TITLE: FIAT X I /9 Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

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FIAT X I /9 (1972-1989) CAR HISTORY

Car review on FIAT X I /9

The Fiat Xl/9 is historic for this single fact: it brought mid-engine handling sophistication, previously reserved for exotica like Lamborghini and Ferrari, to a mass audience. Launched to rapturous praise from the world's motoring press in 1972, it was, like its predecessor, the Fiat 850 Spider, destined to sell in large numbers, especially in North America.


Bertone's razor-edged styling incorporated a nifty removable targa roof panel, stored in the front boot (trunk) when not in use. Pop-up headlights were also a novelty for the time.


Initially fitted with a 1290cc four-cylinder 85 bhp single overhead-camshaft engine and four-speed gearbox from the Fiat 128 Rallye, the Xl/9 was adequately brisk, with a top speed of 110 mph (177 kph) and a 0-60 mph (0-96 kph) time of around 13 seconds, but this was frankly a waste of its potential grip and razor-sharp handling. Even so, novices and seasoned drivers alike took it to their hearts because it was so easy to drive. The steering was light, precise and full of feel, and the balance of the car was neutral.


Even driven at its limit an Xl/9 never snapped, but telegraphed its warnings miles ahead of an impending loss of adhesion. As a bonus, strut suspension gave a relatively comfortable, civilized ride. Fiat boss Agnelli even abandoned his limo so he could drive himself to work every day .in an Xl/9.


Extra performance was achieved in 1978 by using the 1500cc engine from the Ritmo/Strada hatchback. The revvy 1.5 unit would whistle round to nearly 7000rpm and turn in 30mpg economy. A good 1500 would touch 110 mph (177 kph), break 60 mph (96 kph) in under 10 seconds and cruise at 100 mph (161 kph), but by then many ordinary high-performance hatchbacks could out-run it. You got five speeds with the 1500, but big impact bumpers had by then spoiled the once-crisp looks.


In 1982, production was taken over by Bertone, which continued to manufacture and market the car as the Bertone Xl/9 until its demise in 1989. Late cars had desirable touches like leather seats, alloy wheels and electric windows. By then the car was notorious for appalling corrosion, and many of the early examples have long since disappeared from the road.


It wasn't until the mid-80s that it had a serious competitor in the shape of Toyota's MR2. There is no doubt that the little Fiat is the father of today's popular mid-engine sports cars. Fiat did not produce its own spiritual successor until the front-wheel-drive Barchetta of 1995.

FIAT X I /9

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

4-cylinder

CAPACITY

1290-1499 cc

POWER

124-150 bhp

TRANSMISSION

4/5-speed manual

TOP SPEED

100-110 mph(161-177km/h)

NUMBER BUILT

180,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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TITLE: FIAT X I /9 Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: FIAT X I /9 Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: FIAT X I /9 Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: FIAT X I /9 Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, VIN Check