GENEVA -- The Fiat brand's Centoventi concept highlights ideas to "make electric mobility accessible to everybody," said Oliver Francois, head of the Fiat brand.
The Centoventi name, which means "120" in Italian, refers to the 120 years' history of the Fiat brand. The main idea behind the battery-powered concept, which takes inspiration from the original Panda launched in 1980, is the scalability to make it affordable.
The main example is the battery. The base version of the Centoventi has a 100-km (62 mile) range. But the customer could add up to four additional battery modules to reach a 500-km range. The choice also could be made after purchase.
The Centoventi has an "interactive tailgate" that would allow the owner to sell advertising space or advertise the availability of the vehicle for rent. The cockpit would allow the user to insert a phone or tablet instead of having a screen.
"We have decontented the car so that the customer can decide," Francois said at the concept’s unveiling at the auto show here on Tuesday. The Centoventi has just one livery but the choices of four roof types, fenders and other external parts.
Francois touted the "innovative business model," which involves Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Mopar aftermarket division. However, he said, the car would be produced only if the customer feedback confirms there is a business case. He gave no timing on when a decision would be made.
The Centoventi would be mainly a Europe-focused vehicle, Francois said. He did not say whether this car could possibly replace the aging Panda in the European range.
Also at Geneva, Francois announced that the next generation of the retro-styled 500 hatchback will be revealed at next year’s show.
The 500 and Panda minicars accounted for more than half of Fiat’s European deliveries. Sales of the 500 were 188,332 in 2018, down slightly from 189,120 in 2017, while the Panda suffered a 10 percent decline to 167,426.
Fiat lost ground mainly in its home market of Italy — off 20 percent, to 323,342 from 402,430, accounting for the brand’s entire decline in Europe. Part of the loss in Italy comes from a deliberate policy of dropping sales to the least profitable channels, such as rental fleets and self-registrations.