12.02.2004 FIAT'S NEW TREPIUNO CONCEPT THROWS UP THE SECRETS OF ITS INNOVATIVE INTERIOR
“Everybody at the Centro Stile wanted to create a modern interpretation of the 500, so we just had to do it,” replied Mark van Soolingen, Senior Interior Designer at Fiat, when asked about the firm's latest concept. Indeed, the retro-styled Trepiuno, which draws on the legendary 500, seems at complete odds with Fiat’s modern styling philosophy. Or is it?
The Trepiuno, based on the new 199 platform, marks a new turning point in Fiat’s recent design history. The need for more characterful styling became overly apparent when Pininfarina’s New Large was canned for being too dull. By creating a car with a heart, such as the Trepiuno, Fiat is hoping to appeal to a younger and more design-conscious audience.
The concept’s nostalgic feel is cleverly balanced with modern overtones. Whereas there are obvious direct styling translations from the original 500, the latest concept also embodies contemporary features which are to be found on Fiat’s current model line-up.
The ‘face’, with its round lights and clamshell bonnet is perhaps the most obvious retro area. The side, however, shows a slightly more futuristic approach. The window line, for example, will be seen on the next generation Punto due out in 2005, however even this is underlined by a sliver of chrome trim on the concept. The rear of the Trepiuno shows a definite similarity with the Stilo, although the added bulbousness gives it a cheekier quality.
The interior, which
is a totally modern affair, is also the source of the Trepiuno name. Due to the
compact size of the car, and its rounded egg-like shape, space in the rear is
limited. With the front passenger seat pushed forwards, the car can accommodate
3 adults in relative comfort.
Fiat claim that the
Trepiuno will go into production in 2006, at an estimated cost of €14.000.
Engine choices will include a 1.2 80 bhp unit, a 1.4 (95 bhp) and a 1.6 with 120
bhp. A range-topping Abarth version is also on the cards, with a 1.6 Turbo
engine pumping out 180 bhp to compete with the Mini Cooper S. A line-up of 1.3
MultiJet diesels will also be available with 70, 90 and 115 bhp respectively.