Fiat 130

Fiat 130

Infobox Automobile


name = Fiat 130
aka =
manufacturer = Fiat
production = 1969-1977
predecessor = Fiat 2300
successor =
class = Executive car
layout = FR layout
body_style = 4-door saloon
2-door coupé
5-door station wagon
engine = 2866 cc ohc V6
3235 cc ohc V6
transmission = 3-speed automatic
5-speed manual
wheelbase = Auto mm|2720|1 (saloon)
length = Auto mm|4750|1 (saloon)
width = Auto mm|1803|1 (saloon)
height = Auto mm|1473|1 (saloon)
weight = Auto kg|1550 (saloon)
fuel_economy =
fuel_capacity =
related =
similar =
designer = Pininfarina "(coupé)"
The Fiat 130 is a large executive car manufactured by the Italian automaker Fiat, available as saloon and coupé.

The saloon was launched in March 1969, replacing the previous largest and most exclusive Fiat saloon, the Fiat 2300. It was a thoroughly modern car, with four-wheel independent suspension (torsion bars in the front and coil springs in the rear),cite web|url=http://web.archive.org/web/20050401064203/www.carsfromitaly.com/fiat/130.html|title=Fiat 130|work=The Fiat pages @ w w w . C a r s f r o m I t a l y . c o m|accessdate=2006-08-28 - accessed via the Wayback Machine] standard power steering and four-wheel disc brakes, and was the first Fiat to adopt an alternator instead of a direct-current generator.Fact|date=February 2007

The Coupé, based on the same platform, was introduced in March 1971. It was designed and built by Pininfarina, and significantly different in style, including a separate interior design (adopted in the saloon when it was upgraded to the 130B version which also featured the Coupé's enlarged 3235 cc V6). Even more luxurious, it featured a button-operated mechanism allowing the driver to open the passenger-side door. In addition to this model, there were two one-off variations built, a 2 door estate and a 4 door saloon known as the opera.

The saloon went out of production in 1976, with 15,093 produced. The Coupé continued until the following year, and production ended with 4,294 built in total.

