People interested in technology show the Fiat Coupé a certain amount of suspicion, because it lacks technical delicacy. It is constructed with the simple means of today's automobile assembly: The in-line bumper engine and the chassis with the rigid rear axle suspended from longitudinal leaf springs were taken from the sedan. If this were not the case, the low price would hardly be possible. At first glance it seemed F iat Coupé to be one of those blenders who speculate on the needs of the buyer with a beautiful body without being able to meet higher technical and driving demands.
Faster than the Porsche Super 90 and Mercedes 190 SL
The performance values required for the fast version, the Fiat 2300 S Coupé, are not to be underestimated: Neither the Mercedes 220 SE Coupé can achieve a top speed of almost 200 km /h The 190 SL or the Porsche Super 90 could still be achieved, and the chassis with its four disc brakes (larger than the sedan) and the 15-inch wheels with belts (14-inch sedan) certainly provided the conditions for such a performance. In collaboration with Abarth, it was carefully studied what one had to do with the valve train of the 2300 in order to make it extremely resistant to speed; special valves and special bearings were installed.
The body of the Fiat 2300 S Coupé is an example that Ghia is able to create not only playful and absurd, but also completely unpretentious forms. This is always evident when Ghia works for series production (see Karmann-Ghia), while the individual creations of the most important Italian bodywork company alongside Farina are mostly deliberate and provocative.
The lines of the Fiat 2300 S Coupé are of classic calm; its only conspicuous element, the backward sloping rear roof posts, was briefly fashionable a few years ago and is therefore more used than daring. The oversized rear window was also often found on sports car bodies. The front and rear are clearly structured, the windshield is in placenot very weird, decorative attributes are almost nonexistent.
Almost a real four-seater
On the The Fiat 2300 S Coupé has a calming rather than exciting effect on the road. It is inconspicuous but elegant, and despite its four seats it looks fast as a sports car. It's not small: At 4.62 m in length, it exceeds the Porsche by 61 cm, even the Alfa Romeo Coupé is 4 cm shorter and also has a shorter wheelbase, because the 2.65 m of the sedan have been retained in the Fiat /p>
This fact ensures respectable interior dimensions, the Fiat 2300 S Coupé would be a real four-seater, if the rear headroom were not restricted by the sloping roof, which you can accept with such a car. The rest of the seating comfort at the back is excellent, and the knee room is sufficient. The trunk is enormous, and all of this makes the Fiat a comfortable travel vehicle.
Unfortunately, Fiat also uses the same upholstery material in the 2300 S Coupé as always, it would be better to replace it with leather. The driver's seating position is excellent; Even among sports cars there are only a few that can offer anything of the same value. The adjustment range of the seat should meet all requirements. The Nardi steering wheel is standard, but you have to get used to its thin rim. The standing pedals may still be improved. There is nothing wrong with the shift lever arrangement, the shift travel is not too long.
Complete instrument panel
The instruments of the Fiat 2300 S Coupé are arranged very clearly without unnecessary decorations, and nothing is missing: in front of the driver a speedometer and rev counter, above an electric clock, on the left an oil thermometer and fuel gauge, on the right an oil pressure gauge and cooling water thermometer. The switches for lights, instrument lighting, heater fans and windshield wipers are mounted next to each other as toggle switches, making them easy to mix up.
The wiper switch in particular is inconvenient and should be installed in a different location. It is almost sensational that you can open a side window even at top speeds without pulling in the Fiat 2300 S Coupé. Overall: an interior with unusually complete, almost luxurious equipment.
Fiat 2300 S Coupé is a real sports car
A beautiful body and good equipment of the Fiat 2300 S Coupé lose value if you are disappointed while driving - for example, by loud noise, hard suspension or unsatisfactory driving characteristics. Such disappointments are completely absent with the Fiat Coupé - on the contrary, the external impressions pale behind the driving qualities. This is particularly astonishing in view of the car's lack of structural demands. This is only shown ina few, relatively insignificant points. The overall picture is rounded and convincing. A design-related feature of the car that you have to put up with is the noticeable valve noise.
The valve train of the S-engine is, as we said, designed for high speed stability; the changes required for this apparently resulted in the valve mechanism being more audible than normal. You can hear the valve rattling particularly loudly when idling; at higher speeds it recedes more and more in relation to other noises. Apart from this noise, which is more unusual than loud, the bumper engine of the Fiat 2300 S Coupé can compete with any OHC engine.
