Fiat introduced the 850 in 1964 as a replacement for the old 600D, offering more interior space and a more powerful engine.
The Italian carmaker was still struggling to get back in shape after WWII and insisted on creating a car that could offer more to small families. The 850 appeared at the right time, offering a good alternative for Fiat customers. It was a vehicle built for young families, especially for those without children.
Like in the Fiat 600D, the 850 featured only two doors at the front. The engine was still in the back, but it was larger. The 850’s bodywork was rounded, with a humpback appearance over the rear seats. Fiat offered the 850 Coupe, which was a different story for those who asked for a sportier version.
Inside, there was a pair of narrow seats at the front and a tiny bench for two in the back. Thanks to the humpback design, the rear seat passengers had adequate headroom. Fiat installed a small instrument cluster with a wide speedometer and a few warning lights for the driver. A major improvement over the 600 was the introduction of air-vents in the middle of the dash panel and the keyfob next to the steering column.
Fiat kept the rear-engine architecture, with a larger displacement four-pot paired to a four-speed manual gearbox.