Fiat has just presented a small electric car with its all-electric 500e, now the Italians are already announcing another model, an electric car in Panda format, one number smaller than the 500e. The Stromer called Fiat Centoventi (120 in German), which was presented as a concept car at the Geneva Motor Show 2019, is on its way to series production, as Fiat's brand manager Olivier Francois explained in an interview with AutoExpress.
"Last year in Geneva, we showed our urban baby We are still working on it - it wasn't just a flash in the pan," Francois said. "I think we have a bright future in all-electric city cars. Firstly, with the 500e and also with the rather unconventional approach with the minimalist Centoventi, which is very much inspired by Panda".
From the outside, the Centoventi actually looks like a futuristic development of the Panda. The most striking design elements include chunky wheel arches and a boxy overall impression. The study has replaceable plastic parts on the outside of the body and inside, as well as replaceable roof panels that allow buyers to change the appearance of the car to suit their taste. On the nose, the stylized grill inspired by the original Panda stands out with its slightly bevelled stripes indicating the battery charge level.
The Centoventi will almost certainly adopt the new all-electric architecture of the new 500e, says Francois: "When you invest in a new platform and it's a completely new electric car architecture, you're not just building one car on it, you're building several. By using it for multiple models and brands, you can make the most of this investment".
The Centoventi has also already won two prizes: The electric car was awarded the Red Dot Design Award in the "Design Concept" category. The 21-member jury of design experts praised the forward-looking strategy of Fiat Centoventi, which makes the benefits of electric mobility accessible to a broad section of the population and can be personalised in a unique way. And at the "Trophées Argus", organised by one of France's biggest automobile magazines, the Fiat Centoventi was awarded the "Special Jury Prize". The car is not only 100 per cent electric, but it also stands for a high fun factor with its resemblance to the legendary Panda and raises the subject of individualisation to a new level, but the jury also explained its decision. For example, the process of producing individual accessories in 3D printing is unique. The panel also praised Fiat's strategy of offering a modular energy storage system for the electric car, which allows ranges of around 100 to 500 kilometres, depending on requirements.
How much changeability remains in the series?
In order to keep the purchase price of the electric car low, Fiat is relying on an interior reduced to the essentials: The greatly simplified interior of the study features a driver's seat, a rear seat, a minimalist dashboard and a large bracket on which the passenger seat would normally be mounted. This bracket allows the installation of various modules, be it a passenger seat, a storage basket, a child seat or even a device for a pet. In addition, Centoventi offers the possibility of changing the seat covers so that owners can personalise and update their cars while they own them.
For the dashboard, Fiat has developed a plug-and-play system that allows owners to customize it to their needs using various kits. The dashboard has a hole system that allows additional modules such as cup holders, smartphone docks and other devices to fit in. It is also possible to install instrument clusters of different sizes. The standard digital display appears as a pod in front of the steering wheel, but Fiat also intends to offer an oversized 20-inch display called Lingotto (named after Fiat's famous Turin plant with the test track on the roof) that fills the entire width of the dashboard area. The doors also offer the option of various storage options or moulded armrests.
Although the Centoventi is only a concept, it offers a fascinating insight into future Fiat city cars. It will now be exciting to see how many of the concept car's innovations will ultimately go into production. Anyone who wants to can put together their own individual Centoventi on the website.
Source: AutoExpress - Fiat Centoventi on the way to showrooms