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Last year, the standard Bravo T-Jet turned a whiter shade of pale when compared with Volkswagen's innovative Golf GT. This time, Fiat's resident, all-Italian in-house tuning expert has given the Bravo a power boost.

15 Jun 2008

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Yes, it shares everything, sans carbon-fibre shielded cold-air intake piping and fancy exhaust. That includes that 1.4-litre turbocharged engine of Bravo T-Jet. What makes it different is a factory-sanctioned reprogramming of the engine's electronic control unit (ECU). Now, it liberates an extra 35 horsepower for a total of 185bhp at 6000rpm.

What's more important is 272Nm - 66 more, arriving at just 3300rpm, with nearly 85-percent of that available 500-750rpm lower down in the rev range. Of course, the Veloce 185 has the appropriate body kitting to match, right down to "Abarth" stickers, menacingly located low and just ahead of those large, seventeen inchers.

At this point, we struggle to tell you that the Golf GT generates 15 horses less at the same 6000rpm, and has a torque deficit of 32Nm. However, those 240 or so torques kick as early as 1750rpm upwards. Add to the fact that the Golf revs all the way to exactly 7000rpm, has Vee-dub's potent DSG that shifts even faster than drift and time attack king Keiichi Tsuchiya, and you start to see just how efficient the Germans are.

Acceleration

Raw acceleration figures are as one might expect - fairly close. Launching the Golf GT, like most Volkswagens, is a straight-forward affair. Turn the ESP off, slot the lever into manual mode, hold the "downshift" paddle down on the steering, and stomp on both the brake and accelerator pedal. The Golf revs up to about 4000rpm in neutral, waiting for you to release its anchors.

And when you do, it wheel-spins more than might expect it to, especially when trying to achieve the best time, requiring you to warm up those Continental Sport Contacts (225/45 R17) a little.

The Veloce 185 is of course, a little more conventional. The lever has a slightly longer throw and little loose feeling to it, but once you're accustomed to that, you'll find that the shift action actually very nicely sprung, and it's fairly easy to not miss a cog. A good launch in the Bravo also requires the typical ESP-off and good pedal control.
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Car Information

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors

Price

: -

Engine Type

:

16-valves Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1368cc

Horsepower

:

138kW (185 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

272 Nm / 3300 rpm

Transmission

:

6-speed (M)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

7.64sec (tested)

Top Speed

:

220km/h

Fuel consumption

:

15.9 km/L

This model is no longer being sold by local distributors

Price

: -

Engine Type

:

4-cylinders in-line 16-valves DOHC Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1390cc

Horsepower

:

127kW (170 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

240 Nm / 1750 rpm

Transmission

:

6-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

8.03sec (tested)

Top Speed

:

218km/h

Fuel consumption

:

13.6 km/L

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