Concept Centoventi is Fiat’s vision of electric mass mobility

Concept Cars 7 Mar 2019
Concept Centoventi is Fiat’s vision of electric mass mobility

Presented at the Geneva Show, the Centoventi Concept is a study of a highly customizable, affordable  vehicle that expresses Fiat’s vision for the future of electric mobility.

Celebrating the brand’s 120th anniversary (“Centoventi” means “One Hundred and Twenty” in Italian), the Concept Centoventi aims at reviving the success of mass produced cars like the 500, 600 and more recently, the Panda, Uno and Punto, by adapting an approach the combines affordability with customization and a stylish factor.

Fiat Centoventi Concept Design Sketch Render

The Concept Centoventi is like a “blank canvas” ready to be “painted” to suit the customer’s tastes and needs. The base model will be produced in just one livery, and customers will be able to personalize it using the “4U” program, with a choice of 4 roofs, 4 bumpers, 4 wheel covers and 4 external wrappings.

Fiat Centoventi Concept Exploded View

The car is also customizable in interior configuration, roof configuration, infotainment system and even battery range (from 100 to 500 km), thanks to the modular layout.

Fiat Centoventi Concept Design Sketch Render

Fiat has also planned the presence, at the launch, of 120 additional accessories that in the company’s vision will generate a new business model, as well as a community of Fiat Concept Centoventi fans.

Fiat Centoventi Concept Design Sketch Render

The focus on the aftersales and accessorie market is testified by the fact that all these aftermarket products and services will be handled by Mopar, from the development to the manufacturing and the logistics.

The design is a modern take on some trademark style elements that hint to the Panda of the 1980s. Fiat Concept Centoventi is inspired by Italian design and embodies Fiat’s “less is more” concept, which means getting rid of everything unnecessary and complex.

Fiat Centoventi Concept Design Sketch Render

Fiat Centoventi Concept Design Sketch Render

The large tailgate can accommodate a display that enables Concept Centoventi to share messages with the outside world.

Fiat Centoventi Concept

Interior Design

The interior is modular, roomy and well lit and is totally reconfigurable: it can accommodate up to four people.

Fiat Centoventi Concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show Interior

The front seats are mounted on a bridge-like structure that maintains the floor completely flat  and uncluttered.

In line with the car’s philosophy, various parts of the interior are created on the “plug and play” principle.

Fiat Centoventi Concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show Interior

The dashboard has small holes into which a multitude of additional components, of any shape and function, can be fitted, thanks to the patented interlocking mounting system, rather like the famous Lego blocks.

Fiat Centoventi Concept Interior Design Board

The same approach is found on the door panels, which are totally customizable and inspired by refrigerator doors: with flat surfaces and minimal design, they can be fitted with storage pockets, bottle holders and audio speakers as and when required.

Fiat Centoventi Concept Interior Design Board

The seats are innovative, too, with a bare back structure made from eco-sustainable materials, while the cushions and head restraints can easily be replaced to change their colors and materials.

Fiat Centoventi Concept Interior Design Board

The front passenger seat can even be substituted with a storage box or child seat if necessary. The rear seats consist of a retractable bench and a back which rotates to make a “trunk” with extraordinary load capacity.

Fiat Centoventi Concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show

Fiat Centoventi Concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show

Fiat Centoventi Concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show

(Source: Fiat)

An innovative business model

So Fiat Concept Centoventi can be constructed just as the owner wishes, inaugurating a new business model involving Mopar – the FCA group division that specialises in accessories, parts and services and enables innovative product personalisation, – the sales network and increasingly digital customers. Except for six features (bumpers, polycarbonate roof, livery, Lingotto instrument cluster, batteries and digital tailgate), which can only be installed at dealerships, the other 114 accessories specially designed by Mopar – including the sound system, the dashboard and door storage compartments, the seat cushions, etc. – can also be purchased on-line and fitted by the customer at his own home. What’s more, some simply structured accessories, such as a cup-holder or a document-holder, for example, can actually be printed using a 3D printer, in the owner’s home, at their dealership or at a specialist printing shop. So this is a new business model for automotive accessories, enabling them to be resold or traded on the Web, nurturing a real community of brand fans or connoisseurs of Fiat’s Italian design, just as with collectors’ items. This new business model is focused on e-Commerce, the virtual market that knows no boundaries.

Cockpit with modular layout, on the “plug and play” principle

Innovative seat and head restraint materials

Through its materials, Fiat Concept Centoventi explores new design horizons, drawing inspiration from trendy everyday items and exploiting innovative technological solutions and unique production processes. One of the many points of reference used are the sneakers, a fashion icon and very high-performance products.

The seat is made from an innovative plastic produced using an exclusive, patented production process involving a new plastic formulated using polyolefin resins.

The end result is a material three times lighter than other moldable plastics, like foams – and what’s more it is colored directly in the batch, meaning it has no external coating, looks attractive and is soft to the touch.

Furthermore, this innovative plastic is antimicrobic, UV-resistant and completely washable. Not to mention that it can be colored in an infinite variety of shades, including metallic and pearly colors and bright or saturated pigments.

The “3D knit” technology of the seat backs and head restraints, made from 100% recycled yarns, is just as innovative. This technology has already been successfully used not only in the sports sector, such as for sneakers or other technical-sports garments, but also in interior design for creating innovative, functional, flexible seating. Moreover, the particular process is able to create fabric weaves of varying cross-section, which avoid the generation of waste materials requiring disposal.

New patented system of holes for the dashboard and new “Lingotto” 20″ instrument cluster

In front of the driver is the innovative, one-piece dashboard, which tips its hat to the Panda’s famous, historic “pocket” with an amazing Fiat-patented system of holes for the secure, personalized “anchoring” of a variety of accessories – from a cup holder to a bottle box, and from a glove compartment or anything else the customer may need – to build up a cosy, comfortable environment.

