The Autobianchi A111 is a small family car from the Italian automaker, Autobianchi (a subsidiary of the Fiat group), built from 1969 to 1972. Despite rather modest dimensions, it was the largest Autobianchi ever made, as the brand specialized in small cars. A modern front-wheel drive (FWD) construction, it was launched concurrently with Fiat 128, Fiat's first own FWDcompact car, and can be seen as a further development of the revolutionary Autobianchi Primula, Fiat's first "experiment" with the transverse engine/FWD setup.
A four-door sedan of little more than 4 metres, on the outside the A111 strongly resembled the Fiat designs of the era, especially the Fiat 124 and Fiat 128. This comes as no surprise, as both the Autobianchi A111 and the Fiats were created under the supervision of Dante Giacosa, who was also responsible for the creation of the Primula. Size-wise, the A111 slotted between the 128 and 124 sedans, being also significantly bigger than the previously-biggest Autobianchi, the said Primula.
As was mentioned, the Autobianchi A111 was a front-wheel drive car with a transversely mounted engine, more specifically the 1438 cc straight-4 OHV unit that delivered 70 hp and could also be found under the hood of Fiat 124 Special - it should not be confused with a more powerful engine of the same displacement from the Fiat Twin Cam series, which was also fitted in some 124s, but not in the A111. The engine was mated with a 4-speed manual transmission with floor-mounted shifter. Neither an automatic or any other engine options were offered.
Steering was by means of a rack and pinion mechanism positioned beneath the transverse leaf spring and behind the engine.
End of the road
As the 1970s progressed, Fiat has introduced an increasing number of FWD cars under its own brand, and thus the Autobianchis became redundant. The last car left the production line in 1972, making the total number of A111s produced 56,984. The brand began to be gradually reduced to a single model (the Autobianchi A112 and later Autobianchi Y10) and thus the A111 remained without a direct replacement within the Autobianchi lineup.