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Fiat 127

Fiat 127 (Italy, 1971-1985)

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Model History

The Fiat 127 was launched in 1971 as successor to the 850 model and became a sales-success for the Fiat company.

The small car featured a front-wheel-drive layout, which had first been introduced in 1964 with the Autobianchi Primula and later in 1969 with the 128 model. It used similar mechanics as the 128 on suspension, brakes and steering and its engine was derived from the 850 Sport.

It quickly became a market success in Italy and abroad and in 1972, a 3-door version was added to the model line-up. It had a rear door and a rear bench that could be lowered.


2. Series (1977-81)

In spring 1977, the 127 received a make-over and saw its range increased. Three different trim variants were now offered: L, C and CL. The engine portfolio was also increased, adding a 1050 cc, 50 bhp single overhead camshaft engine to the 45 bhp 903 cc unit. Output of the 903 cc motor basically remained unchanged.

By 1979, production of the 127 had reaced the 4-million-mark. Since 1973, it had been the best-selling European car.

In 1980, a 5-door variant of the 127 C (Comfort) was added to the line-up and remained available until 1981. The car was powered by the 903 cc engine with 45 bhp and reached a top speed of 135 km/h. In 1981, it was then replaced by the new 5-door 127 Super.

Still in 1980, Fiat launched the 127 Panorama, which was a 3-door estate version based on the 147 built in Brasil. The Panorama drove witha 2050 cc single overhead camshaft engine, making about the same power as the 127. Mechanical changes were done on the suspension, radiator, gearbox, final drive ratio, brakes and fuel tank. In Fiat's line-up, the 127 Panorama replaced the 128 Panorama.

By February 1981, a diesel version of the 127 was prsented. It used the thicker bodywork of the 2. series Brasilian 147 model, wich meant a weight-increase to 1255 kg. It also had a different final gear ratio, larger tyres and a different front design. The 1301 cc engine achieved an output of 45 bhp. With the introduction of the diesel engine, it was also introduced to the 127 Panorama variant.


3. Series (1981-83)

In March 1981, the Fiat 127 received its second facelift since its introduction. The model-range was now made of the Super, Special and Sport variants. The Special was the entry-level version, while the Super was the 127 flagship. The cars were sold with either a 900 cc or a 1050 cc engine and performance was basically the same as prior to the updates: the 900 cc variant achieved 135 km/h, while the 1050 cc engine versions reached a top speed of 140 km/h, while the Sport versions with the 1050 cc engine made it to 160 km/h.

In 1983, the 127 Diesel Saloon and Panorama were updated regarding their body and mechanicals. The car received a new front grille and different side body panels. The interior was also reviewed.


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Special Editions

127 Special 1974-77

At the 1974 Paris Motor Show, Fiat introduced the 2- and 3-door "Special" variants of the 127 model. They offered customers higher finish and equipment levels.

Features included a new front grille, rubber-reinforced bumpers and steel/rubber lines on the sides. On the interior, a new dashboard, steering wheel and trim where added.

The engine saw emissions-improvements in ealy 1976, reducing power output from 47 bhp to 45 bhp at 5600 rpm. Maximum speed came down to 135 km/h from 140 km/h.

127 Sport 1978-81

The Fiat 127 Sport was marketed from summer 1978 onwards. It had a different syling and delivered increased power with the ohc 1050 cc engine.

The compression ration was 8:1 for this variant, it also featured a new valve arrangement, larger valves and a twin-choke carburettor. These changes resulted in a power output of 70 bhp at 3500 rpm and an increased top speed of 160 km/h. The chassis and suspension were also modified with stronger brakes, a stiffer anti-roll-bar at the front and wider tyres.

The styling modifications included a new front grille, a new front and rear bumperspoiler and side rubbing strips. The interior was also re-worked.

127 Top 1979-81

In June, the 127 Top was added to the model range. The variant was offered as 3-door sedan with the 1050 cc, 50 bhp engine, making a top speed of 140 km/h. Its body had been updated on the exterior and interior, offering two body colour choices (metallic blue and metallic bronze). The blue variant was also equipped with a canvas sunroof as standard.

127 Rustica 1979-81

By the end of 1979, the Fiat 127 Rustica reached the markets. Based on the 147 model built in Brasil, the Rustica had a stronger and heavier body and suspension and brakes were made for use on uneven ground. It was available with beige body paint only and featured a new front grille, side rubber strips, and metal mesh protectors for the headlamps. The interior of the Rustica was simpler than that of regular 127 versions while the fuel capaciy was increased to 38 litres and maximum speed reduced to 135 km/h.

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Related Models

The 1976 4-door Fiat 127, was also badge-engineered by the Spanish manufacturer Seat as Seat 127.

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In 1971 the Fiat 127 model won the “Car of the Year” award.

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