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Appreciate the good ol days

March 4 2005 at 6:19 AM

I have always been the biggest Fiat fan around,but from what Fiat and the rest of the auto makers have been doing as far as business ventures,amalgamation, and auto design,,I honestly don't think Fiat has the balls to put out anything like the original X1/9.I to would like to have Fiat back in North America,but honestly,what I see from them is not that different from any other auto maker.Can we honestly think that Fiat is going to make a frame or chasis like the old X1/9? Not unless they just use the old one,which wouldn't be a bad idea with some minor changes.Fiat was once "special" because they once made cars with passion,they made their cars as more or less"the poor mans exotic"!I don't like beeing pesemistic,and God only knows how much I love my Fiats,but I think the good ol days are gone.Maybe we should appreciate and value our beloved vintage Fiat's that much more.Instead of hoping for a new X1/9,maybe we should put a little more commitment into our own Fiat's and enjoy them to the max.I've never owned an X1/9,but have always wanted one.I have a 124 Sport Coupe,and a 124 Spider and cherish them both.When I saw the "new" Spider the "Barchetta",I almost through up!! Front wheel drive!!! What the hell was that?And it looked almost,,gee,I can hardly bring myself to say it,,,Japanese!!! At least the new Coupe's were "on the edge" as far as styling,but again,,front wheel drive?? I hope the big brass at Fiat get to see this posting.I know it was suggested that we sort of "watch what we say" about the X1/9 project,but I think it's better in the long run that we let them know how most of us really feel,that we wan't Fiat to make cars like the great cars of the past.Gorgeous,fun,affordable and real!!

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Speak your mind FREELY, Rob, and EVERYONE

March 4 2005, 6:34 AM 

You must have missed where the whole "watch what you say" crap went out the window downstream!!

Xweb always has and ALWAYS SHOULD BE an OPEN forum, and as soon as I snapped out of my daze of all the crazy things that were going on behind the scenes talking to some people about all the possibilities, I realized that if Fiat really wants "concrete suggestions" (which was their quote not mine) the BEST way I could try to make that happen was NOT in attempting to guide people to frame statements "in a constructive way" but really to just shut the hell up about all that and let people SPEAK THEIR TRUE FEELINGS ABOUT IT.


So go on everyone, say whatever you truly feel. As for your comment Rob about loving our originals "that much more", I could not possibly love my X1/9s more than I already do. I think a lot of folks have mistaken my enthusiasm for the potential of Fiat to produce "any modern evolution of the X1/9" as some kind of shift in interest away from the original toward the promise of something new. THAT IS A LOAD OF CRAP IN MY OPINION - just so you all understand me there!

I have not lost one ounce of love or enthusiasm for the original X1/9, I simply have an interest in the possibility of something new ON TOP OF THAT.

I think FIAT has a great opportunity here, to do something to break out of the slump they have been in as a company for so long, and another misconception people seem to have about this whole "mission", I am not talking about "let's convince them to build the X1/99 concept!", I am saying, the X1/99 Concept has created a golden OPPORTUNITY, by some top guys in the company showing interest in THE IDEA, for the enthusiast community to "strike while that X iron is hot!!!" and voice our feelings to Fiat while they are already thinking of some modernized X in any form!

This is an opportunity not to be squandered or shrugged off people!

Peace, -Mac

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yeah, as i've said before...

March 4 2005, 7:14 AM 

i'm not a FIAT fan especially, i'm a mid-engine italian sportscar fan first, and irrespective of price, the X1/9 is in my top 10 all-time desirable cars list.

over the last couple years i've come to really like the 124/131 and a couple of the other X contemporaries.  here in oz we didn't get much fiat stuff from the late 80's onward, but browsing other fiat-based forums where people spend their time rubbing the chrome on their front-wheel-drive econoboxes with some strange "iquento" or whatever in the name just seems a bit sad, and i'm glad we didn't get them, we have enough korean cars which look much the same.

so overall i don't think of the X as a fiat, but just as an X... except when i'm looking for spare parts.

i don't care what fiat DON'T do, but one thing i'm fairly vocal about - at least in my own head - is the tarnishing of a memory for financial reasons.  hell, i was really annoyed when i saw a frickin holden astra - one of THE most boring fwd econoboxes EVER - sporting a Bertone badge and a $50k price tag.  it's STILL a fwd econobox, and it's STILL ugly and boring, but now it's gone down in the history books as "penned by bertone", next to many lambo's, ferrari's, and our beloved X.

for reference, here's a Bertone Astra, just a mercedes rip-off... look between the door handle and wheel and you can just see the shining "b".



i'm quite fond of the X1/9, please fiat, don't bastardize it's memory for the sake of some filthy lucre.

