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...