Fiat X1/9
Vehicle Make/Model Specifications:
Make: Fiat
Model: X1/9
Fiat X1/9

The ship has landed. This vehicle certainly looks like an alien craft and humorously there are pictures of this car with space-age looking models surrounding it. Bertone is to thank for the design of the Fiat X1/9, and Fiat is to thank for the production. This two-seater mid-engined sports car was in production from 1972 until 1989, giving it a pretty nice run at the market. The first official right-hand drive variant arrived in 1976. Bertone and Fiat had intended for the X1/9 to be the first affordable mass-produced mid-engined sports car. It is praised for its sharp styling, and impeccable handling. The model began as a show concept car in 1969 under the name Autobianchi A112 Runabout. The chief designer on the project was Marcello Gandini who created the X1/9 around the all-new 128 SOHC engine and transmission from the front wheel drive Fiat 128. He switched things up though by using these parts in a radical way, moving the entire transverse drive train and suspension assembly from the front of the 128 to the rear of the Autobianchi Runabout. Aesthetically, this prototype car featured a distinctive wedge shape and took many styling cues from contemporary powerboat design. When the concept car was translated over into a production car, a few design changes were made but many were kept the same. The long flat hood with central indentation, the large front overhang, the wedge shape and the car-length all made the successful transition to the X1/9 giving it a highly distinctive appearance. In addition to the distinctive design, the X1/9 name also stands out amongst the existing Fiat automobile names. It did not conform to the standard at the time of using numerical designations. The previous Fiat models had been named using a basic numerical system – 127, 128, 124, 131 etc. – denoting their relative position in the current model line-up; something the X1/9 obviously did not do.

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