Fiat X1/9 was the earliest lightweight mid-engined sports
car made - the biggest challenge at the time being how
to locate all the mechanicals without compromising useable
The X1/9 succeeded because of its clever packaging. Adopting
a transverse engine and transmission unit from the front-engined/front-wheel
drive Fiat 128 Coupe.
The 128 was already compact, but with additional modifications
Fiat were able to make the car even shorter and employ
the most space-efficient suspension, MacPherson struts,
in all corners.
Behind the engine (and also the front of the car), there
was enough space forreasonably sized luggage.
was made in positioning the spare tire and fuel tank -
the former was located behind the right seat and the latter
was behind the left seat, just in front of the engine
The space saving ideas were from Bertone, as was the exterior
Originally designed as a convertible, due to
the strict safety regulations in America Bertone switched
to targa arrangement, utilizing a removable roof panel
which could be stored in the front boot.
The Targa design also enhanced the car's beauty, without
sacrificing the airy feel.
As a whole, the exterior design
was among the very best.
Between 1972 and 1978, the X1/9 was powered by a 75 hp
1300 c.c. engine however this was replace in 1978 by a
85 hp 1500 c.c. unit.