Tuesday 15 November 2011
The Fiat 131, additionally called "Mirafiori", is a small/medium family car produced by the Italian car manufacturer Fiat from 1974 to 1984. It was exhibited at 1974 Turin Motor Show.
The 131 was the replacement for the successful Fiat 124, and available as a 2-door and 4-door saloon and 5-door estate. The 131 was given the Mirafiori name after the Turin suburb where the cars were produced. Naming the car in this way marked a break with the former Fiat convention, established in the 1960s, of naming their mainstream models only with a three digit number, and it set the pattern for Fiat to adopt Anglo-American style car naming practice, with carefully chosen names for subsequent new models. Initially, the 131 was offered with 1.3 L and 1.6 L single overhead camshaft engines. Revisions were made in 1978 and 1981, and all models were produced until production ceased in 1984.
In total, 1,513,800 units were produced in Italy.
The Fiat 131 employed construction techniques and technologies typical of its day. The body was a steel monocoque. Designed and styled on the typical three-box design, with distinct boxes for the engine compartment, passenger compartment, and boot.
The major mechanical components were also conventional and contemporary, but with some notable advances. The 131 employed a front engine, rear-wheel drive layout, whereby the engine is longitudinally mounted in the front of the car. The gearbox is directly behind the engine, and a tubular propeller shaft, under the transmission "tunnel", transmits the drive to a solid live rear axle.
The engines were all straight-4 types, derived from those used in the outgoing 124 range, with a cast iron cylinder block and aluminium alloy cylinder head, either pushrod with chain drive camshaft or double overhead camshaft (DOHC), driven by a single rubber/Kevlar toothed timing belt. Fuel supply was via a single Weber ADF twin-choke carburettor, fed from a trunk mounted steel fuel tank. Traditional contact breaker ignition systems were used, usually with Marelli distributors.
The suspension system utilised fully independent front suspension, with MacPherson struts, track control arms and anti-roll bar. The rear suspension was quite advanced (when using a solid live rear axle), in that the rear axle was controlled by double unequal length trailing arms and a panhard rod, with coil springs and direct acting dampers. This design proved far superior to many of its contemporaries, especially with vehicle stability and handling.
The braking system was also typical; the front brakes were disc brakes, using a solid iron disc and a single-piston sliding caliper. The rears were drum brakes, utilising leading and trailing shoe design operated by a dual piston fixed slave cylinder. They were operated hydraulically, with a tandem master cylinder assisted by a vacuum servo using two separate circuits. A rear-mounted load sensing valve varied the bias of effort applied to the rear brakes, dependent on the load being carried (and also the pitch dynamics caused by braking effort and road levels). A centrally located floor mounted handbrake operated on the rear axle using bowden cables.
Final assembly of Fiat 131 took also place in the Polish Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych - FSO in the years 1975-1981. First series cars were available only in Special trim and were called Polski Fiat 131p Mirafiori, cars of second series were known under the name Fiat 131p Mirafiori and were offered in L and CL trim levels.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1585 cc
- horsepower: 75 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 170 km/h