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The Fiat 147 was a compact family car, a predecessor to the Fiat Uno. The car was produced in several countries at different times: in Brazil between 1976 and 1987 (more than 1,250,000 units were constructed here), in Colombia from 1979 to 1984, and in Argentina between 1982 and 1996. Also, the Fiat 147 was made in a number of body types. It could be a two-door saloon or a 3-door estate car, a three-door hatchback or panel van, etc.
Dimensions and Weight
Remember that the Fiat 147 refers to the class of compacts, so its dimensions can surprise you but in a different way. The car (we’re considering the model everything started with, the one of 1976 made in Brazil) was 142.8 inches long, 60.8 inches wide, and 53.1 inches high. Its front and rear tracks were 50 and 50.7 inches respectively while the wheelbase was 87.6 inches. Luggage capacity was 35.3 cu ft.
Turning circle of the Fiat 147 was just 31.5 ft (9.6 m). It means that the car was manoeuvring and could cope with different road situations. The car’s gross weight (with all the equipment and passengers) was 2,646 lb (1,200 kg) while its curb weight (weight of a vehicle not counting cargo and passengers) was 1,753 lb (795 kg).
In 1976, when the Fiat 147 (front-wheel drive model) just started to be produced, it was powered by a 1,049 cc naturally aspirated engine that came as a substitution for the 903 cc one. It produced 56 hp (42 kW) at 5,800 rpm and 56 lb/ft of torque (76.5 Nm) at 3,800 rpm while its fuel capacity was 37 litres.
The engine accelerated the car up 60 mph in 16.1 seconds while its top speed was 84 mph. The Fiat 147 ran 225-295 miles on a tank in the city and 275-360 miles on a single tank on an extra-urban cycle (288 miles on a tank combined).
Why was it appealing to customers?
People were satisfied with the Fiat 147’s driving performance. The car ran quietly and smoothly. Besides, it was one of the most affordable family cars in the market back then as it ran not on petrol but ethanol. Although the engine needed by 30 per cent more fuel, the car’s owners were still in the black. They paid less than they would pay for petrol that excessively went up in price due to the 1973 oil crisis.
Some of the Fiat 147 models were equipped with a 1,301 cc diesel engine that made 33 kW. It used the 1,049 cc unit as a mould. However, people in Brazil weren’t allowed to drive (register) diesel cars that’s why the Fiat 147 cars with a diesel engine under the bonnet were manufactured for export.
Do not forget that the Fiat 147 was good-looking outside and inside. Although for us a comfortable car’s cabin is something different than what the Fiat 147 offers, people used it for family journeys at the time. It was practical being able to accommodate a few passengers and their luggage and manoeuvring. What else could you ask for?
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