The Tofaş Şahin, Dogan and Kartal are Turkish versions of the old Fiat 131 automobile made in Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi A.S. facilities in Bursa, Turkey.
In the early 80's they were near exact replicas of the Fiat 131
christened Murat 131, whilst in the late 80's they received a major aesthetic revision resulting in a design very reminicient of the Fiat Regata
. The Dogan and Sahin sedan models are almost visually identical barring various upper-class trim options on the slightly more luxurious Dogan variant. The Kartal is the station wagon derivation of the design. The Dogan and Sahin were first built using the engine of the FIAT 131 in 1.3L and 1.6L versions. In 1996, both cars received a minor facelift and were provided with a new SOHC engine from the Fiat Tempra
(an engine that was first designed for the Fiat 128
), with 2 versions, 1.4L with at 5500 rpm ,and 1.6 L with at 5500 rpm. In 2002 they received another minor facelift, and in 2005 they were introduced with single point electronic fuel injection.
The Sahin, Dogan, and Kartal all shared the same rear wheel drive platform with longitudinal engine placement, McPherson design suspension system for the front wheels and a live axle for the rear. Their major selling point was their low price, robust design, and its low-maintenance cost, largely due to its near universal popularity during the 1980s and 1990s. However, this design resulted in a very cramped passenger compartment as the gearbox, fuel tank and shaft tunnel occupied a lot of space. Due to its roots as a mid 1970s italian passenger vehicle, the design lacked various safety equipment standards including A.B.S., Passenger Airbags, and traction control. Its popularity in Turkey waned starting in the mid 1990s as modern imported cars flooded the market. More recently, most Tofas have been converted to use LPG
fuel as gasoline prices soared and made the cars financially unfeasable in its unmodified state. It was the defacto taxi of Turkey before it was deemed unsuitable for taxi use due to Turkey's on going negotiations to enter the EU and the ensuing regulations implemented. Production has ceased and the models have been replaced by the Fiat Siena
(later the Fiat Albea
The Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi A.S.
designed Sahin was also produced under license in Egypt
in large quantities by the state owned Nasr
In 2006 the Tofaş Şahin
was put into production in Addis Ababa
, by the Holland Car
Company, a joint venture between a firm from the Netherlands called Trento Engineering
and a local firm that was formed called Ethio-Holland
. Their version of the Şahin is called the DOCC, which comes from the term Dutch Overseas Car Company and comes with a 1.6 powerplant.