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Don't fall on the sword yet!

March 4 2005, 7:36 AM 

First of all nothing may even come of it, no evolution of the X in any form, front engine or mid, legitimate or otherwise, if Fiat is not convinced that enough someones in the world might like the IDEA!

Secondly, even if they decide it is worth doing (which they really just might) we then have not the first clue how it would go from there, how it would look, or anything at all, the concept does not necessarily mean anything as to a production version's final lines, features or characteristics, it's mostly to test the water for any such idea, beyond that it's all up in the air, and we are the FANS so we should do whatever we are able in order to blow some wind at this thing to see if it might drift in our direction...

You really never know. Fiat has pulled magic out of a hat before, I don't doubt they could do it this time, if only they make a few right decisions about what a "TRUE successor" could and should be. That's where we step up and TELL them what we believe that is. We have nothing to lose, and possibly something to gain...

Peace, -Mac

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okay, my hard-nosed point...

March 4 2005, 2:43 PM 

unless someone's capable of putting together a "production" car which looks 95% the same (it's ALREADY one of the best looking cars damnit) and has the same driveline configuration, i don't want it to BE an X1/9 at all.

case in point, remember the Ford GT90?

in the mid 90's ford put together a concept car which was to be the "spiritual successor" to the GT40.  it's got the supercar performance, it's got modern systems, it's got cool styling... but it's still only in the shadow of the original GT40, and has no reason to be compared to it at all.  what happened to it?  i dunno, i haven't heard of it ever making the production line, but this was a BIG concept, not just a "we'll show a mock-up at Geneva and see the response".

then ford toyed with just remaking the GT40 to modern standards... wow, look at the response to THAT.  it looks almost the same, it has modern systems, and has at least equal-if-not-better performance.

so in the end i don't give a rat's ass how much development can happen between prototype and production, anything less than a TRUE recreation and i don't see a reason to care.  i doubt i'll ever buy a brand new car, i like old one's too much.  a brand new X1/9 and i could possibly be persuaded, otherwise all my cash is going into making old X's the way i want them.

the ONLY things i would want changed with a "new" X1/9 are more options for the powerplant, and a factory sport-package so we can go racing out of the box.  imagine a new series of X1/9 races like there are with the elise!  the car could be made a little wider and a little lower, but lose more than 5% of the original styling and i'd rather go buy a lotus.

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FIAT should READ what you just said

March 7 2005, 12:00 PM 

Ash, I understand where you are coming from. My deepest personal desire would be exactly what you want too. If I could just snap my fingers and make anything happen, we would have Fiat producing a modern evolution of the X1/9 that was tiny, mid-engine, rear wheel drive, targa top, 2 seats, light, fast, agile, a SERIOUS SPORTS car, targeted at the "budget enthusiast" and with less than 5% (ok I could go up to 10%) body style variation from the original (gotta give them enough room to modernize it, but it has to be a clear X1/9 body evolution, not a total departure, or a completely different totally unrelated looking car with an X badge slapped on)...

I agree with your "hard nosed" view, but at the same time, I am a little more moderate, in that I WANT TO CONVINCE FIAT TO BUILD ONE FIRST, THEN after they've been convinced an X evolution "as an idea" is a good one, that is when I would lay into them about all the things I would want as a buyer for the car to be.

We want largely the same thing, but we're going about it in a different order, that's all.

Peace, -Mac

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I'll second that

March 4 2005, 2:13 PM 

I am not a fan of fiat exactly. though I love my x i'd trade it in a heartbeat for an elise. I too am fan of mid engine rear wheel cars that have very oversquare engines and almost no electronics.
I'm also a fan of turbos, awd, clutch based lsd's, locking diferentials, torsen center diferentials, boxer engines and inline six's amoung other things.
Front wheel drive is at the top of my shit list. (it's ok for free cars)

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Matt (Dr.Auto)

I think....

March 4 2005, 8:43 PM 

that if Fiat does produce that car that they think is supposed to be simular to the origonal X-1/9 then they do not need to associate it with the X in any way as it doesn't resemble it at all. Call it something else completely and never even mention the X-1/9 in the same sentance with the car. Think of the Nova, started out as a decent muscle car and slowely disolved into a rice cake unworhty of the Nova nameplate, something that actually shames origonal Nova owners. And if produced in association with the X this car will do the same to us. Why don't they just make a Geo Metro for God's sake and say it's a new X-1/9!

