Fiat calls it Trepiuno – three plus one – but to the rest of the world, Fiat’s Geneva show concept car could only be the new 500.
Finally, the postmodern retro movement that produced a new VW Beetle and Mini, and Ford’s Mustang, Thunderbird and GT, gets the long-rumoured contemporary version of Fiat’s tiny rear-engined, air-cooled Nuova 500. The much-loved Nuova 500, launched in 1957, was produced for 18 years and more than four million were sold.
Despite the official response that ‘the Trepiuno probably won’t be made’, internal support for the project is strong and many believe that once the public sees the concept car, demand will be so intense, Turin will be forced to build it. But not before 2007, at the very earliest.
Stung by the success of the Smart two-seater in Italy, Fiat has been looking at a variety of potential baby cars to regain its small-car crown. One proposal was for a three-seater, whose seating package mirrored McLaren’s F1 one-plus-two arrangement, but it settled on the Trepiuno instead.Styled by Roberto Giolito, head of Fiat’s advanced studio and the talented designer who penned the Multipla and Ecobasic, the Trepiuno is a mere 3300mm long.