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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Back to 1970s and 1980s with Fiat X1/9

Of course you still remember the Ferrari 308 GT Rainbow prototype made by the famous Italian automotive design house, Bertone in 1976 for Ferrari. At first glance, the prancing horse prototype model has a similar design to the mid-engined targa style sports car called the Fiat X1/9.
Front three-quarter of the 1974 Fiat X1/9. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/35hOWqQ)
And it turns out that the designs of those two car models were actually designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone. Furthermore, only the Fiat X1/9 entered the Fiat production line from 1972 to 1982, then the production continued by Bertone from 1982 to 1989. Meanwhile, the Ferrari 308 GT Rainbow did not fare well and should stop at the prototype stage only.
Interior view of the 1974 Fiat X1/9. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/35hOWqQ)
Besides being powered by a mid-mounted transverse engine, the car also applied in a rear-wheel drive configuration, it turns out that the Fiat X1/9 is also famous for its quite slick handling capabilities, then has also a retractable unique headlight, a removable hardtop, and a storage compartment at the front and back.

The X1/9 exterior design also nicely featured with the long flat bonnet design with centered indentations, large front overhangs, a wedge shape with a prominent C-pillar roll-over ring and elegant curved lines along the body, so made it looks very distinctive, and always able to be attention center to those everyone who looks at it.
Rear three-quarter of the 1974 Fiat X1/9. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/35hOWqQ)
As mentioned earlier the X1/9 design was engineered by Marcello Gandini of Bertone automotive design house. Initially the sports car was scheduled to debut at the 1972 Turin Motor Show, but was later delayed for several weeks, to avoid clashing with the launching scheduled of the new Fiat 126 citycar.

Finally, the launch of the Fiat X1/9 coincided with its test ride in front of the mass media in late November 1972, by taking place on the Sicily roads which were also known as the host of a popular road racing event at the time called the Targa Florio.
Engine view of the 1986 Bertone-Fiat X1/9. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/35hOWqQ)
The Fiat X1/9 is equipped with a 78 cubic-inch S4 engine with a capacity of 1,290cc, mated to a 4-speed manual transmission system. The engine is capable of generating power up to 73 hp (54 kW), which provides a good start for accelerating from 0-60 mph in 12.2 seconds, before reaching speeds of 100 mph or 160 kph.
Then after nearly 18 years the Fiat X1/9 was produced by both Fiat and Bertone, finally its production was stopped in 1989. It seems that these sportscar was successfull in the world's auto-market, because during the production period, a total of 140,500 cars were released from the Fiat production line, while 19,500 units were produced by Bertone. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | AUTOMOBILEMAG]
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