Way back in 1972, Fiat showed off this wild styling concept of a small electric city car called the X1/23. By 1976, the company had installed a 13.5 HP front-drive motor, and a rack of nickel-zinc batteries behind the pair of seats. It was good for about 45 miles per hour, and had a range of about 50 miles. It was slow and unusual looking, but small and zippy enough for local congested European city streets.


I saw a picture of this car on social media, and knew I needed to delve deeper into the history of it. While searching for more information, I found that Jason Torchinsky had already covered this back in 2015, and frankly did a better job than I would have been able to. That just goes to show, I’ll never be able to out-Torch the Torch.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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Comment Box Sanitation Dept. - never sticks to cars

They made at least three slightly different versions of it. I’m not sure about any of this but if I had to guess I’d say they started off with this version with a slightly angled front:

The design then seems to have evolved in a flatter direction, first with a grille identical to the original concept:

Finally there was a slight update to the fascia, with the removal of the grille that I’m assuming marks the moment they went electric (apparently the concept debuted without a powertrain):

Other slight changes in this version include different door handles, amber side indicators, and a couple of vents on the hood probably for cockpit ventilation. I actually like how this last version looks quite a lot.