Fiat Uno turbo | €14.500,-
In April 1985 the hot hatch version of the first series Uno – the Uno Turbo i.e. – was launched as a three-door only derivative. It competed with the likes of the Ford Fiesta XR2, MG Metro Turbo and Peugeot 205 GTI.
Despite marketing claims that the Uno Turbo i.e. was fitted with an engine “specifically developed for turbocharging” the Turbo i.e. model actually used a Ritmo/Strada-derived 1.3 128-series engine with Bosch multi-point fuel injection, Magneti Marelli electronic ignition and a water-cooled IHI turbocharger with an intercooler to reduce intake air temperatures. The resultant power plant was highly regarded and considered as more technologically advanced than many of its contemporaries. Engine capacity was initially stated as 1299 cc but this was revised early on in production to 1301 cc. This change was a result of Italy’s highway system allowing a higher speed limit to cars of more than 1300 cc. In both forms the engine offered 106 PS (78 kW; 105 hp) but owners report that the 1301 cc version was notably more responsive and had greater torque than the earlier 1299 cc unit. Cars built from 1985 to late 1987 were fitted with a Ritmo/Strada-derived five-speed gearbox. This was then replaced by a newly developed ‘C510’ five-speed gearbox, often referred to by owners as the ‘Tipo style’ gearbox, featuring a more durable differential and improved gearchange linkage. Ratios were unchanged between the two units.
First Series Turbo i.e. Model Engine Bay
The Turbo i.e. offered significant performance improvement over standard Uno models and was capable of reaching 200 km/h (124 mph), thanks in part to the car’s low 845 kg (1,863 lb) weight. Reliability was improved due to the reduction in maximum turbo boost pressure for mass-production from 1.0 to 0.6 bar but conversely, it allowed tuners to modify the engine relatively easily to run 1.0 bar boost pressure for even greater performance without significantly compromising reliability.
Externally, the Turbo i.e. model sported black plastic sill trims and arch extensions (similar to that of the 70SX model), plus a revised front bumper with foglamps and inlets/scoops to direct air to the oil cooler and intercooler. Decals were added along the side of the car, initially as “T U R B O” in large outline letters but then later in stripe form with “Turbo i.e.” cut into the rear-quarter section and complimentary stripes across the tailgate. This also deviated from the pressed steel tailgate fitted on non-turbo models as it was manufactured from fibreglass and incorporated a high-level spoiler to improve looks and aerodynamic performance. All body glass benefited from a very light green tint.
Suspension was lowered and uprated, 13″ alloy wheels with Pirelli P6 tyres were fitted and the brakes upgraded to vented discs on the front and solid discs on the rear to replace the drum units of the non-turbo models.
First Series Turbo i.e. Model Interior
Interior equipment was upgraded in the Turbo i.e. model with ‘sports’ seats, plush red carpet and an extended centre-console. Later models had red seatbelts in place of earlier black versions.
Options on the Turbo i.e. model included polished Cromodora wheels, electric windows, manual sunroof and a ‘digital’ instrument panel, which used bar-graphs in place of dial gauges for fuel level, coolant temperature, boost pressure, etc., and a numerical display of speed that, in the UK market, could be switched between mph and kph at the press of a button. Such units were rare.
First Series Uno Turbo i.e. Model Digital Instrument Display
An option on later first series Turbo i.e. models was called ‘Anti-Skid’ – a simple form of ABS that only operated on the front wheels and only once per ignition cycle meaning that if it was triggered during a journey it would not do so a second time until the ignition had been turned off and on again. Whilst it was an admirable attempt on Fiat’s part at improving driver safety and reducing accidents, the ‘Anti-Skid’ system was largely regarded as ineffective and unreliable.[by whom?]
Diesel and Selecta Models In mid-1983 the 1.3-litre diesel which had already been seen in the Fiorino and the 147 was installed in the Uno as well, originally only for the Italian market. The Brazilian-built engine was derived from 124-series engines, and was never sold in the United Kingdom. It was added to other European markets beginning in early 1984. Daily production in mid-1983 was 280 cars, out of a daily total of 2000. It was sold as the Uno D (three doors) or the Uno DS (“Super”, five doors). This badging was the only external giveaway, while in the interior an oil pressure gauge was added. It also received extra sound insulation under the hood and along the firewall. The engine has 45 PS (33 kW), as did the smallest 903 cc petrol unit, but with considerably higher torque. The weight penalty was negligible, 121 kg (267 lb) rather than 79 kg (174 lb) for the 903. Additional accessories and sound deadening measures accounted for the remainder of the 100 kg (220 lb) weight difference, almost all of it over the front wheels.
In 1987, a 1.7 litre diesel engined 60DS version was launched together with the Uno Selecta continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic. The CVT transmission was a co-development with Dutch Van Doorne and Ford, (Fiat owned 24% stake of Van Doorne at that time).