Autobianchi A112 Runabout (Bertone) (1969)
The design project for the Runabout took its inspiration from the motorboat world. As in the case of other prototypes inspired by the design concepts and styling applied to other fields, here once more Bertone took his inspiration from outside the motoring world. The Runabout was in fact inspired by the racing speedboats around at the end of the 1960’s. Despite its unusual look and evident dream car status, the prototype was used as the starting point for the design of the future Fiat X1/9, which was launched a couple of years later. The engine itself was that of the 128, even though the car was presented under the Autobianchi marque. With its pointed shape, generous rollbars hosting the headlamps and the colours chosen by its designer, the car was aimed at a young market. The Runabout is an invitation to fun, stress-free travelling, evoking the sheer joy of driving in places where traffic is no more than a distant memory.
The Runabout was presented at the 1969 Turin Motor Show: an original vision of the future which once more attracted the attention of more than a few curious on-lookers.