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All Tests
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1972 Fiat X 1/9

For this car there are two competitors. The Opel GT and the VW-Porsche 914 are already on the market and the Matra Bagheera followed them a year later. All three are mid-engined sports car in a price sensitive area.

The VW-Porsche is unusual as a rear-wheel drive with reverse drive. But at least it can be converted into a convertible like the X 1/9, which is not possible with the other two. The VW-Porsche can't quite keep up in terms of price either, but thanks to the variant with a real Porsche engine it enjoys a bit more reputation.

Only the Italian and the French competitor remain. Both are based on mass production technology, the Matra on the Simca 1100, the Fiat on the A112/128. In principle, they take over the front drive with the wheel suspension completely to the rear.

Despite the remaining radiator in front, there are two trunks in the Fiat, whereby the front one can also accommodate the plastic roof. However, the tank and spare wheel also have to disappear in the engine compartment. The latter can be reached by folding down the passenger seat. There are now two flaps at the rear, including one that is too small for work on the drive unit. In addition, there were the pop-up headlights, which were unavoidable for this time.

The hardly changed large series mechanics do not cause any major problems with the X 1/9. But all the more the body. It's a pity really, because it's undoubtedly the most successful of the three competitors. The tank and possibly the spare wheel have a noise-dampening effect, but they restrict the interior space more.

The design originates from Bertone's chief designer Gandini and is based on a study from 1969. Even during production, the car remains under the care of the company. Fiat only supplies the components. The name is derived from the internal model designation. There are big differences between this and the other Fiat models of the time. Wedge shape, accentuated air inlets, little chrome and spoiler underline the special feature of this mid-engine hot rod.

While Matra's aforementioned competitors are still trying to increase the space to two and a half seats, the X 1/9 remains consistently a two-seater. On the contrary, for two larger people it gets a bit tight, at least in the head area. In addition, there is the clear noise development of the high-revving and throaty engine despite only one carburetor.

You are compensated by appealing driving performance with moderate consumption and unproblematic handling in many areas. The only annoying thing is the somewhat notchy gearshift, which is typical for a mid-engine.

What is also unusual about this Fiat is its price if you compare it, for example, with English sports cars of the time, even if they cannot always keep up from a technical point of view. The X 1/9, like many (particularly more expensive) Italian sports cars before it, experienced by far the greatest distribution mainly in the USA. However, the car also owes its later ugliness to this fact due to the huge bumpers.

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