12 January 2023
Codenamed the Tipo 8001, the Fiat Turbina was a gas turbine-powered concept car built by Fiat in 1954.
Rover introduced a gas turbine car, Jet 1, in 1946.
Following World War II and the development of Jet Engines, thank you, Frank Whittle, interest in turbine engines increased. Fiat’s Engineering Director thought this technology could change the face of the motor industry.
The feasibility started in 1948, and Fiat fully assembled motor car was tested on the famous rooftop track at Fiat’s Lingotto factory.
The Turbina was shown to the world at the Turin Motor Car, to the delight of the trade press and public alike.
Shortly after, Fiat displayed it at Turin-Caselle Airport; driven by Fiat’s chief test driver, Carlo Salamano, the car performed well, both performance and handling and, equally significantly, aesthetically; with its aero-styled rear wings and sleek body, Fiat thought they had a massive success on their hands.
However, despite Fiat continuing with development, the project was axed, the two major factors contributing to its demise; overheating and thirst for fuel.
When next in Turin, drop into the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile in Turin and see the machine for yourself.