The Fiat 147 is a 3-door hatchback compact car that is manufactured by Fiat in Minas Gerais in Brazil from 1976 to 1987 before it was replaced by the Fiat Uno. This vehicle was the Brazilian version of the Fiat 127 and there were some built by Sevel in Argentina, where some of the later models were named the Vivace as Fiat Spazio. Starting in 1996 though, assembly of this vehicle was done in Colombia as well as Uruguay and Venezuela.
When the Fiat 147 was launched, it has a 1,049 cc unit with a five-bearing crankshaft instead of the usual 903 cc unit, as well as a three-bearing engine that was standard for the 127s at the time. The larger engine that was put in the vehicle resulted in a smoother and quieter drive, which is one of the primary reasons why it became so successful with consumers in numerous countries throughout South America. The 1,049 cc engine as well as the revised bodyshell elements of this car was introduced later on in the form of the Series 2 version of the 127, and it was released in Europe the following year.
One of the other reasons that the Fiat 147 became so popular was because it was the very first modern vehicle to use ethanol or E100 as its primary fuel source instead of petrol. Because of the switch to ethanol fuel, the performance of this car was improved significantly. While it is true that this vehicle’s fuel consumption was 30% higher than its predecessors, the cost of alcohol cost an entire quarter less than gasoline at the time because the cost of petrol had drastically increased because of the 1973 oil crisis. This car was donned with the nickname “cachacinha” because it has a similar smell to the drink after which it was named.
After the Fiat 147 was introduced in 1976, the entire lineup was divided into the 147, 147 L, and the 147 GL in November of the following year. The GLS model of this vehicle was also added a year later with a much more sporty look to it and the specs of a racing car. The GLS has a 63 PS 1.3 liter engine which was also used in the TR model along with the 147 CLS, Panorama CL, and Oggi CS.
Another 45 PS 1,301 cc diesel engine that was based on the 1,049 cc unit was developed but it was marketed strictly abroad because of the fact that drivers in Brazil were not allowed to register diesel-powered vehicles. This version of the 147 with vastly improved market bodywork, was exported to Europe as the 127 model at the beginning of 1981, which is the same time the diesel engine was added to the Panorama station wagon and became available for purchase in Europe.
Over the years the Fiat 147 underwent numerous facelifts, receiving a number of different improvements and upgrades. Some of the earlier models of this car had a front clip that closely resembled that of the European 127, but later on a reverse-rake frontal appearance was designed for it. As this vehicle received improvements, horsepower increased only marginally by a few hp each time. The Spazio model of this car was sold exclusively in Brazil with a 72 PS engine which used the Brazilian TR version. Manufacturing of this car continued until 1987, and by then it had already been replaced by the Uno. Only 256 of these cars were ever built in 1987. Despite the relatively small and insignificant improvements that were made on this car in the years before its discontinuation, it still remains as a classic vehicle in many countries.