This is astonishing for an engine of this performance class (59 hp /liter!) its strong temperament in the lower speed range: it runs down to 1,000 rpm and delivers tangible acceleration even in fourth gear from 2,000 rpm. Like every highly stressed engine, it may only be turned down at full operating temperature; we had got used to not exceeding 4,000 rpm until an oil temperature of at least 50 degrees was reached.
Even power development
The Fiat 2300 S Coupé can be driven quite quickly even in the range below 4,000 rpm. The motor increases its output evenly with the speed, i.e. it does not only start more strongly at a certain speed limit. This enables very smooth driving without constantly exploiting the speed.
Therefore, despite the large speed range, four forward gears are completely sufficient to always have superior acceleration capacity in the Fiat 2300 S Coupé. As clean as an ohc engine, the six-cylinder bumper can be turned up to 6,500 rpm; this corresponds to driving ranges in 1st gear up to about 65 km /h, in 2nd up to about 110 and in III. up to about 150 km /h.
Economy is not a priority
Two Weber twin carburettors take care of that cultured characteristics of the engine. Thrift is not a priority. First and foremost, it is important to have good filling in all speed ranges.
The Fiat 2300 S Coupé cannot be counted among the extremely fuel-efficient cars, but its claims remain, if you take the superior performance into account normal. On long journeys we stayed below 16 liters /100 km even when driving fast; this limit was only exceeded with forced short-distance traffic. The oil consumption remained low even under high loads and moved at 1.5 liters per 1,000 km.
Smooth steering and excellent brakes
The Fiat 2300 S Coupé is not only on empty highways, but also an extremely in dense trafficenjoyable vehicle. You can also drive slowly, very quietly and comfortably; And you always have the superior acceleration available whenever the opportunity or the need arises.
You can maneuver effortlessly with the smooth and precise steering of the Fiat 2300 S Coupé, you can also with the excellent brakes Braking safely from higher speeds at any time - safer and more precisely than is possible with most normal automobiles.
There is not much else to say about steering and braking: Both meet all the requirements for a car of this type both require little actuation force.
Uncomplicated and attractive for driving
When braking hard on worse The rear axle of the Fiat 2300 S Coupé sometimes got a bit restless on the road - a phenomenon that probably has less to do with the brakes than with the rear axle suspension, the design limits of which are astonishing under other driving conditions ch become little visible. Perhaps the braking torque required of the leaf springs used for wheel guidance and suspension at the same time is a bit too much under unfavorable conditions.
At Fiat, people have always understood how to build uncomplicated and exciting cars. The 2300 S Coupé is once again proof that this is not only understood with small and medium-sized cars, but also with fast, sporty cars.
Everything about this car shows ability - including its structural simplicity . But you have to certify that the S-Coupé, despite its excellent performance, does not make an overbred impression, but rather combines sporty character and sophistication in an unusual way. It's a touring vehicle for people who don't always want to swim in the crowd. Some of these people signed the sales contract without ever having seen the Fiat 2300 S Coupé. You won't be disappointed.
The Fiat 2300 S Coupé today
Judging by its excellent driving characteristics, that is elegant Fiat 2300 S Coupé still clearly undervalued. The price boom among the classics also has a rather mild effect on this fine Gran Turismo. The supply is small and the demand is low. Membership in the Coupé-IG is urgently required because of the difficult spare parts situation.
Only around 3,500 copies were built from 1961 to 1968. Models without an S with a 105 hp engine are absolute rarities. The Fiat 2300 S certainly has an image problem, polarized its idiosyncratic rear section, and the interior could look more elegant. But thanks to tried and tested high-volume technology, this famous insider tip for connoisseurs spares the budget for maintenance and repairs.
Fiat 2300 S Coupé, built in 1965, condition 2/4 23,000 /5,700 euros
Clubs and specialists
- Fiat 2300 S Coupé Community of Interest, Rainer Schön, Rahmweg 5, 47906 Kempen, www.fiat2300.de
- Koch Klassik Automobil-GmbH, Horst Koch, Schloßstraße 2, 74078 Heilbronn, Tel. 0 70 66/9 41 10-0, www.klassik-koch.de
- Holtmann & Niedergerke GmbH, Fiat spare parts, Am upper Feld 4, 32758 Detmold, Telephone 0 52 31/6 17 90, www.holtmann-niedergerke.de