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Fiat 128

The 128 was a popular small model of car manufactured by Fiat in the early 1970s.

The 128's basic and boxy styling (inspired by the larger Fiat 124), betrayed the advanced design that lay beneath.

Like the Mini, the 128 has a front-wheel drive design with a transverse-mounted engine, a layout which has since become ubiquitous for small cars. The 1972 128 3P version also was the first hatchback with this drive-train layout (other 128 models retained the more conventional boot). However, it was the later VW Golf, rather than the 3P, that first caught the public imagination for cars of this type and sold in significant numbers worldwide.

It was elected Car of the Year in 1970. The 128 was still a pheonomenal success for the Italian manufacturer, and continued until 1978 when it was replaced by the Fiat Ritmo/Strada range.

Road & Track was impressed with the 1975 128, placing it above the Datsun B210, Toyota Corolla, Mazda 808, and Subaru DL but behind the VW Golf and Honda Civic in a comparison test. They praised it as a "driver's car" with "excellent" brakes and "outstanding handling".

The 128 formed the basis of the Yugo range of cars made by the Zastava company in Serbia-Montenegro. The 128-based Zastavas remain in production today, as a three-door hatchback and two-door convertible.

Last updated: 05-16-2005 00:51:42
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