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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 Fiat Argenta was produced from 1981 to 1985. It was the last mass-produced Fiat car to feature rear wheel drive.

Fiat 132 (1972–81)

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. GM "Strasbourg" automatic transmission was listed as an option.

A major update to the front suspension was implemented for January 1974 in response to criticism of the handling and very low geared steering. An external redesign gave a the impression of a lowered waistline resulting from larger side windows and included a reshaped C-pillar[1] which appeared to owe something to the recently introduced BMW E12. For the driver, new shock absorbers accompanied the suspension improvements. The 1600 cc engine remained unchanged but the 1800 cc engine benefitted 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. Interior improvements included a redesigned steering wheel along with improved heating and ventilation controls.

In April 1977, the 132 received a further facelift. New plastic "safety" bumpers were introduced to the model,and the gearing of the steering was raised, supported by the addition of servo-assistance. 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 had 7 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

Fiat Argenta (1981–86)

The second major facelift of Fiat 132 came in 1981, along with a new name, the Fiat Argenta. Other changes included new trim, wheels, dashboard, mirrors and rectangular headlights.

The Argenta came with a choice of 4 different engines (market dependent):

  • 1.6 litre petrol producing 96 hp (72 kW) 1585 cc
  • 2.0 litre petrol with 113 hp (84 kW) 1995 cc
  • 2.0 litre petrol with Bosch L-jetronic fuel injection producing 122 hp (91 kW) 1995 cc
  • 2.5 litre diesel with 75 hp (56 kW) 2435 cc

Digiplex electronic ignition was fitted to some 2.0i models

In 1984, the Argenta was face-lifted. The grille was renewed with the then corporate 5-bar grille, and an anti-roll-bar was mounted on the rear axle. The front axle was widened by 40 mm (1.6 in), and new wheels with flat wheel trims & chrome embelishers used. Some minor changes were made inside the car, most notably to the style and colour of seat trim.

The Argenta had also two new engines: Fiat's first turbodiesel, 2.5 litre producing 90 hp (67 kW), and for the Argenta VX a supercharged engine with 135 hp (101 kW), derived from the Lancia Volumex models.

The car remained in production until 1986 when it was replaced by the Croma.

Overseas assembly

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.

In Poland the 132 was offered since 1973 as Polski Fiat 132p. The car was described as "assembled in FSO", though actually the cars were shipped to Poland 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. In 1985 also 270 Argentas were assembled in this way in FSO. Kia built the 132 under license between 1974-1979 in South Korea.

Movie roles

The Fiat 132 / Argenta was used heavily in the film The Pope Must Die.

It was also used in Il caso Moro.

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