I say either build a new X the right way or don't try at all. If that thing makes it back to the U.S. I won't be in support of it. Especially if it is badged as a new X. It will be a eye sore just like alot of the new cars out there that all look the same till you read what the emblem says, if you can find it. WHat ever happened to charactor? It wnet somewhere and I only see it every once in a while in a car design, and I definately don't see any in the new so called X! You could easily get that thing mixed up with an Audi, VW, Scion, or hyndai. Why don't these manufacturers just all get together and build one chassis and use it to produce 15 differant make and model cars? They all look simular anyways and they'd all save money doing it. then again......they are starting to do that

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Chris Prince

y'know Nissan has recently come out with 350z..

March 5 2005, 12:57 AM 

really nice car..but, almost unobtanium for most mortals(money wise)..i really think they(nissan) missed a boat there..if they had really come out with a modernized knock off of the 240..they might have sales in the MIATA territory..someone would have had to tell me,if i did'nt already know better, that this was the supposed "New spirit capture" of the famous Z car?..funny ,i thought it was a poor attempt at an Audi TT..essentially ..FIAT's dilemna is to make a relatively affordable Elise..all they(FIAT) have to do is look at the wait lists for the Elise,in order to realize that there is a market for a niche car like this..make one for ten or fifteen grand less..but with the same chutzpah..and adhering to basic x principles..things might get very interesting..if FIAt ever comes back to North America.it needs a headliner..and in order to kick the Fix It Again Tony..moniker..what better way to do it than a modernized X and the reliability that entails..most are familiar with the X cause' it has been sold here..so there is recollection to a degree and nostalgia...why are the Italians so scared of the N.A market?.Beats me..how can they afford to be scared of such a huge market..hmm..Italian beauty must be shared!! Lordy, I can ramble..cheers

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only in the US...

March 5 2005, 3:09 AM 

there's no wait list anywhere else, they can't push 'em out the doors in oz, but then to everyone but you guys it's a ten year old car.

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retro rockets..

March 5 2005, 2:54 PM 

The 350Z only captures the experience, not the look... True...

It was never meant to. It is doing quite well, in fact, Nissans in general are a bargain for what you get. The 350Z is an amazing machine, if I had a choice between a mint 240Z and a 350, I'd honestly take the 350... ... handles way better, way faster, better build quality, and respectively cheap vs the original (in its day). For what it has, it can't be beat. The Infinity G35 is also wicked. (Same car basically, see multi-platform sharing).

Anyhow, I'm tired of retro cars....

The Chevy SSR is a great example, no sales, no wonder, it's expensive, looks retro, and that nice hard plastic dash is tacky.

let's touch on modern, leave the old cars behind... if we had that mentality, we'd bring back the Chrysler Cordoba, or heck, some 40s cars.. The Mustang was the last of the lot, however, it 'looks' retro, it certainly is not.

With today's safety regs, it is hard to make a car look like its former. Look at the NSX, PERFECT example, this car today looks ugly as sin (with no pop up headlamps). That was done partly because it has HID lamps, and second, regs... But it is ugly! bleah.

And at least Alfa is coming back here, no, they don't make RWD cars at the moment (unless the Brera is RWD), but no one said "dammit, I won't buy an Alfa cuz the tranny isn't in the back anymore (Milano/75/GTV/Alfetta). Shoot, when the 164 was available here, everyone flocked to buy them... THE SPIDER is FWD!!

So, in reality, accept it, or just drive our Xs for many more years to come. Until Fiat says "we are building this car with FWD", this is a waste of energy.... They are the engineers, they build to what Fiat wanted.

Even the X1/9 story, FIAT directed Bertone on how/what went where, not Bertone... There is a great amount of information out there regarding that.

Anyhow, everyone have a great day. I think it's great that IED put this thing out, with a Fiat badge on it. I'm glad the X1 projects are out there... I'll buy one even if it was FWD (as long as it handles somewhat similar to a RSX, sure. ...

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a few remarks to your post Matt

March 5 2005, 2:40 PM 

>Think of the Nova, started out as a decent muscle car and slowely disolved into a rice cake unworhty of the Nova nameplate

The Nova was an economy car first (for its day) and THEN turned into a muscle car, not the other way around. It was one of the smallest cars of the Chevy era.

>Why don't these manufacturers just all get together and build one chassis and use it to produce 15 differant make and model cars?

They already do that... .. have been for YEARS! See Mazda3, Ford Focus, Volvo S40/V50, and a few others that will be coming our way.

Epsilon 2 has a quite a few cars on it, including the Fiat Stilo.

Heck, the Alfa 155 was a Fiat platform.

You can certainly have a different look to a car, spend a few $$, tell me the Chrysler 300C looks like anything else on the road, umm no, it sets itself apart from EVERYTHING... Audi is now copying them! (big front grille), New Mazda 3 looks quite hot...

