In 1969 Fiat introduced the 130 Berlina. The Turin manufacturer's flagship was one of the alternatives to the established higher order of the automotive landscape. Fiat did not stop at these aspirations for the top model. In 1971 the Italians presented the coupé version of the Fiat 130 in Geneva. The public was introduced to a car constructed from beautiful lines drawn by Pininfarina.
More specifically: Paolo Martin and Leonardo Fioravanti were responsible for the design on behalf of Pininfarina, which was completely different from the Berlina in cosmetic terms. The Fiat 130 Coupé had an interior and an exterior that really differed from the four-door version. The self-supporting body had a low waistline and was notable for, among other things, the large C-pillar, the large smooth surfaces, the sleek lines and the long stem. The long doors also caught the eye. The body was assembled by Fiat. After this, the body was transported from Stabilimento Rivalta to Pininfarina. There the 130 Coupé got its paint and the logo on the sides. Pininfarina also took care of the assembly and the overall finishing.
The coupe version was just under ten centimeters taller in length than the four-door version (484 cm versus 475 cm). In terms of width and height, the coupé lost out to the 130 Berlina. The wheelbase was the same for both models at 272 cm. The 130 Coupé also got a new and extremely stylish interior. Wood inlays, a sky with semicircular panels from front to back, furniture with beautiful upholstery and a newly developed dashboard with a sporty steering wheel with two spokes also told from the inside that this 130 Coupé was independent in a number of ways. In 130, the 1971 four-door largely took over the dashboard of the new coupé.
3.2 V6 engine
The Fiat 130 Coupé also shared a number of things with the Berlina, such as the bottom plate and the chassis. The Italians also fitted the renewed 3.235 cc 60 ° V6 engine, a further development of the 2.866 cc engine from the Berlina, which was taken into production two years earlier. The configuration of the enlarged power unit remained the same. The engine consisted of a cast iron block and alloy (two-piece) cylinder heads. The two camshafts were overhead and were driven by a toothed belt. The engine also got a place in the Berlina in 1971. He thus replaced the oude V6. The power was 165 DIN-PK, the mixture was provided by one double Weber 45 DFC carburettor. The chassis came from the Berlina. At the front, this consisted, among other things, of independent wheel suspension and torsion bar suspension at the front. The chassis consisted at the rear of independently suspended wheels, including angled reaction arms and coil springs. Stabilizers were also fitted at the front and rear. Speaking of the rear suspension: this was basically also used on the second series of the Fiat Dino.
Coupé a little smoother than Berlina
The performance of the rear-wheel drive 130 Coupé was, just like the same-motorized Berlina from 1971, at a more than acceptable level. Those who opted for the heavy Borg Warner automatic transmission greeted a top speed of 190 kilometers per hour in the coupé. In combination with ZF's five-speed gearbox, the driver tapped even a higher top. In both cases, the top was also slightly higher than with Berlina's with the same transmission. To curb that performance, Fiat installed a separate braking system, whereby the driver had the certainty of always being able to brake on the front wheels in the event of one defect. The deceleration was done hydraulically by means of four air-cooled discs, and a brake pressure regulator was placed on the rear wheels for an even more even braking behavior.
The Fiat 130 Coupé was extraordinarily luxurious. It was equipped with numerous chrome and stainless steel elements and the standard equipment was also in order. Electrically operated door windows, a height and length adjustable steering wheel, four iodine spotlights, hydraulic power steering and Cromodora alloy wheels were some of the delicacies of the Pininfarina beautifully finished Fiat. Those who wanted to take the car to a higher level in terms of equipment could order leather upholstery, electronic ignition, a radio, a metallic color and air conditioning. Special: headrests were also on the option list (at least in the Netherlands). The side note: partly because of the sheet steel used, the exclusive car was quite susceptible to rust.
130 and Dino available side by side for another year
In 1971 Fiat was in any case well represented within the higher echelons of automotive construction. The 130 versions were the actual successors of the Lancia Flaminia within the Fiat group. In addition, the Dino got a nice offspring in the coupé version of the 130. The Dino continued to exist for another year alongside the 130 Coupé. Based on the Fiat 130 Coupé, two study models also appeared: the four-door Opera (móói) and the Maremma, a shooting brake in Italian.
With 4.491 copies unintentionally exclusive
No matter how beautiful the 130 series was: Fiat did not achieve too high sales numbers. The 1969 Berlina, built from 130, never brought Fiat the success it had hoped for, and that was certainly not the case with the extravagant 130 Coupé from Pininfarina. The 130 Coupé was Fiats' answer to the BMW CS models and the Mercedes-Benz SLC (C107). These were sold in considerably larger editions. With a total number of 130 built between 1971 and 1977, the beautiful Fiat 4.491 Coupé lagged far behind the German competition. And he therefore unintentionally remained exclusive.
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