The Fiat 126 (Type 126) is a city car introduced in October 1972 at the Turin Auto Show as a replacement for the Fiat 500. Some were produced in Bielsko-Biała, Poland, as the Polski Fiat 126p until 2000. It was replaced by the front-engined Fiat Cinquecento in 1993.
The 126 used much of the same mechanical underpinnings and layout as its Fiat 500 rear-engined predecessor with which it shared its wheelbase, but featured an all new bodyshell resembling a scaled-down Fiat 127, also enhancing safety.
Engine capacity was increased from 594 cc to 652 cc at the end of 1977 when the cylinder bore was increased from 73.5 to 77 mm. Claimed power output was unchanged at 23 hp (17 kW), but torque was increased from 39 N·m (29 lb·ft) to 43 newton metres (32 lb·ft). The 594 cc engines were still available in early 1983 production.
A subsequent increase took the engine size to 704 cc in new "restyling" model Fiat 126 Bis (1987–1991), with 26 hp (19 kW) of motive power.
In Italy, the car was produced in the plants of Cassino and Termini Imerese until 1979. By this time 1,352,912 of the cars had been produced in Italy.
The car continued however to be manufactured by FSM in Poland, where it was produced from 1973 to 2000 as the Polski Fiat 126p. Even after the introduction of the 126 Bis (a 126p with water-cooled 704 cc engine of indigenous Polish construction), the original model continued to be produced for the Polish market. The car was also produced under licence by Zastava in Yugoslavia. In 1984, the 126 received a facelift, giving it plastic bumpers (for all versions) and a new dashboard. This model named Fiat 126p FL. In 1994, the 126p received another facelift, and some parts from the Fiat Cinquecento, this version was named 126 EL. The 126 ELX introduced a catalytic converter.
Despite clever marketing, the 126 never achieved the frenzied popularity of the 500. The total number of 126 produced is: 1,352,912 in Italy, 3,318,674 in Poland, 2,069 in Austria, and an unknown number in Yugoslavia. For a brief period in the early 1990s, a German company called POP also offered convertible versions of the 126 BIS. Two models were offered: a lesser equipped one called the "POP 650" and a more luxurious model called the "POP 2000".
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Uploaded: Dec 16, 2016