The instrument panel is available in two solutions: the first, perfect for the Millennial generation, makes the smartphone the heart of the system, in combination with the cluster’s main 10″ screen, while the second, more traditional option features a second integrated display, giving a cluster of 20″.

In the former case, at no extra cost, drivers can “hook up” their smartphone or tablet to the dashboard to use its navigation, music, messaging, etc. functions.

Anyone seeking a more traditional solution, on the other hand, can opt for the “Lingotto” instrument cluster, a sophisticated, Full Digital 20” device enclosed in a support styled to evoke the historic Fiat plant in Turin. Integrated in the “Lingotto” display’s support are HMI driving assistance and safety functions, such as direction indicator, Blind Sport Alert system, braking system and battery charge status. Not forgetting that the part of the “Lingotto” instrument cluster facing towards the windscreen has an additional display perfect for showing car-sharing messages.

Just one customisable livery

Fiat Concept Centoventi shifts the automotive paradigm. A single color will be available, similar to treated metal plate, to simplify production, but at the same time the car will be extremely customizable.

The new “4U” program will allow customers to choose the combination of four roofs, four bumpers, four wheel covers and four wrapping films which, combined with an extensive catalogue of accessories, will make the Fiat Concept Centoventi unique and exclusive.

In particular, the wrapping can be performed by any dealer at any time, when requested by the customer. The operation is very fast, courtesy of the remarkably linear and flat exterior surfaces, and low cost. The effect is similar to a metallic paint job but unlike paint it will not be forever.

Born “open” but ready to be “closed” with style and innovation

The standard Fiat Concept Centoventi comes with an open roof, perfect for driving with the wind in your hair, which is of course closed by a “cap”. As the other details, the roof can also be customised by choosing one of the available roof solutions – two-colour polycarbonate top, canvas soft top, integrated cargo box and even a roof integrating an innovative solar panel. More in detail, the 50 Watts generated by the solar panel will keep the car cool when it is parked and will power the innovative digital display arranged under the tailgate which closes the rear volume.

The car becomes a social media device thanks to the modern display on the tailgate

The large tailgate can accommodate an innovative display that enables Fiat Concept Centoventi to supersede the concept of connectivity to become a real social media device, on which messages can be shared with the outdoor world. When the vehicle is on the move, for obvious reasons of safety, the car will only show the Fiat logo, but once it stops, the driver can switch to “messenger” mode. What’s more, the digital tailgate can easily become an “advertising billboard”, which can be rented out to advertisers, to recoup the cost of parking, for example.

Modern reinterpretation of the Fiat stylistic language

Everything in the Fiat Concept Centoventi speaks of Fiat, particularly in its most charming and functional details, like the retro-futuristic minimalist hinges and locks, the new multifunctional dashboard that recalls the famous pocket, the slender seats, the coloured wheel covers, which today use the sector’s most innovative materials and the front grille where the familiar vertical vents become the battery charge indicator LEDs.

The Fiat identity is not only clear in these details; the car’s overall exterior look is also typical of the Italian brand. In a simple, uncluttered style, the new Fiat Concept Centoventi has rugged, compact, almost monolithic proportions, with dimensions that make the most of every space, to the point where the large block of the cockpit is “rested” on the one underneath, separated by a straight waistrail which underlines its two-box look and short line of contact with the bonnet. This impression of solidity is also emphasised by the wide door bumpers made from a new expanded foam material that absorbs scratches and knocks without denting thanks to its elasticity. What’s more, their “3d texture” emphasizes the feeling of protection and safety conveyed by the car’s exterior.

Modulable electric range of up to 500 km

The freedom to customise is also clear in the electrical power source that drives Fiat Concept Centoventi. It consists of a set of modular batteries offering the great possible flexibility of use. As standard, the car comes with a factory-mounted battery with a range of 100 km. But if a longer range is needed, up to 3 additional batteries, giving an increase of 100 km each, can be purchased or hired. The extra batteries are installed underneath the floor of the car, by the service network. A sliding rail which supports and connects the batteries makes their installation or removal particularly quick and easy. An additional battery, for mounting under the seat, is also available; it can be disconnected and put on charge directly in the user’s home or garage, just like the battery of a modern e-bike. The total range which can be achieved is 500 kilometres.

Impressively, the way the car is designed, with the roll centre exactly midway between the two axle shafts, and the placing of the batteries underneath the vehicle’s centre of gravity, mean that the car’s weight distribution and handling are unchanged regardless of the number of batteries installed. The braking system is suitably sized to ensure maximum deceleration even when fully laden.

Last but not least, the multiple charging socket is located at the bottom of the windscreen. Specifically, this is a cable reel housed underneath the trim, which eliminates the need for a cable cavity in the boot and, thanks to its central position, is equidistant from charging points on either side, or can act as a hub for several vehicles in case of energy sharing. The socket lights up in the dark and can be used as an electric torch and windscreen defrosting device.

Perfect for business and for sharing

As well as for individual use, Fiat Concept Centoventi is born ready to become the future star of company fleets, as well as for sharing with other users. No surprise, since Fiat Concept Centoventi excels in all aspects of urban mobility. It is the least expensive BEV on the market, partly thanks to the modular set of batteries, as well as being the easiest to clean, repair and service, with lower risk of damage and even lower total cost of ownership.

Fiat Concept Centoventi main technical data

  • Length: 3680 mm
  • Height: 1527 mm
  • Width: 1740 mm (with door mirrors 1846 mm)
  • Wheelbase: 2430 mm
  • Front overhang: 658 mm
  • Rear overhang: 592 mm

(Source: FCA)

Image Gallery

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