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The Yugo Sana 1,4. A forgotten car

Yugo Sana
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The Yugo Sana 1,4. Who didn't dream of it in 1991? No one? Oops. Apparently wrong approach.

The Sana didn't look wrong at all. It was therefore designed by Giorgietto Guigiaro's company Ital Design. According to rumors, the car was designed for Fiat, but rejected as a design. The Yugo Sana had to conquer Europe and provide hard currency for the Yugoslavs.


The finish, paintwork and details were really considerably less with the Yugo than with the Fiat.

At the time, close ties were forged between the Eastern bloc and us. One after the other Oosblok car manufacturer entered into partnerships with Western colleagues. But Yugo worked closely with Fiat long before that time. And therefore had a head start. Yet?

And in 1991 you could put the cheapest Fiat Tipo next to the Yugo Sana to compare things. Yugo, formerly Zastava, had never had the opportunity to develop totally own models. The company always had to do with (dated) Fiat technology and technology. And the sales of those cars outside of their own - politically divided - boundaries have never taken off.

The new time

But in 1991 that had to change with the arrival of the Yugo Sana (exuberantly sunny "Florida" in some exporting countries). Yugo was ready for the world. But was the world ready for the Yugo? In any case, the car looked topical enough to be taken seriously. But the biggest challenge, of course, was, in our case, the Dutch importer. Because it had to convince the Dutch bourgeoisie that it would be a very good idea to drive Yugo. And what should convince the Dutch bourgeoisie? Well, the fact that the Yugo was cheap and still quite a Fiat. But a little less. For example, the car had the same engine as the Tipo, but without injection and catalytic converter. The Yugoslavian inhaled through a Weber register carburetor. The Fiat was equipped with a central Bosch fuel injection system. Funnily enough, the more recent Fiat block delivered a little less power because 'cleaner driving' simply meant power in those days.

Not bad. Not very well

The gearbox of the Fiat was much better because the Yugoslavs had chosen / had to do with the old Fiat 5 gearbox. And that had in fact always been a vague shifting thing. The shifting paths were very long and the shifting took a lot of force, while the result of all that work just didn't want to become convincing.

When it came to performance, the slightly less strong Fiat at the crankshaft delivered more power to the front wheels. The transmission losses in the Yugo gearbox and powertrain are apparently greater than those in the greasy black of the Fiat. All in all the Yugo scored in terms of performance just was higher than the Fiat. And that was due to its lower weight. At the end of the campaign, the Fiat and the Yugo both ran around 150 real kilometers per hour. It was surprising in that context that the Yugo at 140 km / h was quieter in the interior than its smart nephew.

In terms of chassis, the Fiat clearly won it with its all-round independent suspension, De Sana had for, but no independent rear suspension. The entire handling of the Sana turned out to be a gear or a little less refined than that of the Fiat. The Fiat proved to be the clear winner in that area.

Internally - and externally - such a Yugo was a fairly inexpensive looking pastry.

Cheap was still too expensive

Between the Fiat and the Yugo there was a price difference of such an 2500 euro. And the general impression was that the price difference should have been bigger to make the Yugo Sana more attractive.

But in the meantime, Yugo has also found enchanted enthusiasts in the Netherlands ...

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There were also exemplary finished Yugos

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