I see from this article that Fiat are now talking to Daimler Chrysler - who are keen to reduce the losses on their Smart brand. A question then - Is the Smart platform something that could be the basis of a modern X? Being a 100% pure imbecile it matters mechanical I will leave it to you fine people - the experts - to ponder the Smart Brand.
Looking over the Smart web site, the only one they have that is "mid engine rear wheel drive" is the "Roadster"
It seems way too small / weak for an X1/9 evolution...
X1/99 is 4060mm long, Smart is 3427mm
X1/99 is 1790mm wide, Smart is 1615mm
X1/99 is 1293mm tall, Smart is 1192mm
X1/99 (199) wheelbase is 2460mm, Smart is 2360mm
Smart weight (without driver/load) in kg 832
Smart MAXIMUM allowable total weight in kg 1,030
Now, the body figures are largely irrelevant, I just included them for comparison. My MAIN concern is the weight figures - the Smart is such a tiny car that its platform seems would be TOO frail for this. Could such a chassis even handle an X1/99-like body, a hot Fiat 4 cylinder engine and 2 passengers without buckling under its own weight?
It sounds like the Smart would be a great idea if we were all Fiat 850 enthusiasts! For the X1/99, I'd think that platform would require significant bulking up, some widening, basically so many mods I don't know whether it would be "smarter" to literally go from scratch - I am just a layman when it comes to manufacturing cars but it just seems too small...
... just that the FRAME of the Smart CHASSIS being designed for such a tiny lightweight of a car with a 3 cylinder engine and so on, I don't know if using that chassis would introduce limitations that would turn our "hot" tire smoking "new X1/9" (whether it be the "99" or ANY evolution) into less of a sports car and more of a wind-up toy.
If Fiat is going to build ANY new X it had better be a HOT son of a gun! I just don't know whether the Smart platform is too flimsy to live up to what we would want a New X to be. Yes the engine is in the right place, but if it's built that light could it even take the kind of powertrain we would demand? Or would we be by limitation of the chassis end up getting a "scorching 600cc with power uphill start assist"?? (homey don't think so!!)
If there were some feasable way to strengthen and widen it to the point that it could really perform on a level EQUAL to the original X handling-wise, and then could stand having one of Fiat's hottest 4 cylinder powertrains bolted to it, then take 2 people, and not collapse like a bent piece of wire, then I'd say go for it, I just don't know what it would take to turn a Smart chassis into what we would need...
I'm open minded, but skeptical, about the Smart option. I just don't know if it could take the weight / power of what we would want to bolt to it...
That's a pretty significant difference in terms of what the chassis is engineered to handle I would think...
However, if it could be done that the platform could be gotten from DiamlerChrysler, reinforced by Fiat, maybe widened a bit? I think it could actually work out, as long as it can handle having Fiat's hottest 4 banger strapped to it.
Actually, to have a modern X that was lighter than the original would be a tremendously GOOD thing, since the old car weighs a ton (literally)
In the UK a Brand new Smart Roadster is listing around £12,000, which is about $22,800 US at the moment, that seems like a more than fair "ballpark" price for a "New X" at the low end of the range, no options, no frills etc.
Besides, just because the Smart is one price doesn't mean the Fiat would be that price. If they cut some deal with DC for the platform, did any necessary modifications to them, put their hottest 4 cylinder and the new X body on, you figure they could come in around $25,000 US? -Mac
...for a new X with all the character and soul of the original, with updated safety features and power output, but NOT for an asthmatic 600cc "smart" car, which is what they go for here.
