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If Fiat makes a Front Engine car

February 26 2005 at 5:12 AM

and ties it to the X1/9.... Not only will I never buy a new Fiat product if they return to the US. But I will refer to my '80 Fiat X1/9 as a BERTONE X1/9 from that day forward to everyone who asks what it is. Heck, I will even have the Title changed to say Bertone! Get the picture!


Acura RSX

February 26 2005, 10:43 AM 

Well, it's been a while since Honda has made a RWD car (other than the current S2000), and if you've ever driven an Acura RSX, you would think it is one of the best handling cars.

FWD isn't all that bad... multi platform vehicles are the wave of the future, EVEN the Lotus Elise shares its platform...

Myron Samila
Toronto, Canada
1978 Fiat X1/9 1500cc/4spd/daily driver
1982 Fiat X1/9 1500cc FI/Faza 35/75/weekender
1982 Fiat X1/9 1500cc dual 45/DCOE GT race car
1987 Volvo 760 GLE daily&winter beater
1987 Alfa Romeo Milano (Gold) sold,


I think you missed his point Myron...

February 26 2005, 12:02 PM 

He's not complaining about FRONT ENGINE CARS in general (every one of us can agree there are many fine front engine cars on the market, hey I own an Integra too)

What he (and everyone else) IS complaining about is a FRONT ENGINE X1/9 or anything "claiming" to be an evolution of the X1/9 having a front engine.

As I said downstream, there is nothing inherently "wrong" with this concept, even if Fiat stubbornly pushes forward to put a front engine in it for production, it's not the CAR, it's the CLAIM that it's some evolution of the X that is the real problem.

I must sound like a broken record when I say this over and over, but it looks like the main message that is emerging from the global enthusiast community to Fiat is simply "MAKE IT MID ENGINE, OR CALL IT SOMETHING ELSE" - that is the real crux of the whole matter to X1/9 enthusiasts.

I think most of us would prefer if they made it mid-engine, because a lot of us DO want to see a modern evolution of our X come to life... but NOT like this, not with a front engine.

I think our fellow X1/9 enthusiast Morgan from the UK captured the collective feeling best when he said:

"Without a mid-engine, it could have NO legitimate claim to any X1/9 heritage"

That's where it seems we as a group stand on the matter

Peace, -Mac


Exactly! <nt>

February 26 2005, 12:06 PM 


Brad in Stockton

Damn, you're a

February 26 2005, 12:43 PM 

purist, Doug! Let's complicate this a little. What if the front engine was placed back as far as possible and canted towards the firewall, again, as far as possible? Could honestly be called "mid-engined", although not in the traditional sense. Kind of what Mazda has done with the RX-8 (a benefit of the rotary's small size) or alledgedly with the new MX-5 (formerly known as the Miata). Would you still be as vociferous? Granted, this is all so much #1 in the wind, but, would you?


Brad in Stockton


Nope .......

February 26 2005, 6:20 PM 

In my opinion, if the engine isn't behind the driver it isnt a X 1/whatever.


And further more...

February 26 2005, 6:27 PM 

anyone who uses research and design cost as an excuse in this day and age is full of it. Case in point, a very recent graduate of A&M that I work with put together an awesome motion capture golf swing kit from FREEWARE. Put these college kids to work and build the dang car right by God!

Brad in Stockton

I agree, Doug...

February 26 2005, 6:44 PM 

one of my favorite things about the X has always been the sound of that sweet little SOHC 4 revving up to redline right behind my well-coiffed melon...




well, not quite..

February 26 2005, 7:48 PM 

There was once a day where Enzo Ferrari said.... "disc brakes? bah..."

Then he said "Horses PULL Ferraris, they don't PUSH them...", later he changed to mid engined race cars....

Ferrari STOPPED making front engine cars in the 80s after the 412 was done, then they went back....

I know I know, different story..

Let's face it, the X1/9 was sold in the 185,000 unit quantity over 18 years. I think that was the first months order of the new '05 Mustang by comparison... so... to fabricate an all new platform, would cost upwards of well... I can't even begin to guesstimate, then imagine tacking on a few extra bucks to make it work with N.A. regulations..

Oh, and who said you can't make a front engined car look sleek?!?! Corvette? They fit a 5.7 litre LS2 under there, the front hood line is quite low, and that is a wet sump motor... so a transverse FWD setup can be equally low (you can tilt the engine back).

So anyhow, I think it's great that Fiat would even consider building a sports car!!! The current Barchetta is an aging design... the Coupe is no longer produced...

Yeah, I hear ya'll about the mid-engine thing.. The only logical thing to do would be to use the Lotus Elise platform and stick in a Fiat powertrain, simple as that... place a Fiat body on top, hydroform the chassis in steel, plastic over steel is ok (pretty slick stuff actually...), or sheet metal (cheapest way is sheet metal over support structure). whatever... I guess the Vauxhall VX220 is basically the Elise platform...

So, Fiat and IED could just use that platform , problem solved .... I don't know if the 20V Turbo engine is still being produced, but that would be sooooooooo nice... and fast!

Myron Samila
Toronto, Canada
1978 Fiat X1/9 1500cc/4spd/daily driver
1982 Fiat X1/9 1500cc FI/Faza 35/75/weekender
1982 Fiat X1/9 1500cc dual 45/DCOE GT race car
1987 Volvo 760 GLE daily&winter beater
1987 Alfa Romeo Milano (Gold) sold,


the problem with that is...

February 26 2005, 8:28 PM 

... that the VX220 platform was (as far as I know) NOT involved in Fiat & GM joint partnership in any way, so Fiat has no more access to it than they would have to any other company's platform, in other words, they don't.

I think there are alternatives they could explore besides having to develop a whole new mid-engine platform from scratch, but the problem is just that they would always have to pay somehow, where they already have the Punto platform.

To the guys who are asking "well if it's up front can we just move it back as far as possible?" etc, moving it at all I think would be changing the platform, if they could afford to re-engineer the platform to move the engine back a few inches they would probably be able to move it a few feet, in other words, don't do it half-assed, just put it behind the seats!

Sadly, I think the car, if produced, will have the engine in exactly the same place as it is in the Punto, not six feet back, not one inch back, probably.

If that's the case, I say we start lobbying Fiat to call the car the "Punto Droptop" or something NOT X RELATED, that would be a less desirable (to us) option than getting a new mid-engine X, but a more desirable option than getting a FRONT engine X

Peace, -Mac


Bertone involvement?

February 26 2005, 9:28 PM 

I wonder if it would be cheaper or more feasable for Fiat to hire Bertone into a mid-engine platform development than to develop one themselves?

Logic would say probably not, since one would think Fiat could probably do anything cheaper "in-house" than by "outsourcing", but if the alternative is front engine, I would be the first one to beg Fiat to do ANYTHING ELSE first...

... plus, it would be cool if Bertone were involved in any "new X" somehow. The original X really was Bertone's car more than Fiat's

Peace, -Mac


Bertone's sad decline

February 27 2005, 1:02 AM 

Like so many great Italian institutions Bertone are no longer in a position to do that sort of work, from what I've read they are struggling to develop much of anything anymore. They certainly are in no position to actually build a car. It seems Fiat may have been a great prop to them and as Fiat's fortunes have declined so have their own. They do work for other companies but it is purely design now...

78 X1/9 TNB racer
96 TVR Griffith 500
97 Ford Explorer (all round tank and tow car)

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