The Bertone X1/9 Grand Finale was the final hoorah for the two-seater sports car designed by Bertone and built by Fiat. The car set out to be the first affordable mid-engined sports car and at time of launch, journalists in major motoring mags noted that the car was not only incredibly stylish, which we’d expect from an Italian sports car, but handled unexpectedly well.
The car was originally sold as the Fiat X1/9 from 1974 until 1981 and was fitted with a single overhead cam 1290cc engine and a four speed transmission unit. The car had several tweaks in its lifetime and in 1978 it was fitted with the 1989cc engine and a five speed transmission unit and the had four wheel independent suspension and Macpherson struts.video by: idriveaclassic
But the engine change and the American regulation tweaks weren’t all that changed and in 1982 for the final 6 years of production, the car was sold as Bertone X1/9, with this car being the Grand Finale, or in simpler times, the final hoorah and special edition. There were 160,000 made throughout the production lifespan of the car and they’re a rare beast today, especially in the UK where they were always an import due to being made in Italy.
The car does just shy of 100mph, topping out at around 99mph and does o to 60 in 12.7 seconds. Not amazing, but respectable enough for an affordable sports car, especially in the early days of production. There is so much history to the X1/9 so this is a brief overview and unlike so many of my test cars, this is one you could drive yourself and experience first hand. I now introduce graham from great driving days to tell you more.