Vario - donor vehicle.
The Vario is based on the Fiat Uno. The Fiat Uno is available with a wide range of engines. However, the 999cc Fire engine has been selected as the power unit for the Vario. The main reason is that this engine is the most modern design used in the Uno and is the only Uno engine type that remains in production today. In addition, as fitted to Panda, Cinquecento, Seicento, Punto, Bravo and Brava, the Fire engine is available from 750cc (Panda) to the 85 bhp 16 valve twin cam as fitted to the Punto Sporting. This also means that the Fire engine is available in fuel injection form. The Fiat parts bin also extends to a range of interchangeable gearboxes, driveshafts etc, etc. In addition, the Fire engine is very compact (low bonnet line), lightweight and very ecconomical (50/60 mpg!).
The Vario retains the wheelbase of the Uno. By careful design, it has been possible to incorporate all the Uno components without modification. This means that not only is the assembly straightforward, but items such as the exhaust sytem, handbrake cable, brake hoses and windscreen can be bought locally during the build but more importantly, can be be replaced easily by any garage or fast fit centre, anywhere in the world.
Virtually every mechanical component from the Uno is used. Engine, gearbox, radiator, cooling fan, front sub-frame, track control arms, steering rack and track-rod ends, front discs, calipers, pedal box, brake servo, steering column, heater unit, gear linkage, handbrake system, windscreen, dash assembly, instrument panel, wiring loom, fuse box, door mirrors, rear torsion beam axle, rear drum brakes, rear springs, rear dampers, fuel tank and lastly, the spare wheel.