We’ve given the Fulvia some love here a number of times over the years, but now it’s Road and Track’s time to show us what made these so special. They tested not just the classic Fulvia 1.3 Rallye but also the rare and more expensive Zagato. Take your pick; you can’t go wrong
There was some skepticism about these small 1.3 liter Lancias, but that was quickly dissolved as soon as the staff took the Zagato out on the highway, where it happily (and smoothly) purred along at 70, thanks to its jewel of a 13 degree V4 and the very aerodynamic body.
These are of course FWD cars, which in itself was rather unusual at the time, especially in such sporty ones. The V4 was highly tuned, to 87 hp, which was pretty impressive for 1298cc at the time. That meant a bit of a high idle (1100 rpm) and a touch of hesitation getting off the line, but once under way, it moved out smartly. Of course their acceleration stats in today’s context look modest, with the lower geared Rallye posting a 12.6 sec. 0-60, and the higher geared Zagato taking 13 seconds. But that’s not what these were all about; buy a Hemi Coronet if that’s what you were after.
“These Lancias are the best handling fwd cars we’ve ever driven, and that’s saying something”. And good brakes complete the picture. Well, there’s a good ride quality too. And speaking of quality, there’s plenty of that to be seen throughout these cars inside, outside and under the hood. “Word is that these Lancias are also very reliable and long of life”.
Most importantly, “They are both delightful to drive”.