Sunday 7 August 2011
The Fiat 127 is a supermini produced by the Italian automaker Fiat between 1971 and 1983. It was introduced in 1971 as the replacement for the Fiat 850. Production of the 127 in Italy ended in 1983 following the introduction of its replacement, the Fiat Uno.
Initially only available as a two-door saloon when launched in April 1971, a three-door hatchback, using an identical body profile but with a full-depth rear door and folding rear seat, was launched the following year. This was Fiat's first super-mini sized hatchback, along with a state-of-the-art transverse engine/front wheel drive layout, with the transmission mounted on the end of the engine, both design ideas had been fully trialled since 1964, by Fiat's Autobianchi subsidiary with the Autobianchi Primula and 1969 Autobianchi A112. The 1970 Fiat 128 was the first Fiat badged car to use the same transverse powertrain layout. The 127 used the rugged 903 cc overhead valve engine, that had powered the Autobianchi and, with various different cylinder capacities, earlier generations of Fiat cars. The 127 also featured a unique transverse leaf spring suspension at the rear. The car was one of the first of the modern superminis, and won praise for its utilisation of space (80 percent of the floor space was available for passengers and luggage) as well as its road-holding. It was also the first car fitted with an all-polypropylene bumper on steel support. The 127 was an instant success, winning the European Car of the Year award for 1972, and quickly became one of the best-selling cars in Europe for several years. It was the third Fiat in six years to receive this accolade.
In June 1974, slightly above three years following the model's introduction, Fiat reported that the one millionth 127 had been completed at the Mirafiori plant in Turin. The (in its time) hugely successful Fiat 600 had taken seven years to reach that same milestone.
Fiat 127 was also produced under Fiat license by Polish automobile manufacturers FSO (between 1973 and 1975) and FSM (between 1974 and 1975) under the name Polski Fiat 127p. These were assembled using both Italian and Polish parts. Originally the Polski Fiat 127p was to be produced in large numbers as a people's car, but when it became apparent that it would be about 30% more expensive than the 126p it was decided to concentrate on the latter while the larger 127p was only produced in very small numbers.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 903 cc
- horsepower: 47 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 140 km/h