Fiat has chosen to celebrate its 120th birthday at Geneva with a concept car called – wait for it – the 120. Well, it’s the Centoventi, but that’s the same thing in Italian. This is Fiat setting out its stall for future urban mass mobility.
They’ve got previous for this – after all, the original 500 got Italy moving after WWII. The difference this time around is that the car is electric and extremely customisable. Oh, and you won’t be propping the boot open to let in more air…
The car would only be produced in one colour (Henry Ford would be proud). Then it’d be up to the customer to select one of the four body colour wraps, four roof colours, four wheel trims and, you guessed it, four bumpers. Using Top Gear maths, that’s 256 colourways. The idea is that these choices wouldn’t all have to be made at the time of purchase – you could wake up one morning and decide that it was time to explore number 23, to match your latest outfit. Given the flat surfaces of the car (shades of Citroen C4 Cactus, no?), Fiat says that reskinning would be a quick and cheap process.
The flexibility extends to the car’s range. You’d decide how many batteries you wanted; luckily Fiat would have started you off with one, giving you 100km of range. Then you’d be able to buy or lease more, each one giving the same amount of range, up to the full-fat 499km.
The car has been designed as an open-top, but you could choose to ‘cap’ it off with a roof. Rather predictably, this cap would be customisable. You could even have one which included a solar panel to power the aircon to keep your car fresh when parked. No legs sticking uncomfortably to the seats, like in childhood holidays of the past. And, in fact, the upholstery is rather innovative: it’s a specially formulated, washable plastic that is coloured directly in the batch (masses of choice, obviously), meaning an external skin isn’t needed.
The interior would start off extremely minimalist. You would either have one 10in display and integrate your smartphone or a 20in one. You then could choose which of the 114 Mopar-designed accessories you wanted or even 3D-print some at home, slotting them in like a big Meccano set.
Buon compleanno, Fiat. Here’s to the next 120 years.