Engine

The "130 type A" engine came in 1969 as a V6 2866 cc with a power of convert|140|bhp|kW PS|0|abbr=on at 5600 rpm. Bore convert|96|mm|in|1|abbr=on and stroke convert|66|mm|in|1|abbr=on. It was an exact x1.2 magnification of the "128 type A" engine (bore convert|80|mm|in|1|abbr=on and stroke convert|55|mm|in|1|abbr=on), omitting one cylinder and joining two banks of 3 cylinders at 60 degree.Only the intake was brand new, being central and cross-flow in the V6 design instead of being high-turbulence on the same side as the exhaust in the "128 type A" engine.Combustion chambers were the same as in the "128 type A" engine : wedge-shaped with colinear valves, actually derived from the "112" engine dating back from 1957, hence (and sadly) not the "112 Lampredi" polyspherical ones, with V-shaped valves that Lampredi developed in 1961.The "130" engine is fitted with one dual-throat DFC Weber carb in central position, feeding all 6 cylinders. The spark advance setup is trivial, only RPM-corrected without any intake manifold pressure correction.Then in 1971, came the "130 type B" engine : almost identical except a bore of 102mm (instead of 96mm), making 3235 cc and convert|165|bhp|kW PS|0|abbr=on at 5600 rpm.To be remembered is that in May 1970, a specification got reported by the journalist Henri Bayol in "L'Auto-Journal", about the Fiat 130 Coupé (that still was in prototype stage) to be fitted with a triplet of Weber carbs, targeting convert|200|bhp|kW PS|0|abbr=on and convert|200|km/h|mph|abbr=on, but this never happened as the Fiat 130 Coupé strictly relied on the same 3235 cc engine as the 130 Berlina.Back in 1967, when the "130" engine got designed, the priorities of Fiat were clear, and set by Dante Giacosa : "let us concentrate on small front-wheel-drive cars", and this explains why the "130" project had to mature in parallel with the "128" engine, that was regarded as and optimum combination of modernity, and still low cost. The less time was allocated to some "130" engine specialties, the better for Dante Giacosa.Dante Giacosa initially allowed some research and development for self-adjusting hydraulic valves, but when it started to take time to get this perfectly finalized, Dante Giacoasa took the decision to pull, saying this was not going to be useful for the "128" engine anyway.The name of Lampredi, the designer of the famous "Dino" engine, is associated with the "130" engine because it was Lampredi, transferred from Ferrari to Fiat in 1961, that was heading the engine department of Fiat.But clearly, there are no similarities between the "Dino" engine and the "130" engine. The "Dino" is a Ferrari-derived 72 degree V engine with dual camshafts per bank, chain driven, hemispheric combustion chambers and V-shaped valves. The "130" engine is "128"-derived 60 degree V engine with single camshaft per bank, belt driven, wedge-shaped combustion chambers and colinear valves.So, as a conclusion, the aim of the "130" design was to have the big and heavy Fiat 130 fitted with a "state-of-the-art" big engine, at the lowest development and production cost, delivering power at a moderate speed like 5600 rpm. At this time, in the late sixties, a belt-driven supersquare engine with overhead camshaft was seen as an optimum, with the supersquare concept enabling high compression ratios and relatively big valves, at low cost.The wedge-shaped combustion chambers, known as being sub-optimal on the efficiency side, were however appreciated for their ease of igniting correcly without detonation at relatively high compression ratios and still with moderate octane fuel.One may regret the "128" and "130" engines never continued the "112 Lampredi" design that enabled more efficient combustion chambers, especially at high RPM, but on the other hand the "112 Lampredi" design had a higher moving parts count, with one lifter per valve, and, designed back in 1961 for moderate RPM engines, it was feared those lifters couldn't endure the continuous high RPM that became a necessity with the advent of the new "autopista" in Italy.Regarding the "130" engine, with the lack of time being paid for fine tuning it, one may fear that the intake only got approximatively developed with as consequence a deficit in volumetric efficiency and a deficit in controlled turbulence.Some journalists have noted the "130" engine as "perhaps the problem is that the engine is so detuned - convert|165|bhp|kW PS|0|abbr=on from 3.2 litre is very little - that its thermal efficiency is poor. Fiat can get convert|320|bhp|kW PS|0|abbr=on from the engine if need be, and while I'm not suggesting that the 130 Coupé needs more performance, I do feel that it could be more efficient" (Car-Feb1976-page68).Some other journalists have noted the "130" engine as "pulling well from 1200 rpm with a good turn of accelerative torque on call from 2500 RPM" (MotorSport-March1976-page247).But once used in the high RPM like cruising at convert|160|km/h|mph or keeping the foot down on the intermediate gears, it is clear that the engine is displaying excessive noise and a preoccupating low mileage. Preoccupating by the year 1976 : "As I pushed the car a little harder along highland roads, the mileage disappeared at a rate of 15.2 mpg" (Car-Feb1976-page68) (the car was fitted with the automatic gearbox).One radar mile is 1,609 meters. One imperial gallon is 4.55 litres. So, back in 1976, it was about 20 litres per 100 km. Which is not tolerable by today standards.The fact that the spark advance is not function of the intake pressure is not helping, of course.Must say the car is weighting about convert|1600|kg|lb|0|abbr=on so this doesn't help. This engine never got mounted in a less heavy car so all speculations are still valid ...This engine got however mounted in the famous 030 Abarth prototype, and the famous 031 Abarth prototype driven by Pianta, with increased stoke (71mm - new mainshaft needed) and a triplet of 48IDF Weber carbs, convert|270|bhp|kW PS|0|abbr=on at 6800 rpm, nothing comparable with a regular street car setup. Surely that engine was tuned for high RPM, with specific camshafts.Cite web|url=http://www.fiat130coupe.com/moteur_gestation.html|title=FIAT 130 Coupé MOTEUR : la gestation|accessdate=2008-08-16|work=fiat130coupe.comFr icon] Cite web|url=http://www.fiat130coupe.com/esth%C3%A9tique.html|title=FIAT 130 Coupé ESTHETIQUE : un chef-d'oeuvre signé Paolo MARTIN chez Pininfarina|accessdate=2008-08-16|work=fiat130coupe.com/ Fr icon]

Old text was :A completely new V6 engine, with a 60° vee angle and belt-driven twin overhead camshafts was developed for the model by Ferrari engine designer Aurelio Lampredi.Cite web|url=http://www.mirafiori.com/130/geir.html|title=http://www.mirafiori.com/130/geir.html|accessdate=2007-06-22|work=mirafiori.com] It displaced 2866 cc and was rated at Auto bhp|140|0.

