Celebrating 40 years of Fiat Uno: innovative and popular

Celebrating 40 years of Fiat Uno: innovative and popular

What’s the chance if you’re over 40 you haven’t entered a Fiat Uno? Especially in Greece it is almost impossible. That car is celebrating 40 years since its launch, he was loved like few in our country – and not only. It was one of the models that, due to its commercial success, significantly strengthened Fiat. For these reasons and a few more he deserves praise.

One of the most important models in the history of FIAT

The above is an often heard phrase when it comes to the Fiat Uno. How important is it? Uno led Fiat to review how future models in the category are designed and built.

Design is the main feature that comes with Uno in its 40 years of history, something that seemed ready to come out Launch of the model on January 19, 1983, in Cape Canaveral, USA., a space inextricably linked to the conquest of space. The position was a perfect setting for the presentation of the car, which city ​​cars redefined, but also the history of the Italian brand.

Also FIAT Uno represents a sea of ​​change in the automotive industry and the first that attracted the public and experts. These include extensive use of robots in the production processan inseparable link between the design department and the development engineering team, but also the definition of what we now call Functional Design (“active design”).

Fiat’s biggest investment in model development to date

Every aspect of the car was designed to ensure the highest level of quality. This was absolutely necessary and corresponds to the company’s significant financial investment in the development of the design. With a development period of five years and a total investment of one trillion lire, The plan to create the Uno was FIAT’s largest investment in its history for a model.

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According to Roberto Giolito, designer and Head of Heritage at Stellantis, “Uno was a completely innovative program, starting with the bodywork, which is different from its predecessors it was designed so that it could be joined with glue that would be done by robots. Accordingly, the door assembly required fewer components for greater simplicity, precision and quality.”

Automated production through Robogate

With Uno, a new type of production was born, for greater flexibility and integration of individual processes. A key element of this industrial approach was Robogate, an advanced production system developed by Comau – one of the leading automation companies – which included a highly precise welding process.

Fiat Uno

Robogate was first implemented in 1978 at the Rivalta factory and the production of Ritmo, while it recently moved to the factories of Mirafiori and Cassino. The FIAT Uno would take advantage of the new system and its production would use multiple robots used in assembly, welding and painting processes. significantly improve equity and build quality.

Fiat Uno

A large part of the total investment related to the Uno program was used for the production of factory equipment. Every day, a spectacular choreography completely controlled by computers was performed, showing mechanical “arms”, elevators and doors.

Fiat Uno

“FIAT Uno was not only a revolution in the field of production, but at the same time it completely changed the way a car is designed, developed and ultimately producednotes Giolito. “From the CAD drawing rooms to the factory, everything was a continuous process, controlled by a single system. This ‘conversation’ between machines and processes allows for high flexibility, but also a very low environmental footprint.”

FIRE engine: FIAT’s technological gem

New processes and robots also entered the futuristic factory of Termoli 3, which was built in 1985 to house the production of the FIRE engine, a set that has linked its history with the Uno. It was the first model with this gem of Italian engineering, which it remained in production for 35 years and more than 23 million units were built. Its name is an abbreviation of the words Full Integrated Robotized Engine which describes an innovative production method, which is also based on the Robogate system.

Fiat Uno

Fiat Uno Turbo

Compared to its predecessors, the MOTO engine was more compact and lighter (only 69 kg)simpler in its design philosophy (and 95 fewer parts), more modern (with a camshaft head), more reliable and easier to assemble. In short, a timeless value set that has been synonymous with quality and reliability.

Designers and engineers find common goals and direct communication

For the FIAT Uno, CAD systems replaced drawing rooms. Computer Aided Design technology, or CAD (computer aided design), has allowed the achievement of high precision and reduced tolerances, unlike traditional methods. The relationship between Centro Stile and the engineering team also changed. The two departments began to work together more closely and now looked for solutions that would combine design and functionality with beauty and logic.

Fiat Uno

Also at the beginning of the 1980s, FIAT’s Centro Stile took on the broad responsibility of coordinating the interrelated processes of all the Group’s brands. In an environment where new ideas were constantly born, the dialogue between the factory and independent design offices, such as Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italdesign (a collaboration that would lead to the Uno design), Pininfarina’s Bertone and the Idea Institute, would be greatly strengthened.

Fiat Uno

The birth of the concept of Functional Design

The FIAT Uno was ahead of European fashion – which in those years followed the design line with a flat hood and a sloping windshield – suggesting a structure that approximates the logic of a single volumewhere the hood joined the smooth transition with the windshield.

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Also removed were the prominent gutters above the doors, the first for the part, at the time thanks to factory robots, roof welds allowed large doors for easy access to the cabin. FIAT Uno was a success from the first moment. He was loved by the public, but also by experts, who gave him the title Car of the Year 1984.

The main advantage that it offered was a spacious cabin that can accommodate up to five people, also a large luggage room with easy access from the rear door, but also an innovative and ergonomic dashboard, where through two “control stations” on each side of. instrument panel almost all functions can be controlled.

Fiat Uno

“The FIAT Uno is an archetype, widely copied by competitors and paving the way for the introduction of new products.”added Mr. Giolito. “Despite the strong competition, FIAT continued to be the leader in the segment, but also constantly innovating, until a little later it will introduce a version of the Turbo engine with electronic injection, changing the data to compact, but sports models”.

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