transformed with 4 carburetors and twin distributors, tuned to deliver 320 hp at 1800 rpm. The engine was a thrilling experience for those present on the track at Balocco.

Purchased in 1969 by the lawyer Giovanni Agnelli, the only copy of Mephistopheles now belongs to the historical collection at Fiat, and after a careful and laborious restoration, is back in top operating condition.

The encounter between Mephistopheles and 500 TwinAir celebrates the Italian school of motoring, confirming the enthusiasm, passion and excellence recognized worldwide. In this case, reflected in two "jewels" so different in their technical aspects, but at the same time very innovative.

As Mephistopheles, the Fiat 500 TwinAir is a vehicle that excites and entertains its driver with its award winning engine. The TwinAir's top speed is 173 kph (107 mph), acceleration from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) is accomplished in just 11 seconds and, by 1900 rpm, the maximum torque of 145 Nm (107 ft lbs) is already achieved, all these elements together are a sure passport to driving pleasure.

Translated and adapted from Fiat on the Web

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