Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The Coupe was launched with a four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine available in standard form or with a turbo. The former had 142bhp and is good enough to give the Fiat decent pace, although it isn’t especially refined and needs to be worked hard. The turbo version has 195bhp and is a very different car to drive with much more urgency and top end pace. In 1996 a five-cylinder 2.0-litre was launched (badged 20v as oppose to 16v) again available in standard form (154bhp) or turbocharged, giving a storming 220bhp.

It’s this more powerful unit which is the star of the engine range and delivers storming performance with a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds. The five-speed gearbox has a slick and positive shift action and was later replaced by a six-speed transmission on turbocharged cars.

The light Coupe feels nimble and agile with responsive steering. There’s also good feel through the wheel, although it does feel a little light at times – it’s also a little vague when cruising steadily on the motorway. But bodyroll is minimal and there’s decent grip too. The biggest problem with the more powerful models is the ability to transfer all that power to the road.

As the Fiat is front-wheel drive it can struggle to keep traction, especially when accelerating out of slow corners, which makes the car feel unruly.