The Fiat 850 with the most exclusive emblem is without a doubt the City Taxi, a concept car designed by Pio Manzoni (nickname Manzú) on the basis of the Fiat 850 Idroconvert.
Due to the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Fiat 127, also a design by Manzú, in the MAuto, the national car museum of Italy in Turin, the City Taxi car was exhibited there and I was able to make these photographs.
Manzoni made an analysis of urban traffic and the qualities required for a city car and determined the basic requirements. The car had to:
- be as compact as possible,
- provide good view
- be easily accessible,
- be agile and safe and finally
- be well recognizable.
The prototype built in 1968 on a Fiat 850 chassis was presented to the public at the Turin Motor Show. With its striking orange colour, the City Taxi is one of the first small cars specially designed to carry passengers and luggage.
The 850 City Taxi is an asymmetrical car: on the left is a conventional door that is only used by the driver, while on the right, passengers enter the car through an unusual and innovative long electrically operated sliding door. The two wipers are particularly long because they have to clean a much higher windshield than normal.
As for the interior, the rear seats can accommodate three passengers. There is also an additional folding seat next to the driver's seat, for an eventual fourth passenger on shorter journeys. In general, the space to the right of the driver is intended for luggage storage. Other luggage can be placed in the space behind the bench, above the engine.
The Fiat City Taxi also has a futuristic dashboard covered with a deformable material, which incorporates the instrument panel, taximeter and the screen of a small TV. Really important innovations in safety, which then became standard in production cars include the articulated steering column to protect the driver in the event of a frontal impact, the soft dashboard and the securing of luggage by means of a strap.