Fiat Uno.  Thank you very much!  – Vintage cars in Auto Motor Klassiek

Fiat Uno. Thank you very much! – Vintage cars in Auto Motor Klassiek

In the month of January of 2023, Fiat Uno extinguished forty candles. The Italian compact car for the whole family celebrates its 40th anniversary this month. An important anniversary, when, like in 1983, the brand is in a new stage of change. In 2023, electrification is hitting the automotive world, and the Fiat car brand is also in a phase where it must prove its right to exist within the new car manufacturer and its new parent company, Stellantis. Or at least try to win his place within the group. Two exciting exercises, but Fiat wouldn’t be Fiat if it could close each challenge in a good way. Just like Uno did once.

More than 9 million…

In 1983, the Fiat Uno, with an investment of 1,000 billion lire, was the vehicle for the great rescue of the Turin brand. And that relief came. Fiat Uno is a car that sold more than 9 million units at the end of its career. Isn’t that childhood?! It is still the eighth best selling car in the world.

But while this is very impressive for the Uno, this figure tells only a small part of the car’s huge success. The Italian compact car brought innovation, mainly due to the design of the style icon Giorgetto Giugiaro. It was the Italians among themselves. And they can do the craft in Northern Italy as well, luckily Uno was put together.

When introduced, he could also rely on a creative communication campaign. Everything was modern. Modern in 1983 that is. In the campaign, Giorgio Forattini used phrases such as: “it’s comfortable”, “it’s chic”, “it’s vibrating”, “it’s economical”, and, for the diesel version, it became “it travels”. The 1300cc naturally aspirated diesel turned out to be an engine that made light work of the competition in everyday practice.

A difficult assignment

After its introduction, the Fiat Uno immediately became the ‘Car of the Year 1984’. Everyone said that enough, you just weren’t like that. Still the Fiat Uno had a tough job. In the 1980s, the automotive industry became increasingly technological and global, so it had to be able to keep up with everything. The most difficult thing is that it was the successor of the successful Fiat 127.

So Uno became a no-regrets attempt to switch from 127 to Uno by any means. That worked well, thanks to the brilliant Pio Manzù. The market success continued rapidly thanks to the simple, elegant and ‘pure’ lines created by Giorgetto Giugiaro.

The Uno exuded modernity and won the hearts of a diverse audience of drivers. Small on the outside and spacious on the inside. It had a passenger compartment that was as tough as it was smart. Very practical and even a little ‘visionary’. This was mainly due to the two installed satellites, which on the sides of the instrument panel contain commands for the main functions of the car. And it’s not important, it turned out to be a decent car. It is technically reliable. Moreover, it had little problem with rust. Almost too good to be true, but it proved itself in practice.

More and more versions

In 1983, the Uno first appeared on the market with 900 cc, 1100 cc and 1300 cc engines. Powers varied from 45 to 70 hp and a few months after introduction a 45 hp aviation diesel was added. Two years later, even 105 hp and a turbo appeared, which could reach a maximum speed of 200 km / h. The new 1.0 Fire engine also appeared on the 45, replacing the old engine derived from the “old” Fiat 127. In 1986 the celebration got even bigger, because the turbo was also available as a diesel variant. 70 hp Uno Turbo D 1.4 did first. To complete the model range, there was also a version with a continuously variable automatic transmission called the Selecta.

With the 1989 facelift, the Uno received new styling cues, taken from its older sister at the time, the Tipo. It caused the Tip Cw value to be reduced to 0.30. In addition, the 1989 Uno featured a more traditional interior design and increased engine performance. Turbo took the cake with no less than 118 hp! This was achieved by increasing the displacement to 1372 cc. Technical innovation is a strong asset of Fiat. In fact, after the process of electrification and hybrid cars began, Fiat also switched to 100 percent electric with its modern 500e. With this, the Italian carmaker is paving its way through the turbulent world of the energy transition.

Simple, easy, modern

So the Fiat Uno was even ‘under the skin’ a modern car. And it also drove like a modern car. This was due to the integrated rear suspension. A modern solution, which the design team led by Vittorio Ghidella was able to make the Uno beautiful and stable. Today remembered and loved by many Italians, but also by many others.

Sales record after sales record set. And the Uno is still one of the biggest milestones in Fiat’s existence. Italians are very proud. Especially when you consider that the Fiat Uno should be born as a Lancia. But fate had another city car design that would help change our automotive industry forever.

The amazing project was originally designed by Lancia’s number one at the time, Gian Mario Rossignolo. But that brilliant design moved to Fiat’s drawing boards as Lancia’s manager left the company. And so, through one of those sudden and unfortunate events, the adventure of the Fiat Uno began. A car that made history for the Italian car industry (and beyond).

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Fiat Uno 55S 1983-1989. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign – to replace the Fiat 127 – the Uno had a long, square body and was available as a three- or five-door hatchback.
The Fiat Uno 45 drs 3. It was an instant success, largely fueled by its recognition as the European Car of the Year in 1984, and would become an icon of the 1980s.
Fiat Uno Turbo that is
Fiat Uno 45 5dr
Fiat Uno 60s 5dr. By the time production in Italy ended in 1995, there were over six million
Fiat Unos were produced, of which almost two-thirds were destined for the domestic market.
Fiat Uno 70SL drs 5. The first generation Fiat Uno was introduced in 1983 and was produced in Italy until 1995. After 1995, production continued in Brazil, South Africa, Poland and Argentina. Other countries where Uno was released are Morocco, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.
The basis for the Fiat Uno D. In Brazil, from 1990 to 2013, the 1.0-liter version was sold as the Fiat Mille,
an affordable entry-level model.
Fiat Uno VAN, van version with 1697 cc diesel engine