Fiat was founded in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli, and its first car, the 4 hp, was built with the patents and plant for the Welleyes motorcar, a new design ready for production when Agnelli purchased them. Influenced by the contemporary Benz, that early Fiat had a .7 liter, water-cooled 2-cylinder mounted in the rear that produced 4.2 hp @ 800 rpm and was good for 22 mph in the finished vehicle. The gearbox was a 3 speed, though without a reverse gear. Priced at 4200 lire, 8 cars were produced in 1899, and 16 more were made in 1900, the last one for the vehicle's production. The car was replaced with the Fiat 6 hp in that same year. By 1904, the ambitious company had gone through several more models and had progressed to building a Fiat 60 hp!
This car is on permanent display at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, and made an appearance on November 5, 2017 at the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
Although Fiat refers to the car as the 3½hp, it is perhaps known more commonly in the English-speaking world as the 4 hp, and the number better reflects the vehicle's actual output.
Image credits Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
|0.7 liter 2-cylinder||natural||--|
|4 HP @ 800 rpm||5.7 HP/Liter||--|
|Top Speed||0-62 mph||Range|