The affordable Fiat Centoventi EV (2020-21) will get 310+ miles and be customizable

Jul 21, 2019

Shown to the public for the first time at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the Fiat Concept Centoventi celebrates Fiat’s 120 years in business. Instead of previewing a luxurious, Tesla-like mega-horsepower supercar designed for the wealthy, the Turin-based automaker sees the future of personal transport headed in a completely different direction; one that’s affordable for the masses and bases its design on practicality and customization. Fiat calls it “an electric mobility solution for all.”

By John Coulter, CMO, Current EV / July 2019

Designed and engineered to showcase an affordable vision of an electric-based transportation lifestyle for the near future, the Centoventi Pure Electric breaks away from the company’s traditional look for its products. The EV’s main theme is customization, which starts with its battery pack. The base battery module will generate 62 miles of range, but there’s space to install 3 more batteries in the car’s sandwich floor, plus an additional 4th battery beneath the front seats, providing a total of 310 miles of range. The additional batteries can be added any time after purchase and are easy to install.

Embodying the Italian brand’s “Less Is More” philosophy, the car can be reconfigured on a daily basis by its owner, with four different choices of easy-to-detach-and-mount roofs, bumpers, wheel covers and car wraps. A straight “waist rail” highlights the two-box look. Door bumpers, constructed from a new expanded foam material, absorb scratches and knocks.

114 accessories for the sound system, dashboard, door storage and seat cushions will be available for purchase online and can be fitted in by customers. The interior of the spacious 4-seater will use a modular “plug and play” principle, offering small holes on the dashboard and door panels to allow additional components to be installed like Lego blocks. The front passenger seat can be replaced by a child seat or a large storage box when needed.

Says BBC’s “The car would only be produced in one color (Henry Ford would be proud). Then it’d be up to the customer to select one of the four body colour wraps, four roof colors, four wheel trims and, you guessed it, four bumpers. Using Top Gear maths, that’s 256 colorways. 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, Fiat says that reskinning would be a quick and cheap process.”

“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 customizable. You could even have one which included a solar panel to power the air conditioning. 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 colored 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.”

Discussing the car’s unveiling at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, says: “When the Fiat Concept Centoventi will actually progress past the concept car stage was not made clear. Judging by the confident tone of the press release we would be surprised if at least some of these inventive solutions for mass electric mobility don’t find their way into Fiat’s existing line-up even before a production version of the Concept Centoventi is announced. Fiat says that democratizing everything trend-setting is part of the Brand’s DNA and the Concept Centoventi is proof that their innovative approach to the mass motoring market need not result in bland, soulless products. The world could really do with another Nuova 500 right about now.”