colour me bored but here's a few NEW car prices in oz for ya... (pre-GST and delivery and rego and insurance etc, mostly the high-end version of it) and why hot cars like the X are even more appreciated here:
BMW M3 SMG convertible - $150k
BMW 760 - $320K
CHRYSLER CROSSFIRE - $76K
FERRARI 575 - $600K
FORD EXPLORER - $64K
HONDA ACCORD - $44K
HONDA CIVIC - $27K
HONDA INTEGRA TYPE S - $43K
HONDA NSX - $250K
HONDA S2000 - $73K
JAGUAR XKR CONVERTIBLE - $240K
LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO - $400K
LAMBORGHINI MURCI ROADSTER - $700K
LOTUS ELISE - $100K
MASERATI SPYDER - $220K
MAYBACH - $1M
MAZDA 6 - $40K
MAZDA MX5 - $45K
MAZDA RX8 - $60K
MERCEDES CL65 AMG - $460K
MINI CABRIO - $45K
NISSAN 350Z - $70K
NOBLE M12 - $200K
PORSCHE CAYENNE-T - $200K
PORSCHE BOXSTER - $140K
SMART 42 - $25K
SUBARU WRK STI - $57K
TOYOTA CAMRY SPORTIVO - $38K
TOYOTA COROLLA LEVIN - $30K
TOYOTA MR2 SPYDER - $50K
TOYOTA PRIUS - $37K
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF SPORTLINE - $35K
VOLKSWAGEN NEW BUG CABRIO - $50K
VOLVO V70 - $100K
a couple used cars that i don't have to look up... (rough prices based on last few years of perving)
X1/9 PRE '84 - $5K
X1/9 POST '84 - $10K
MR2 MK1 - $10K
FERRARI 308 GT4 - $70K
FERRARI 348 - $140K
FERRARI 355 - $200K
LAMBORGHINI COUNTACH - $150K
90/91 MX5 - $15K
ELISE SERIES 1 - $60K
LOTUS ESPRIT 80'S - $50K
LANCIA MONTE-CARLO - $20K
ALFA 105 - $15K
and going back to the old measurements...
PINT OF BEER - $5
BOTTLE OF SPIRITS - $35
PUB STEAK MEAL - $15
HAPPY MEAL - $7
CD/DVD - $30
PLAYSTATION GAME - $100
PETROL - $1.10 LITRE
MOVIE TICKET - $16
POPCORN/COKE - $10
as for wages, well, i think govt employees are indicative of average salaries...
"If Fiat is going to build ANY new X it had better be a HOT son of a gun"
The original X was far from a HOT car - it relied on looks, configuration, price and handling to attract sales. So Mac - why does the 21st century X have to be hot? Surely as Ash says a 120-150Hp in an 1800 lb car - mid engined - targa - would qualify?
Also - I own up to being an amateur in these matters but with modern materials it seems to me to be possible to have similar strength in a lighter car. Think 1940 hot rods and todays small coupes - which one would you rather crash in?
Performance in a modern X is last on my list behind mid engine, targo, 2 seater, great handling, stunning body, light weight and finally price. There is probably a minimum hp requirement and the Smart's 600cc turbo 3 cylinder is probably too low.
Elsewhere some of us rave about the Elise - and yet its early models had "about" 120hp relying on all the things I've just mentioned to make it an appealing car.
I know it is highly unlikely for a targa configured car to weigh in at 1800lbs. The powertrain itself weighs in at a whopping 500lbs.
A Toyota Yaris (a little hatchback) is quite small and considered light, at 2200 lbs or so.
It is not possible for a modern car, packed with telematics and embedded electronics and safety equipment to weigh in at 1800lbs, unless it is a Smart ForTwo which is only 10 feet in overall length. The wheelbase of the Smart can almost fit in between the wheels of a X1/9!!
2500 lbs is somewhat more realistic.
What does a current MR2 weigh? A targa would not be much different.
... what I was getting at more than anything with that statement was that - if our original X1/9 had ANY FLAW (not including its desire to rust faster than you could raise an umbrella) it was its LACK OF POWER. Yes people can fix that themselves with Uno Turbo transplants, Twin Cam swapouts, a bunch of engine mods etc, but what I am getting at is, if Fiat were to produce a new X1/9, HOT out of the BOX should be a much more important factor than it was with our orignials, that's all.
If they actually produced any new X, it would be nice if it were a rocket straight out of the showroom. This would not be that hard to do given some of the engines Fiat has that they could put in there.
It should be all the other things you mention at the same time, mid-engined, tiny, handle "on rails", stunning body style etc. I just think a powerful engine should be higher on the list than it was originally
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