Tuesday 24 February 2015
The Fiat Uno was a supermini car produced by the Italian manufacturer Fiat. The Uno was launched in 1983 and built in its homeland until 1995, with production still taking place in other countries for some years, with the final Uno built in Brazil in 2013.
With approximately 8,800,000 built, it's the eighth most produced automobile platform in history, after the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Model T, Lada Riva, 1965-70 GM B platform, 1981–97 GM J platform, 1961-64 GM B platform, and 1977-90 GM B platform.
The Uno name was reintroduced in 2010 in South America for the Fiat Panda based car built in Brazil.
The Uno (Type 146) was launched in January 1983 to replace the ageing Fiat 127, which itself had revolutionized the supermini market on its launch more than 10 years earlier. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro's ItalDesign company, its tall, square body utilising a Kamm tail achieved a low drag coefficient of 0.34 won it much praise for airy interior space and fuel economy. It incorporated many packaging lessons learnt from Giugiaro's 1978 Lancia Megagamma concept car (the first modern people carrier / MPV / mini-van) but miniaturised. Its tall car / high seating packaging is imitated by every small car today. It reversed the trend for lower and lower built cars. It showed that not just low sleek cars could be aerodynamic, but small, roomy, boxy well packaged cars could be too.
United Kingdom sales began in June 1983, with more than 20,000 being sold in its first full year on sale and peaking at more than 40,000 sales in 1988.
In 1984 it was voted European Car of the Year.
Initially, the Uno was offered with the 0.9 litre (903 cc) OHV, 1.1 litre (1116 cc), and 1.3 litre (1301 cc) 138-series SOHC petrol engines and transmissions carried over from the 127. The 1.3 (1300 cc) diesel (not for the UK market) engine was launched a couple of months later. The Uno's badging was not by the commonly used measurement of engine size but by metric horsepower: 45, 55, 60, 70, or 75. The Uno was available as either a 3 or 5-door hatchback. It also featured ergonomic "pod" switchgear clusters each side of the main instrument binnacle, (that could be operated without removing the driver's hands from the steering wheel), although indicators remained on a stalk; an unusual arrangement similar to that used by Citroën.
The Uno had MacPherson strut independent front suspension and twist-beam rear suspension with telescopic dampers and coil springs.
From 1985, the 1.0 litre (999 cc) SOHC Fully Integrated Robotised Engine (FIRE) powerplant was offered. This was a lighter engine, built with fewer parts, and gave improved performance and economy.
In April 1985 the hot hatch version of the first series Uno - the Uno Turbo i.e. - was launched as a 3-door only derivative. Despite marketing claims that it was fitted with an engine "specifically developed for turbocharging" the Turbo i.e. model actually used a Ritmo/Strada-derived 1.3 146-series engine with Bosch multi-point fuel injection, Magneti Marelli electronic ignition and a water-cooled IHI turbocharger with an intercooler to reduce intake air temperatures. The resultant power plant was highly regarded and considered as more technologically advanced than many of its contemporaries. Engine capacity was initially stated as 1299cc but this was revised early on in production to 1301cc. In both forms the engine offered 106 PS (105 bhp) but owners report that the 1301cc version was notably more responsive and had greater torque than the earlier 1299cc unit. Cars built from 1985 to late 1987 were fitted with a Ritmo/Strada-derived 5-speed gearbox. This was then replaced by a newly-developed 'C510' 5-speed gearbox, often referred to by owners as the 'Tipo style' gearbox, featuring a more durable differential and improved gearchange linkage. Ratios were unchanged between the two units.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 903 cc
- horsepower: 45 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 140 km/h