Fiat unveils five retro-styled concepts

Fiat will reveal one new car every year till 2027

By Autocar India News Desk calendar 26 Feb 2024 Views icon2837 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
The new Fiat Camper concept

The new Fiat Camper concept

Fiat has revealed five retro-style concepts that will transform into production models starting this year. The first of the lot will be the Fiat Panda EV that will go on sale in Europe first, later this year. These concepts, according to Fiat, will bring a range of affordable EVs to the market one after the other.

These concepts have been strategically unveiled on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show, from which the Italian brand will be absent, along with each of its Stellantis sibling brands. Notably, the headline unveiling at Geneva will be the production version of the Renault 5 – a similarly conceived retro electric supermini that will be a close rival to Fiat's new Panda which has been previewed here.

The first of Fiat's new-era models – which are all described as "children of the Panda" – will be revealed in July as part of the brand's 125th anniversary celebrations, followed by one new car every year until 2027.

They will share a common architecture, which can accommodate pure-combustion, hybrid and pure-electric powertrains. This platform is expected to be the cost-effective Smart Car platform used by the latest C3 from Stellantis sibling brand Citroen, which was originally designed for the Indian and Latin American markets, but has been adapted for sale in Europe.

Fiat Panda EV concept

The new Panda EV, expected to be the car Fiat will show in June, has been previewed by a retro-futuristic concept dubbed the City Car, which takes obvious inspiration from the 1980s Panda 4x4. The new Panda is expected to morph into an ultra-compact crossover, like the Citroen to which it is related, riding higher and with a greater focus on cabin space than its predecessor. The concept's upright stature, chunky proportions and contrasting lower bodywork suggest the Panda will lean into the rugged, utilitarian cues that have defined its namesake since it launched, three generations ago, in 1980.

Fiat explained that raising the Panda up off the ground for its next generation will broaden its appeal: "The high driving position and robust design make this city car the perfect ally for customers all over the world, especially in crowded urban environments. But, at the same time, it offers roominess and versatility for family weekend trips and holidays."

The interiors of the Fiat Panda EV concept.

Fiat does not go so far as to hint at the new Panda's technical specifications, but like the C3 it is set to be offered with a choice of combustion and electric powertrains as Fiat strives to ensure its products remain accessible to as wide a demographic as possible, and to cater to differing needs in different markets.

Citroen has not yet fully detailed the C3's combustion offering for Europe, but the EV produces 113hp and is available with two batteries, giving a range of up to 300km. Hwever, the model on sale in India is based on a more localised version of the platform tailored for our conditions. The India-spec eC3 comes with a 29.2kWh battery that has an ARAI range of 320km. 

The City Car's design departs radically from the Centoventi concept Fiat unveiled in 2019 as a preview of the Panda's future. Not only does it sit further from the ground, but it adopts a raft of 1980s-inspired design cues including a pixel-style front light bar, chunky flared wheel arches and even a new interpretation of Fiat's classic slatted badge.

The cabin majors on sustainability, with materials including bamboo and recycled plastics used for the main structures;these features will come to be common to all Fiat products in the new era. The brand also hints at one unique feature that could appear on the production version: a self-winding charging cable that retracts into the bodywork when not in use.

Other Fiat concepts

Fiat has also previewed a Pick-Up concept, which previews a striking new truck model that will replace the Strada – Brazil's best-selling vehicle.

Fiat's new pick-up truck concept.

There is also the Fastback concept, a rakish compact crossover "with a sporty flair" that aims to prove "Fiat can improve its sustainable commitment without giving up on performance". The brand notes that it would be a successor to the Fastback and Tipo model lines, but unlike those cars, could come to Europe.

The more straight-backed SUV concept is presented as a "Giga-Panda", which would no doubt be pitched against the likes of the Dacia Duster when it makes production. It is, Fiat says, "another confirmation of the special emphasis the brand is putting on the needs of family transport".

Fiat's new Fastback concept.

The barrage of concepts rounds off with the Camper, "the ultimate do-it-all vehicle". Blending elements of 4x4 off-roaders, MPVs and vans, it is said to pay homage to the "fun-ctionality of the Panda from the 80s, recalling the versatility of a car that was made for the city with the feature of an SUV and the soul of a trusty companion".

Fiat could make an India comeback

Stellantis is understood to be evaluating the commercial viability of relaunching the Fiat brand in India and how it could be marketed differently. 

Also see:

Citroen C5 Aircross being unofficially assembled at Stellantis' Russia plant

Stellantis reveals new STLA large EV platform

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Tags: Fiat
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