The Fiat 127 first appeared in the Italian marketplace in 1971 to replace the popular 850 model. The Fiat 127 was to be produced until 1983 when it was replaced by the Fiat Uno. Originally the 127 was only available as a two-door and it would later be produced as a three-door hatchback. The hatchback was similar to the original in style and featured folding seats and a rear door. The 127 was the first supermini hatchback to roll off at the Fiat manufacturing line.
The 127 had front wheel drive and a state of the art transverse engine with the transmission mounted on the end. The design ideas were first tested in 1964 by Autobianchi Primula, a Fiat subsidiary along with Autobianchi A112. The Fiat 127 also featured a rugged 903 cc valve engine and a unique leaf spring suspension in the rear. It instantly became a popular model.