Background information regarding the Enthusiasts' Petition:
What we're attempting to do here is not AS MUCH to persuade Fiat to build a "new mid-engine X" (although that is how it is being presented, it never hurts to say what would be the best possible outcome, even if it is the least likely) as it really is to FIRST persuade them NOT to build a FRONT engine X
, or, if they simply can not be stopped from doing that, to NOT name it anything with an X connection, since to enthusiasts it would not be a "legitimate" link by name alone.
As for the specific verbage of the petition, "shocked, outraged", all the gross capitalization etc, that was not my idea specifically, these were suggestions made by (don't laugh) a professional complaint writer. I am good at complaining (who isn't?) but not as good at writing a COMPLAINT LETTER, so I took a little advice. Main points were to start off with the strongest, most agressive descriptives as possible, then back off gradually to a more respectfully empassioned plea tone, capitalizing major key elements along the way. I've never done anything quite like this before so I have no clue as to whether any of that will be remotely effective, I'm just hoping it doesn't put more people off from signing it than it would draw people into reading it.
As for whether they would give a crap, well they may or they may not. We already know upper management at Fiat IS paying attention to our activities, and that attention is likely only to increase as this continues to grow and progress forward...
Matter of fact, the whole reason this petition exists is on the advice of someone very significant inside Fiat! This was before we found out the whole front engine thing though, so this person was giving us serious concrete advice as to the best ways to come at Fiat as a group of enthusiasts to express our collective views and be heard, maybe even taken seriously, hoping that we would all back the concept and help push Fiat Brass into seriously considering producing it.
Then the front engine detail was confirmed and the collective opinion did a 180, but all that sound advice from inside Fiat as to how to speak with "one voice", and make an impression the top Brass would be most likely to take serious note of, still applies regardless of whether we're shouting "Build it!" or "PLEASE DON'T!", so here we are...
At this point, the only way Fiat Brass will blow it off completely is if we fail to gather a relevant number of signatures, SO SPREAD THE WORD, GET ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO WOULD AGREE WITH US TO SIGN IT
. If we can just gather a substantial enough number of signatures, it will begin to carry progressively more weight on that fact alone.
Will anything come of it? Who knows, I don't, but we stand to lose nothing, and potentially gain something, whether it's a mid-engine for the X1/99, or just stopping a "front engine X" and convincing Fiat the car should either be named something unrelated, or if that X link is unbreakable, that their "sporty budget volume front engine cash cow" lies elsewhere than in a front engine Punto in "spiritual X1/9"'s clothing. Would a mid-engine for the "NeXt1/9" be BEST? Yes, but ANY of those outcomes would be an improvement over what may happen if we don't make a stink.
When this all began, had you told me we would have the Designers of the X1/99 hanging out on Xweb participating in open discussion about all this, I would have thought you were NUTS (but they are!). Had you then told me that if we continued to bang this drum we would end up embroiled in intense back and forth email gyrations with very significant people inside Fiat in Turin about "what enthusiasts think", I would have said you were SMOKING CRACK!!! (but we did!). Had you said those people would have worked hard to convince me there are ways to get a "one voice" collective enthusiast message through to Fiat's TOP BRASS, and maybe even sway their way of thinking about what to do (or not) with this concept,
I would have been calling the nice men in the white coats for you!! (but they did!)...
I don't know about you, but I see a trend forming there that is hard for me to ignore. After all that has happened so far, curiosity as to what the hell's going to possibly happen next alone
is now compelling ME to continue!
One final note, despite that Xweb is hosted from inside North America, the petition and all these discussions are indeed quite global. There are a great many enthusiasts participating on Xweb, from ALL OVER the world, who care a great deal about what might come of this effort.
All we need is to rustle up as many signatures as possible, and keep this ball rolling.
Even if nothing comes of it, it will be a hell of an interesting story to look back on afterward (it already is, and it's likely only to get stranger from here!