Autobianchi, Italy

Autobianchi, Italy

Autobianchi Italy


11 January 1955

Milan, Italy


Autobianchi is an Italian automobile manufacturer company Ltd established on 11 January, 1955, it’s headquartered located in Milan, Italy. It created mutually by Bianchi, Pirelli and Fiat since 1955. Autobianchi manufactured only a handful models during for lifetime, which were almost exclusively small cars, with the biggest being the short-lived Autobianchi A111, a small family car. Autobianchi were priced higher than Fiat models of similar size and the brand was used by Fiat to test new and new concepts which later found their way into mainstream Fiat vehicles. These concepts included fiberglass bodies and front-wheel drive.

In 1969, the most popular Autobianchi models include the A112,  a small hatchback vehicle was well-known in Italy for racing concept, and which completed its production since 1986 and as well as the Y10, which was the first car to use Fiat's new FIRE (Fully Integrated Robotized Engine). The Primula was the car with which Fiat issued the specific front-wheel drive system of engine, transmission and differential (final drive) that has become popular in its cars currently. Autobianchi was purchased by the Fiat group and integrated into the operations of Lancia.



The Bianchi created by Edoardo Bianchi since 1885 and now remembered mainly as a bicycle manufacturer, it was also active in passenger car making from 1899. Bianchi's manufactured in general high-end luxury cars, built with high attention to detail. The company's factory in Abruzzi was ruined by bombing during World War II. Edoardo Bianchi himself died since 1946 in a road accident, and the company ownership took by his son, Giuseppe.

Even though a new, modern facility was making in Desio after the war, economic conditions forced Giuseppe not to resume passenger car production, but mainly focus on bicycles, motorcycles and commercial vehicles. Bianchi bicycles are still manufactured. The general manager of Bianchi's, Ferruccio Quintavalle, wanted to take benefit of the company's wide experience in manufacturing cars and ordered the preparation of studies and model types of possible new models. A new, fresh, purpose-creates plant for the production of Autobianchi cars was developed on an area of 140,000 square meters in Desio.


The Bianchina

The first car produced by the new company was the Bianchina, whose name was homage to Edoardo Bianchi's first 1899 car. The Bianchina was based on Fiat 500 automatics  attached with 2-cylinder, air-cooled engine shifted in the rear-but featured a entirely new stylish body designed by Luigi Rapi, who was in charge of Fiat's special body unit and helped to maintain its production in Desio.  The Bianchina was an expensive city car, placed above the Fiat 500 in the market.

On 11 September, 1957 the first Bianchina involved from the production lines in Desio on and had the strange body style of a two-door landaulet, called "Trasformabile". It remained the exclusive body style until 1960, when a 2-door "Cabriolet" full convertible was appeared, followed by a 3-door estate model, the "Panoramica" and a two-door saloon, the "Berlina".


Stellina and Primula-Autobianchi pioneers new concepts

Five years after the debut of the Bianchina, at the 1963 Turin Motor Show, a totally new Autobianchi model begins, the Autobianchi Stellina. A two-door spider based on the Fiat 600 D's framework was exclusive by fiberglass body, designed by Tom Tjaarda. It was Italy's first car with such a body. The vehicle was only manufactured for two years (1964 and 1965) and only 502 Stellina's were built. Primula was available as a 2-door or 5-door saloon, 3-door of 5-door hatchback, and 2-door coupe, with either a 1,221 cc or a 1,197cc 4-cylinder engine. The top of the line Primula Coupe S used a 75 PS (SAE) 1,438cc 4-cylinder from the Fiat 124 Special. The lack of a fifth gear limited the high-end capacity of all Primula models.


Into the 1970s

Bianchi was forced to sell its stake in Autobianchi and the company was lastly fully integrated with Fiat S.p.A. in 1968. Since 1969 marked, several essential developments for the marque. The A111 was taken from Primula mechanicals, but much bigger and roomier, marking the first (and only) entry of the brand into the small family car class. As usual, it was priced higher than similar Fiat models, particularly the first front-wheel drive Fiat per se, the Fiat 128, and didn’t much find much favors with customers.

Likewise, the A112 saw strong demand and produced a loyal following, unbreakable by the introduction of Abarth sporting versions and Autobianchi engagement in racing with customized versions of the model.

With Primula production closed in 1970 and the quick demise of the A111, Autobianchi became effectively a one-model brand. Hence, the A112 was sold as a Lancia from the mid-1970s in most markets, except for Italy, France and Israel, where it retained the Autobianchi branding until the end of production.



End of the Road

The A112 constant was remarkable from 17 years, with rapidly but rarely impracticable changes. After over 1,250,000 of those small cars were produced, they were lastly changed since 1986 by a new model, the Autobianchi Y10, based mechanically on the Fiat Panda. This car was branded as Lancia from the beginning for most export markets (except for France again, until 1989), thus becoming better known as the "Lancia Y10". It holds on Autobianchi badging and branding in Italy alone.


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