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I thought you guys might like to know...

March 9 2005 at 7:53 PM
Jean Paul Fondeur 

I'm a transportation design student at "Istituto Europeo di Design" I.E.D.
in Torino Italy, and I hate to break it to you guys, but this thing was built by 7 students doing the master course, the chances of fiat building this thing are o.ooooo1% or less.
I'm glad you guys like it though, i'll be sure to tell the Master course guys, "i'm 2nd year, master would be 4th, it's a 3 year course." anyway the 1:1 scale model at the geneva motor show is made out of solid polyurethane "i think that's the name" and has no internal mechanical parts, except for the powered electric roof. but the doors dont open and it has no engine, and the seats are made out of the same stuff as the rest of the car, so they are HARD.

I'm sorry to break it to you guys but this thing is just a school design exercise, and is not gonna get built, Fiat is in a lot of financial trouble right now and they have more important stuff to do than building little roadsters. they already have the barchetta, and don't need another one. i don't even think they're gonna build the "Tre piu uno" 3+1 a cool little modern fiat 500 thing they presented last year "think Mini, but Fiat and SMALLER"

Anyway that's that, I just wanted to let you guys know before you got your hopes up too high.

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Hi, thank you, but I think you may have misunderstood

March 9 2005, 8:14 PM 

We respect the students' efforts and they deserve congratulations that their work is being displayed at Geneva, but actually most enthusiasts do not think the X1/99 is the right design to be an "X1/9 spiritual successor", as Fiat has proclaimed it to be, if any such thing were to be produced in the future.

We are not asking Fiat to build the X1/99. We are simply telling Fiat that IF they build ANY car that is supposed to be a "spiritual successor" or "inspired by" the original X1/9 that the enthusiast community would strongly desire / demand that THAT production car be mid engined.

The reason this is happening NOW is because we've had communication with some individuals at Fiat and while it is true there is no "official" plan to produce the X1/99, it is also true that the X1/99 has started a lot of talk at Fiat that the "idea" of ANY X1/9-like "successor" might be something worth considering for production. The same sources indicated that if that were to happen, any such car would be front engine and front wheel drive.

That is the one point that has thrown enthusiasts into speaking out on the matter. The majority FIRMLY do NOT believe that any car without a mid-engine could have a legitimate claim to any such "successor" (spiritual or otherwise) connection to the X1/9.

So in essence what you are saying is true, Fiat is not likely to produce the X1/99 itself. It IS true however that they would consider something "like that idea" (something small and sporty in the "spirit" of the X1/9) for production. Now is the time for us to make our feelings known to Fiat about that, while the X1/99 at Geneva has raised the interest of those people of influence in the company and the "successor" topic is fresh on everyone's minds... "Strike while the iron is hot" as they say.

In any event, thank you for your input and participation! Please do continue to monitor / participate here.

Peace, -Mac

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Jean Paul Fondeur


March 9 2005, 8:33 PM 

Cool, yeah you're right, it's not an X if it's not mid engined, I felt the same about the new beetle (but rear not mid). my first car was a Karmann Ghia so im also a fan of cars with the engine in the wrong place, which as we all know is actually the RIGHT place.

Anyway Fiat is known around here for making some pretty stupid decisions, but i don't think they'll get a chance to ruin the X1/9 name, they're too busy with other stuff right now. ALTHOUGH you might want to know that fiat recently developed and started producing a new 4wd system, which they just started producing in the NEW panda 4x4, the alfa 156 offroader, and alfa 159 Q4, the alfa Brera will also use it i think, anyway if it's of some consolation, if they do build it "unlikely", front engined, there may be a small tiny bit of consolation for some in the fact that it COULD be all wheel drive instead of a front driver.

but again the chance of ANY new X being built are slim. if I hear anything new on the Turin front i'll let you guys know.

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Very cool, thank you!

March 9 2005, 8:49 PM 

I have so far been very impressed with all the "insiders" that I've spoken with regarding this whole thing. The IED students, while not necessarily X1/9 enthusiasts, are very passionate about cars (of course being Masters graduates in automotive design I suppose that is natural) but as well the folks at Fiat that we've spoken with ARE in fact very fond of the X1/9, and speak with a level of idealistic passion and enthusiasm about Italian sports cars that sounds much like any enthusiast on this forum. That made me feel very good. We tend to think of huge corporations as nameless faceless entities but in fact there are some folks in VERY high positions of influence at Fiat who are very much true enthusiasts, and there are many people there who do think the idea of such a mid-engined X successor being built would be wonderful for Fiat.

The trouble as you have pointed out is always back down to money. I agree with you that Fiat really has some financial problems right now, but at the same time, there is perhaps more change going on at the company right now than there has been in many years, so there is a lot of change, flux, and from what we've been told, a serious and sweeping quest within the company to "rediscover" the nature of the Fiat marque. With all those things going on, KNOWN to be going on, and also knowing that (forgetting money for a second) there ARE a number of key people high up in the Fiat food chain who very much like the X1/9 and very much like the X1/99 "idea", well, all these things add up. Sure maybe they would not be able to afford to produce such a car today, or tomorrow, or next year, but they never stop developing ideas, so since the X1/99 has sparked so much interest and discussion inside the company right now, right now seemed like the best time for us as a community of enthusiasts to "speak up" about what we WOULD want such a car to be IF it ever were to be produced.

I do know that those folks desperately wanted to make the Lancia Fulvia a production reality but it just was not financially feasable "at the present time". I do think, however, that they are a lot more likely to actually produce the Trepiuno. They would be FOOLS if they don't, that little car is MONEY WAITING TO HAPPEN

Anyway, we as voices of the global group of X1/9 enthusiasts are just throwing our "two cents" to Fiat here in the hopes that, for one, they see we WOULD like a true evolution of the X to be produced, but only if it is a TRUE (mid engine) evolution. Yes they may not do it soon, they may never do it, but just IF. If they do, they should know what we would want it to be

...and you really never know, with the right people inside pulling for the idea, it could happen one day...

Peace, -Mac

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The Bertone Runabout became the X1/9 - from concept came reality

March 10 2005, 10:03 AM 

Yes, there was never a mention back in 1969 that the Bertone Runabout would become the next Fiat X1/9.

It was a styling excercise that Fiat became interested in.

So IED is in an excellent position, a car that has potential, exposure, and Fiat can gauge response to this car from the masses.

Concept car doesn't mean - production car. It evolves and changes.

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