Plenty of publicity surrounded the launch of Fiat’s mainstream hatchbacks in 1978. The Strada was said to have been built by robots, and the usually avant grade styling seemed to confirm that the car was a high tech production. Typically, it became known more for unreliability and rampant rust. Fiat’s replacement for the Strada stuck to the theme of design bravery, but attempted finally to give Fiat a trustworthy gloss. The Tipo was one of the most space efficient family hatch back ever produced. The 100in. (254 cm) wheelbase gave it exceptional legroom, and the wide body made it possible to mould the rear seat into individual spaces for three passengers. In a final move to rid Fiat of its reputation for producing cars that rusted in short order, the exterior body panels were galvanized. The basic Tipo structure was to be very important for Fiat, as it was the basis for numerous Fiats, Alfas and Lancias. The exterior styling was completed by IDEA of Turin, and reflected the uncompromising nature of the Tipo as a space efficient vehicle, with a large glass area and a wide screen. The car was very popular with design conscious buyers, but white Tipos were nick named refrigerators, thanks to the unremitting square ness of the body.
However, being typically Fiat, the Tipo suffered at least one unnecessarily wacky feature. DGT model Tipos were fitted with an unusual digital dashboard, divided into narrow strips running across the fascia. That aside, few family cars have ever matched the Tipo’s space utilization. It has four cylinder engine with 1580 cc, fully manual five speed gearbox, equipped with disc brakes. The top speed was 107 mph (171 km/h).