Powertrain

Power was delivered to the rear axle via standard three-speed automatic transmission, and a five-speed ZF S5-18/3 ZF manual was an option. The engine was uprated to Auto bhp|160|0 for 1970, and then in 1971 replaced by a larger, 3235 cc V6 engine producing Auto bhp|165|0.

Suspension

Some creativity got exercised by Fiat in the suspension department. Front suspension was Mc Pherson-like with torsion bars instead of springs, this in order to get plenty of room for the wide V6 and the optional airco. The height of the front suspension is adjustable, using eccentrics located at the far end of the torsion bars, where they get attached to the body. One disavantage of this torsion bar scheme is that they do connect and transmit their vibrations until the middle of the body, under the front seats. The rear suspension is independent using conventional springs, with good wheel geometry control and a limited-slip differential, leading to a better motricity under wet conditions than competing Mercedes and BMW. To be noted is that the rear suspension geometry can be finely tuned. This rear suspension is the one that is equipping the 2400 Dino, so again, one may fear a sporty ride experience instead of a perfectly filtered one. No analysis has been conducted in depth, but the overal result is confirming the fears : both the front and the rear suspension are not satisfactory in the areas of sound, percussion and vibration decoupling, making the ride less smooth than a XJ Jaguar.

Exhaust

Some efforts have been paid by Fiat engineers in the two long 3-to-1 exhaust ports for improved cylinder scavenging. And clearly, Fiat wanted to have the car emitting a beautiful noise. But the practical realization with low precision machining, approximative mastic seals, unsophisticated decouplings and low durability materials, makes the car loud and ill-sounding after a few thousands of miles. Quite annoying is the acoustic resonance that is building up at around 4000 rpm in the rear silencer. Was this really unavoidable or is it again the proof that the car never got perfectly finalized ?

Brakes

All disc-brakes, quite efficient still by today standards, but somewhat slow in reaction. No ABS of course. Be warned !

Steering

ZF steering assist, with a damper. Surprisingly good still by today standards, providing precision, feedback and smoothness.Steering column is adjustable in height and in depth.Steering wheel somewhat large by modern standards.

Ventilation - Airco

The Fiat 130 "type B" made a huge improvement regarding interior design and functionality. They inherited from the brilliant work carried by Paolo Martin, the designer of the Fiat 130 Coupé.The Fiat 130 "type B" and "Coupé" that are not fit with the airco option are well ventilated even in the summer. The Fiat 130 "type B" and "Coupé" fitted with airco enable more ventilation comfort, surprisingly good by today standards, well ahead of their time.

Fiat 130 Berlina type "A"

Launched in 1969, with the 2866cc convert|140|bhp|kW PS|0|abbr=on engine. The press soon concluded that the convert|140|bhp|kW PS|0|abbr=on were insufficient in front of the weight of about convert|1600|kg|lb|0|abbr=on, hence the Fiat 130 berlina type "A" not competing with the big BMW and Mercedes sedans. Interior design was not ambitious with rectangular dials in the dashboard, a black plastic centrale console and black plastic everywhere. Some argued this car completely missed the target, as it soon became a kind of demonstration that Fiat had no capabilities to beat BMW and Mercedes on their fields.

