Fiat Centoventi concept previews future 'electric Panda'
Fiat has surprised the Geneva Motor Show by unveiling a new electric concept car, called the Centoventi, that reimagines the Fiat Panda supermini as an electric car for the 21st century.
'Centoventi' is Italian for '120', and the concept is intended to mark Fiat's 120th anniversary. Fiat says the new concept car "perfectly expresses the brand's idea of electric mass mobility in the near future" and is intended to 'democratise' electric motoring.
A modular battery system will allow customers to extend the car's range as needed. As standard, the Centoventi's battery gives a range of just over 60 miles, for city use. If a longer journey is planned, up to three additional batteries can be added (either purchased or hired temporarily) boosting range to a maximum of over 300 miles. A sliding rail allows the batteries to be fitted or removed quickly at a service centre.
Fiat says the Centeventi's design ensures its weight distribution and handling won't be adversely affected when carrying the extra batteries. The car's charging socket also incorporates a cable reel, so the cable doesn't have to be stored in a bag in the boot. Exact battery capacity, charging time and power output figures for the Centeventi have yet to be disclosed.
Fiat describes the Centoventi as a 'blank canvas' and says it can be customised to customers' tastes – either at the time of purchase or at any point during ownership. The customisation programme is called '4U', which refers to a choice of four different roofs, four different bumpers, four different wheel choices and four external wraps.
As standard, the car will come in a single metal-grey colour. Different colours can then be applied by a dealership as a temporary wrap, which can be removed or changed when desired.
For the roof, customers can choose between a polycarbonate panel, a canvas soft top, an integrated cargo box or an integrated solar panel for on-the-go charging.
There'll also be a range of 120 different accessories available upon the launch of the production version. Fiat says that six of these (bumpers, roof, livery, instrument cluster, batteries and digital tailgate) will require a dealership visit for fitting, but the other 114 (including the sound system, the dashboard and door storage compartments and seat cushions) will be available to buy online and could be fitted by the customer at home.
Fiat even says that some "simply structured" accessories, such as a cup-holder or document holder, could be printed with a 3D printer in an owner's home, at a dealership or at a specialist printing shop. As Fiat puts it: "Owners no longer have to wait for new special editions or facelifts, as they can 'change' their cars on any day they like".
The Centoventi accommodates four people inside its reconfigurable cabin. A 'plug and play' approach sees small holes built into the dashboard; these allow a multitude of additional components and accessories to be fitted using an interlocking mounting system that Fiat compares to Lego bricks.
In addition, the car's flat door panels can be fitted with storage pockets, bottle holders and speakers as and when required, while the cushions and head restraints on the seats can also be chopped and changed.
Two options are offered for the instruments: either a docking station for a smartphone (working in combination with a 10-inch screen) or a more familiar digital dial panel, with a 20-inch screen, incorporating displays for blind-spot monitoring, sat-nav directions and charging status.