The Fiat 131, additionally called “Mirafiori”, is a small/medium family car produced by the Italiancar manufacturer, Fiat from 1974 to 1984. It was exhibited at 1974 Turin Motor Show.
The 131 was the replacement for the successful Fiat 124, and available as a 2-door and 4-doorsaloon and 5-door estate. The 131 was given the Mirafiori name after the Turin suburb where the cars were produced. Naming the car in this way marked a break with the former Fiat convention, established in the 1960s, of naming their mainstream models only with a three digit number, and it set the pattern for Fiat to adopt Anglo-American style car naming practice, with carefully chosen names for subsequent new models. The 131 was marketed as Fiat Brava in USA. Initially, the 131 was offered with 1.3 L and 1.6 L single overhead camshaft engines. Revisions were made in 1978 and 1981, and all models were produced until production ceased in 1984.
1,513,800 units total were produced in Italy.
The Fiat 131 Abarth was a very successful rally car, winning the World Rally Championship three times: in 1977, 1978, and in 1980 with Markku Alen, Timo Salonen and Walter Röhrl at the wheel. The official “works” cars were sponsored by Italian airline Alitalia and bore their distinctive red, white and green livery.
The Fiat 131 employed construction techniques and technologies typical of its day. The body was a monocoque type, made of conventional steel. Designed and styled on the typical “three-box” design, with distinct boxes for the engine compartment, passenger compartment, and boot.
The major mechanical components were also conventional and contemporary, but with some notable advances. In basic terms, the 131 employs a front engine, rear-wheel drive layout, whereby the engine is mounted in the front of the car, longitudinally in a north-south orientation. The gearbox is mounted directly behind the engine, and a tubular propeller shaft, under the transmission “tunnel”, transmits the drive to a solid live rear axle.
The engines were all straight-4 types, with a cast iron cylinder block and aluminium alloy cylinder head, containing either a single (SOHC) or double (DOHC) overhead camshaft, driven by a single rubber/kevlar toothed timing belt. Fuel supply was via a single Weber ADF twin-choke carburettor, fed from a trunk mounted steel fuel tank. Traditional contact breaker ignition systems were used, usually with Marelli distributors.
The suspension system utilised fully independent front suspension, with MacPherson struts, track control arms and anti-roll bar. The rear suspension was quite advanced (when using a solid live rear axle), in that the rear axle was controlled by double unequal length trailing arms and apanhard rod, with coil springs and direct acting dampers. This design proved far superior to many of its contemporaries, especially with vehicle stability and handling.
The braking system was also typical; the front brakes were disc brakes, using a solid iron disc and a single-piston sliding caliper. The rears weredrum brakes, utilising leading and trailing shoe design operated by a dual piston fixed slave cylinder. They were operated hydraulically, with a tandem master cylinder assisted by a vacuum servo using two separate circuits. A rear mounted load sensing valve varied the bias of effort applied to the rear brakes, dependent on the load being carried (and also the pitch dynamics caused by braking effort and road levels). A centrally located floor mounted handbrake operated on the rears using bowden cables.
Info taken from Wikipedia