For the whole time I've been talking to them it's been sounding really quite seriously promising and the phrase "mid engine" has certainly been tossed around (by ALL
sides) a healthy
number of times when referencing what WE ALL WANT
the car to be.
I took that, coupled with the renderings we previously examined here (that pretty clearly show reflections of a floor under the nose and what looks like a gaping engine bay hole in back), to mean the ACTUAL PLAN was for a mid-engine, and no one stepped up to correct that assumption. As much as it looked that way, the question was never asked OUTRIGHT up until this point...
When it again fell into question I came RIGHT OUT and ASKED POINT BLANK, and there you have it. I can only assume one of two things, either our friends seriously believed it to be possible too, until recently, or, they were really aware it could not be possible, but were simply praying that we as a community would support any car in the X's "spirit" (tiny, open top, low-slung, sporty, aspiring toward all which the X actually is regardless of engine layout) so much so, that spilling the front engine beans was just best left untouched until eventually cornered into having no choice but to address it. I don't know which, but logically speaking it's probably the latter.
I feel bad too. Now I'm really not sure where to go from here. These are good people, at IED, at FIAT, the project is EVEN STILL pretty cool for what it is, for those who are in markets where Fiats are sold, even front engine it would still be one of the most interesting cars Fiat has built in a long time... but there's just no way
they could get away with marketing it "AS" the "NeXt1/9" with a front engine, there's just no way, and I really doubt, based on knowing this community as I've had the good fortune to over time, that many of you would disagree with that feeling.
As soon as this came out, I told them "it's still a cool car for Fiat, it should still be produced, but don't dare call it X1/something, else most likely enrage the global X1/9 enthusiast community, would be much wiser to market it as the "New Fiat Coupe" or basically ANYTHING BUT
Hmmm... So Julian, what kind of a TVR was that you were saving up for?