Anyhow, just wanted to clarify those two points, especially about the Nova... hehe.. I know, I had several, cream puffs..

The '86 or so Novas were on a Toyota platform, GM couldn't develop a good FWD platform back then if their company success depended on it (see Chevy Citation). They got it better now, see Cobalt.

You can also have a front mid engine car, everyone seems to forget that possibility.

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I think he was being sarcastic

March 5 2005, 5:11 PM 

about the platform sharing if you read his post again

also front-mid engine was already talked about here a while ago and it basically sucks compared to a true mid unless you dont mind sitting over the rear wheels with a mile long hood or still being front heavy on corners

there is really nothing that can touch a real mid engine the rest can only approach it

It would have to be true mid engine and look a lot more like an actual X or count this buyer out

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I figured, but I wasn't kidding about the sharing thing!

March 5 2005, 6:13 PM 

Soooooooooo many cars have the same platform..

Think about it, same control arm on ALL of them, makes parts cheaper to replace (think about our lovely super rare X1/9 only front control arms (cheap) and rear control arms (expensive)... The X1/9 shares only a few things to the rest of the Fiat family, 1. steering rack, 2. Struts to a certain degree, and 3. the powertrain (other than the tranny, it was a separate production run from the 128 because of different final drive and shifter rod input, this was done in the machine shop, not casting.)3, some electrics... that's about it.

The X1/9 was a great car, I love them, I have several.

Oh, and I've driven the 2005 Vette, and let me tell you, no X1/9 would be able to outhandle it.. front engine or not. Yes, ok, it has a LS2 engine, ok ok, fine... but still, so high tech AND front engined. The Panoz LMP was a front mid engined race car, did quite well against the Audi's, without the massive budget Audi has!

Umm, I'd almost say the Lotus 7 is a front mid engined car, 'almost'. It handles VERY well....

Ok ok, let's just put the X1/9 on a Fiero platform. Perfect.

now that was a sarcastic remark heheh

I'd would LOVE to get my hands on any new Fiat... or Alfa (affordable small FWD is fine). The Sunfire and Cavalier are good grocery getters if you just don't care how you get there, but I dislike them.

Anyhow, I am certain the new X1/9 will be mid engined.. .. and I am certain that the X1/9 will be here in N.A. once again!

I'm sending my deposit check to Fiat right now!

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one things for certain

March 5 2005, 6:18 PM 

a rebodied punto wont ever handle even close to an X no matter what they do to it

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Alex Shepherd

FIAT *has* taken gutsy decisions recently

March 6 2005, 12:22 AM 

You mentioned the FWD Barchetta and Coupe as falling short of your satisfaction, and implied that they were more or less what other manufacturers produce. I agree.

But what about the Multipla?

Now that was different (and still is) with its space-frame construction, 'top hat' shape with huge glass area, headlights at the base of the windscreen, and three-abreast seating. Universally derided as the ugliest new car on the road, don't you think that it's impressive that FIAT had the guts to put it into production and back its unusual design all the way?

Now, we are collectively asking for FIAT to back a mid-engined design for a two-seater targa coupe... rather less adventurous than the Multipla, but could it happen? Of course it could!


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The X was never a FIat design anyway...

March 7 2005, 8:04 AM 

Bertone had to convince Fiat to build the car and from day one, the X1/9 was Fiats bastard child. I have read that the dealers tried to sell the 128S over the X. Afterall, they made money on the 128S, lost money on the X1/9.

The X1/9 is a beautifully designed car. It is amazing that it was ever built. If Bertone had not flexed the power that they had, the car would have died a prototype.

Why else do you think that Fiat never bothered to develop the X1/9 like it should have been developed.

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Alex Shepherd

Yes exactly

March 13 2005, 4:29 AM 

...and when I drive mine, it does seem like 'the unwanted child' compared with, say, my Uno Turbo that was made in the same year as my X1/9. The two cars have almost nothing in common!

You've been reading Phil Ward's book, haven't you.

It was in the mid-late seventies that the 128 3P was promoted as an alternative to the X1/9: being an 'in-house' design, it was no doubt cheaper for FIAT to produce - to paraphrase.

A few technical corrections to his words: the 128 came in either 'S' or 'SL' form, not 'L' as stated. The 'S' had less trim (clearly visible in the photos), less soundproofing, a simpler instrument cluster, and rectangular headlights compared with the four round items of the 'SL' - Phil has it described the wrong way around. You see very few 'S' models these days. Incidentally, 1974 cars seemed to be badged 'Sport L', but now we are getting down to trivia (!)


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