Fiat 130 Coupé - identified as type "BC" on the chassis

These cars appeared in 1971 at Geneva motor show. They exhibited a completely new 2-door body and a completely new interior entirely designed by Paolo Martin at Pininfarina. The car won a design price, attributed to Pininfarina, and this helped Pininfarina getting a new life after all those years relying on the "Fiat 1800, Peugeot 404, Austin A60" concept. Pininfarina extended the Fiat 130 Coupé line with two propositions that were rejected by Fiat : the Maremma in 1974 (2-door shooting break) and the Opera in 1975 (4-door berlina). Paolo Martin never got involved in such Fiat 130 Coupé derivatives, as he left the company soon after the design price in 1971. Fiat executives didn't want to extend the experience of trying to beat BMW and Mercedes on their fields. The Maremma prototype got then used by Gianni Agnelli and his family during the week ends. The Fiat 130 Coupé design of 1971 got also reused by Pininfarina in the form of the Peugeot 604 in 1975 and the Peugeot 505 in 1979. The last sequels of the generic Fiat 130 Coupé design are the Peugeot 505 Coupé prototype and Peugeot 505 Convertible prototype, both developed in 1983 in the USA by Cars&Concept for the USA market. Today, it is quite difficult to find a Fiat 130 Coupé in good shape, with straight panels and no rust. But once found, with the orange velved interior intact, and the ugly controversial Cromodora wheels replaced by better suited ones, one must be careful not falling in love with it. The interior design is remarkable, using warm wood in the dashboard, the central console and the door panels. The orange velvet used for the seats got selected by Paolo Martin himself. That velvet was in stock at the Italian Railway Company, ordered for their VIP seats. The seats were shaped and designed by Paolo Martin with the collaboration of Giovanni Gottin, a specialist established in Torino. The dashboard got redesigned with sporty round dials, using white needles everywhere as gimmick, that were supposed to blend with the Autovox Melody car stereo audio equipment that was standard fitted in the dashboard using a custom faceplate. The centrale console got redesigned by Paolo Martin, featuring wood, a row of switches and soft illuminations everywhere using sate of the art optical fibers. The steering column is adjustable in depth and height. The driver seat is somewhat adjustable in height. This makes the interior of the Fiat 130 Coupé the most desirable cocoon ever built, like a mother's matrix, and may create an immediate dependency state. But unfortunately, in the Fiat 130 Coupé, if you are seeking for comfort, you shouldn't have long legs. Same for the rear passengers : there is a lot of room available, but in the Fiat 130 Coupé the seating height is unusually low, so the legs do develop too much horizontally, and the feet can't find the required vertical space. About the body shape, some owners do argue that the front face of the car never got finalized; that may prove true especially when seeing what is happening after simplifying the front face a little bit and adding a small and nearly invisible spoiler. One should not see the oil sump, isn't ? The 130 Coupé got lucky on the aerodynamics department, but retrospectively this is normal as basically, this car has a strongly tilted windscreen (still okay by modern standards), this car is relatively low, and has a long tail. So a decent SCx and less turbulences. This got confirmed afterwards in the Pininfarina wind tunnel, with the Fiat 130 Coupé being the first car to pass that wind tunnel in 1972. A-contrario, this gar got not lucky regarding the way the water does flow on it. The fiat 130 Berlina is relying on double rubber joints in the doors, like Mercedes did it, but the Fiat 130 Coupé elaborated by Pininfarina and Paolo Martin doesn't obey that standard. Quite irritating. Consequently, be very careful when you go to the car wash with an old 130 Coupé. It may be raining inside, that will trigger hidden corrosion and your fusebox will be wet for a while. All in all, having understood the essence of that car, this is a very desirable and valuable car. Enzo Ferrari himself got one, that he used for his long trips before the advent of the Ferrari 400/412 in 1976. Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and Dusty Springfield were seen owning a Fiat 130 Coupé, or was it a marketing gimmick from Fiat ? Would Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and Dusty Springfield have kept the car after being embarrassed by the manual choke and some fuel vapour lock in the heat of Italy? Because it is so crude: the car doesn't start easily once hot, and Fiat idea of putting a manual choke and a mini fuel tank under the bonnet doesn't help much. One drawback of that particular straight and ambitious body design is that it will become ugly and useless once there is dirt or if some panels are not perfectly flat. The Fiat 130 Coupé is known by the professional photographers as a difficult subject. Most non-professional photographs don't render the positive attaction the car is delivering, when real.

Fiat 130 Berlina type "B"

These cars got improved in 1971, taking some Paolo Martin innovations made for the Coupé. The steering column, the dashboard, the central console and the ventilation are identical to the Coupé. The seats, the steering wheel and the door panels got improved, but different from the Coupé. One can say the 1971 "B" version from 1971 is a lot more refined than the "A" version dating back from 1969.Retrospectively, if one start comparing with the big BMW and Mercedes sedans, the Fiat 130 Berlina type "B" may be the winner regarding the interior design and some comfort elements. But if one is considering the dynamic elements like power and ride comfort, the Fiat 130 type "B" is still lagging as the engine doesn't rely on fuel injection (somewhat difficult to start - depending on the conditions), the engine doesn't have hydraulic self-adjusting valves, and the engine is simply not powerful enough. All this combining with a preoccupating poor mileage. And this lack of dash and lack of efficiency are not compensated by an extra smooth ride. RIP.

Gallery

References


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