- Body Type: Coupe
- Full Service History
- 29,718 Km
- Year Built: 1996
- Engine Size: 2.0L
- Trans: Manual
- Owners: 1
- Ext color: red
The car that broke the mould…
As the European press got to hear about Fiat’s first coupé for a decade, the word filtered out that this was a car to break the mould. Since the late eighties, Fiat’s fortunes had been in decline, compounded by poor sales and after-sales reputation. In spite of European successes with the Panda, Uno and Tipo, durability and residual value remained an issue.
There is no doubting, however, that Fiat had an impressive record in innovation and risk taking. When the Coupé Fiat was first announced in 1993 it would follow such sporting classics as the Fiat 124 coupé, the Spider and the X1/9. Under Fiat boss Paolo Cantarella the brief to the designers was clear: break the mould.
The Coupé was a creation of several design minds, chiefly the American Chris Bangle who would subsequently court controversy with his designs for BMW. Originally the Italian design house Pininfarina was given the brief but ended up designing the interior and later assembled the car at their factory in Grugliasco and tested it at their plant in San Giorgio Canavese, north of Turin, producing some 80 vehicles a day.
The car’s shell and exterior features were the work of Fiat’s own in-house team Centro Stile under chief designer Nevio de Giusto and another American, Technical Director Peter Davis.
Fiat’s designers purposefully used historical cues to inspire the Coupé. Although the resulting car would often bewilder press and public – sometimes reflecting the terms awe and awful in the same breath – these design touches made the car something special and certainly one that couldn’t be ignored.
The cast-alloy petrol cap paid homage to the car’s heritage and the Fiat corporate sporting values, the round rear lights evocative of a Ferrari. The front snout of the car when viewed from a low angle, also bears relation to a previous Fiat sports, the Dino. The curvaceous polycarbonate headlamps were a deft touch. When Fiat’s design chief was asked how they would be washed he replied ‘con amore’. Bangle also supplied the ‘eyelash’ wheel arch slashes which remained from prototype to production albeit in modified form.
The Coupé’s cabin, with its centre-stage Pininfarina logo, was gloriously retro with a strip of body colour metal on the dash, circular dials, and – as an option – sumptuous leather seating.
This particular example from the first owner and still in his first paint was built on the 31th of September 1996, delivered to the Netherlands.
Finished in red with only 29,718 km on the odometer, this car has been well looked after and maintained.