Classic Cars Wiki
Classic Cars Wiki

The Fiat Regata is the saloon version of the Fiat Ritmo small family car, produced by Italian automaker Fiat. It was produced from 1983 to 1990, corresponding to the post-facelift Ritmo. The Regata had a choice of three gasoline and two diesel engines. The Tofaş Şahin and Tofaş Doğan, based externally on the Regata but built on the rear wheel drive Fiat 131 chassis, were produced in Turkey until 2002.

Spanish builder SEAT created a similar saloon car from Ritmo underpinnings called the SEAT Málaga. Nevertheless, development for the two cars was separate.


The Regata, released at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1983, was developed from the pre-facelift Ritmo (which had been known in United Kingdom and United States markets as the Fiat Strada) and utilised almost all the mechanicals, although the wheelbase was stretched slightly. A conventional four-door three-box design, it bore very little external resemblance to the original Ritmo although it hinted strongly at the look of the 1982 face-lift for that car. In the Swedish market the car was called "Regatta", as Regata was uncomfortably close to a derogatory term for an overbearing woman. The same name was used in Latin American markets.

The engines offered were also similar, being the 1301 cc straight-4 rated at 68 PS (50 kW; 67 hp) (Regata 70) and the 1498 cc I4 rated at 82 PS (60 kW; 81 hp) (Regata 85). Both of these were SOHC engines. A DOHC 1585 cc I4 rated at 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) (Regata 100) was also available with two SOHC diesels, a 1714 cc straight-4 rated at 58 PS (43 kW; 57 hp) (Regata D) and a 1929 cc straight-4 rated at 65 PS (48 kW; 64 hp) (Regata DS), the latter of which was added in 1984. An economy model called the "ES" ("Energy Saving") was also available, it featured an early start-stop system. It featured some detail modifications to the aerodynamics, an optimised (higher compression ratio and different valve timing) 1301 cc engine (rated at 65 PS (48 kW; 64 hp)), an engine shut-off system (when idling) and electronic ignition.

The Regata Weekend estate was introduced in 1984. It was available with the 1.3 L or 1.6 L engines and both diesel engines. Replacing the 131 Panorama, it featured a folding rear bumper, enabling easier access to the load area. The suspension and brakes were uprated to cope with the extra weight.


A mid-life update was carried out in 1986, in which numerous small details were changed, most notably new doors with an altered window line. New door handles, grille, bumpers and wheel trims also featured. The 1585 cc engine gained fuel injection to become the 100Si.e. (also available with a catalytic converter, losing some power and becoming the 90ie) whilst a catalysed and fuel-injected 1498 cc unit powered the 75ie. The 85 Automatic was also replaced by the 70 Automatic with a 1.3 L engine rated at 65 PS (48 kW; 64 hp).

The diesel-powered models also changed slightly. An 80 PS (59 kW; 79 hp) 1929 cc turbodiesel engine was introduced (badged Regata Turbo DS) whilst the 1714 cc unit dropped in capacity to 1697 cc (but gained power to 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) and had reduced fuel consumption). This model was simply badged as the Regata D. The weight was also reduced slightly.

Production ceased in 1990, when the Tempra was introduced.

Sevel production[]

The Regata started production by Sevel in Argentina in 1985, where production continued until 1995. As in Sweden, but for unknown reasons, the car was called the Regatta (with two t's) in Latin America. Unlike its European sisters, the car was considered somewhat upmarket in Latin America. The Regatta 85 received a 82 hp (61 kW) 1.5-litre, while a 100S came with a 100 hp (75 kW) 1.6-litre version. Along with a 1987 facelift, the 2000 Twincam replaced the 100S, carrying the same level of equipment but with a larger Twin Cam 2-litre engine with 10 more hp and considerably more torque. The 2000 managed the 0–100 km/h sprint in 9.8 seconds and had a rear spoiler. The Regatta 85 changed names, becoming the Regatta 1.5 S (Super) and SC (Super Confort).

A more thorough facelift in 1988 produced the Regatta Edición II. The engines remained the same until the 1990 model year, when both engines were replaced by the 87 hp (65 kW) 1581 cc engine from the Fiat Tipo. Later a cheaper 1.4 S using the 1372 cc Tipo engine, with 63 hp (47 kW), was added to the line-up. Production ended in 1995 as the Regata was replaced by the Tempra in Latin America as well. The Regatta Weekend (Station Wagon) was also produced in Argentina between 1986 and 1992, only available with the 1.5 or Tipo 1.6 engines.

Movie roles[]

The Regata featured strongly in the 1986 film Gung Ho, centred on a (fictional) Japanese auto manufacturer reopening a shutdown automobile factory in a fictional western Pennsylvania town, the main model produced by "Assan Motors" were in fact Fiat Regatas in various stages of completion. The factory shots took place in the Fiat plant in Rosario, Argentina.

Scale models[]

Polistil manufactured a 1/25 and a 1/41 scale diecast Regata sedan. BBurago manufactured a 1/43 version of this car.