Fiat 132

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Fiat 132
Fiat 132 GLS 1600.JPG
Fiat 132 after the 1974 redesign
Manufacturer Fiat
Also called Fiat Elita (South Africa)[1]
Production 1972–81
Body and chassis
Class Large family car
Body style 4-door saloon
Layout FR layout
Related SEAT 132
  • Petrol:
  • 1.6 L 4
    1.8 L I4
  • 2.0 L I4
  • 2.0 L supercharged I4
  • Diesel:
  • 2.0 L I4
  • 2.5 L I4
Transmission 4 and 5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,557 mm (100.7 in)
Length 4,405 mm (173.4 in)
Width 1,640 mm (64.6 in)
Height 1,422 mm (56.0 in)
Curb weight 1120-1170 kg (2469-2579 lb)
Predecessor Fiat 125
Successor Fiat Argenta

The Fiat 132 is a large family car produced by the Italian automobile company Fiat from 1972 to 1981. An updated version of the 132, called the Argenta was produced from 1981 to 1985.

Fiat 132 (1972–73)[edit]

Fiat 132 (1972 - 1974)

The 132 was introduced as a replacement for the Fiat 125 and like it, came with twin overhead cam (TC) engines as standard. However, the Fiat 132 looked more like the larger top-of-the-range Fiat 130.

Like the 125, the 132 came with a five speed gear box, optional in some markets and standard in others: this was still a relatively unusual feature in this class of car in 1977.[2] GM "Strasbourg" automatic transmission was listed as an option.[3]

Fiat 132 (1974–77)[edit]

A major update to the front suspension was implemented for January 1974 in response to criticism of the handling and very low geared steering.[2] Press reports of the time commend the improved handling which was also supported by the fitting of wider tires, although poor fuel consumption at high speed continued to draw adverse comment, even where the (unusual for the time) five speed transmission option was specified.[4] In the same year an external redesign[4] gave the impression of a lowered waistline resulting from larger side windows. It included a reshaped C-pillar[5] which had a semblance of BMW's "Hofmeister kink" and reminded some of the recently introduced BMW 5 Series.

For the driver, new shock absorbers accompanied the suspension improvements.[5] The 1600 cc engine remained unchanged but the 1800 cc engine benefited from a modified cylinder head and carburettor resulting in a small increase in claimed output to 107 hp (80 kW), along with a usefully flattened torque curve.[5] Interior improvements included a redesigned steering wheel along with improved heating and ventilation controls.[5]

Fiat 132 (1977–81)[edit]

Fiat 132 (1980)

In April 1977, the 132 received a further facelift.[2] New plastic "safety" bumpers were introduced to the model,[2] and the gearing of the steering was raised, supported by the addition of servo-assistance.[2] Inside were a new dashboard and seat trims. At this point, with the 130 having been discontinued, the 132 became the "flagship" of the Fiat range.

It was available with seven different engines:

  • 1.6 litre petrol producing 98 hp (73 kW) 1592 cc (later 1585 cc after 1977)
  • 1.8 litre petrol with 107 hp (80 kW) 1756 cc
  • 1.8 litre petrol with 111 hp (83 kW) 1756 cc
  • 2.0 litre petrol 112 hp (84 kW) 1995 cc (from 1977)
  • 2.0 litre petrol with fuel injection producing 122 hp (91 kW) 1995 cc (from 1977)
  • 2.5 litre diesel with 60 hp (45 kW) 2435 cc
  • 2.5 litre diesel with 72 hp (54 kW) 2435 cc

Overseas assembly[edit]

The 132 had limited manufacture outside Italy compared to the smaller 124. The car was built in Spain by SEAT with a version that was sold between 1973 and 1982. It was also assembled in South Africa by Fiat's local assemblers in Rosslyn. After the 1977 update, the 132 was renamed "Elita" in South Africa, and due to a shortage of capacity at Fiat's plant it was assembled by competitors Alfa Romeo South Africa.

In Poland the 132 was offered from 1973 as the Polski Fiat 132p. The car was described as "assembled by FSO", though actually the cars were shipped from Italy almost complete. FSO only did the final assembly, fitting minor parts like wipers, batteries, wheels and logos. The Polski Fiat 132p was a favourite with high state officials and security services. 270 Argentas were also assembled in this way in 1985 by FSO.

Kia built 4,759 units of the 132 from CKD kits in 1979 in South Korea.[6][7]


  1. ^ Wright, Cedric, ed. (September 1978). "Fiat Elita 2000: the new flagship". CAR (South Africa). Vol. 22 no. 8. Ramsay, Son & Parker (Pty) ltd. p. 54. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Fiat's new flagship: Greatly revised 132 now heads the Fiat range with the ending of 130 saloon and coupe production. 1800 GLS replaced by the 2000 offering power-steering and much improved trim levels. 1600 version of revised 2000 replaces original 1600". Autocar. Vol. 146 (nbr 4197). 16 April 1977. pp. 44–45. 
  3. ^ "Autotest Fiat 132 1800 Special". Autocar. Vol. 138 (nbr 4003). 15 February 1973. pp. 12–17. 
  4. ^ a b "Fiat 132 GLS". L'Auto-Journal: Le Salon de l'auto 1974. Numero Special: 61. September 1974. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Zahlreiche Aenderungen nahm Fiat am Mittelklasse-Modell 132 vor, dessen Verkauf sich bisher nur schleppend entwickelt hat...". Auto Motor u. Sport. Vol. Heft 3 1974. February 1974. pp. Seite 23. 
  6. ^ "Kia history". Kia UK. Retrieved 2014-06-18. 
  7. ^ "Rising out of Asia". Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Fiat 132 at Wikimedia Commons