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Fiat Ritmo

Fiat Ritmo (Italy, 1978-1988)

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Model History

The Fiat Ritmo debuted at the 1978 Turin Motor Show. The new compact model had a front-wheel drive layout and a transversely mounted engine. It was available with 3- or 5-door body variants and had a modern, original styling.

The Ritmo was initially offered with three engines: a 1100 cc, 1300 cc and a 1500 cc unit. These were combined with 4- or 5-gearboxes. Customers had the choice to add numerous extras, such as air conditioning, a 3-speed automatic transmission. From spring 1979, the Ritmo 60 was equipped with the 1050 cc engine built in Brasil.

In February 1980, Fiat introduced the diesel variant of the Ritmo. The car was available as 5-door with L and CL trims. The 1700 cc engine with belt-driven overhead camshaft produced 55 bhp and was mated with a 5-speed gearbox. Its top speed was over 140 km/h and average fuel consumption figured at 7.3 litres/100 km. The diesel variant saw also some body changes, such as a reinforced suspension, anti-roll bar at the front, improved steering and larger tyres.

By the end of 1982, when the second generation was launched, 1.300.000 units of the Ritmo had been produced, 200.000 were diesel engined variants.

 

2. Generation (1983-1988)

The second generation, also known as New Ritmo, was produced from 1982 until 1985. Main changes were made on the front design and the dashbord and the fuel consumption was reduced. The versions available from 1982 were the 60, ES, 70, 70 Super, 85 Super and Diesel.

In 1984, the Ritmo 60 was availble with the L, CL and Super trim. From 1985 a 60 IN trim was introduced. The diesel was offered in L and CL trim.

The ES version marks the first low-consumption car from Fiat. It was based on the Ritmo 60 with 5-door layout and had features such as anti-turbulance deflectors, fared hubcaps and spoiler to optimize the drag-coefficient. It reached a top speed of 150 km/h and had a combined consumption of about 6.4 litres/100 km, a value 13.5% better than the base 60 model.

1985 Facelift

In 1985 the Ritmo was facelifted again and came with a new front bumper, grille, four headlights, wide rubber strips on the sides and a new rear bumper. Also on the interior, updates were implemented: reduced cabin noise, new seats, new side panel trim and for the CL and Super versions, carpeted floors. In technical terms, the car saw its fuel consumption reduced and performance increased (from 55 to 58 hp). All versions, except for the L variants, were fitted with a manual 5-gear transmission now.

In 1985, the old 1714 cc 55 hp Diesel variant was replaced with a new Diesel 1697 cc unit. The engine was based on that of the Regata DS. It produced 60 hp at 4500 rpm and reached a top speed of 150 km/h.

In February 1986 a Ritmo Turbodiesel variant reached the markets. It was sold as a sporty car and featured the top-of-the-range turbocharged 80 hp 1929 cc engine. Based on the Super 5-door body variant, it came with new bumpers, new wheelcover discs and protection stripes on the lower sides. The interior had also been revised and the standared equipment included amongst others power assisted steering, central locking and electric windows.

 

 

 


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Special Editions

Targa Oro (1979-1981)

The Ritmo Targa Oro was introduced at the 1979 Frankfurt Motor Show. The car was a specil edition with modified body and available as black 3-door or metallic brown 5-door sedan. It also included special wheel rims, higher interior trim and more standard features.

It was sold as 65 hp variant in Italy and with a 75 hp configuration abroad.

 

Ritmo Super (1981-1982)

The Ritmo Super models were launched in January 1981, offering customers higher trim finish. They were available as 5-door variants only and with the 1500 cc and 1300 cc engines which had their output increased by 10 hp respectively to 75 and 85 bhp. Main differences against the regular versions included stainless steel finish on wheels, windows and door handles, new bumper shields and air intake. On the inside, changes were made on the dashboard, an adjustable steering wheel was added and the seats received new upholstery.

 

Ritmo 105 TC

In May 1981, Fiat introduced the first sport edition of the Ritmo, the Ritmo 105 TC. The name refers to the car's maximum output of 105 bhp, which it achieved thanks to the 1600 cc twin-cam engine also used in the Fiat 131 and 132 models.

With the second series, the 105 TC was also reviewed and presented at the Geneva Motor Show 1983. The engine now featured Digiplex electronic ignition and the final drive ratio was slightly increased. The spors version also came with improved brakes and a lower kerb weight, resultung now in a top speed of 180 km/h.

 

Abarth 125 TC (1981-1983)

At the 1981 Frankfurt Motor Show a sports version of the Fiat Ritmo was presented, the Abarth 125 TC. The TC referring to the twin-cam enngine and the 125 standing for 125 bhp. The engine was mated with a 5-speed ZF-transmission, the suspensions was modified, stronger brakes were added and P6 Pirelli tyres were used, along with further equipment.

 

Ritmo Cabrio-Bertone

The Carozzeria Bertone presented a 4-seater cabrio prototype of the Fiat Ritmo at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1981. The car eventually went into production in early 1982, equipped with the 1498 cc, 85 bhp engine. It also had a reinforced underbody, 4-layer top, different seats. It was distributed by Bertone and 4000 units had been produced.

In 1983, Bertone also refreshed the cabrio variant of the Ritmo, making use of the new series' features. It first became available as th 85 Super and in 1984, a 70 Super variant followed. Special features included a lockable glove box, a new system for the foldable top, new upholstery and colours.

The Bertone Supercabrio was launched in 1985 and it was based on the Ritmo 100 Super. It featured a 1585 cc twin-cam engine with a maximum output of 105 hp at 6100 rpm. The cabriolet reached a top speed of 170 km/h. It shared features of the other Bertone cabrio, such as the robust foldable roof. Modifications included sportier bumpers and wide rubbing protection on the sides.

 

Ritmo Abarth 130 TC (1983-1985)

In 1983 the Ritmo Abarth 130 TC replaced the Abarth 125 TC as the most powerful sports variant of the model. The main new features were the new front grille and 4 headlights. The new car had front door anti turbo baffles and a new deasign on the rear lamps and bumper. Its engine delivered a higher output thanks to the two twin-choke carburettors and digiplex ignition. Its lower weight also allowed for better performance at a lower consumption.


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Related Models

In Great Britain and in the USA, the Fiat Ritmo was marketed as Fiat Strada.


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