Fiat asks RCA students to design the Panda and Cinquecento of the future
Steve Cropley Autocar
3 October 2013

Fiat’s top designers have launched a two-month competition, involving 60 postgraduate vehicle design students at the Royal College of Art, aimed at producing “innovative, out of the box” concepts for 2020 versions of their two best-selling cars, the 500 and the Panda.

Working in teams of four, with seven teams deployed on each car, the students will create exterior and interior concepts for both models, using and developing the two models’ brand values and product identities, while also anticipating relevant trends and customer expectations in seven years’ time.

Fiat chiefs say they want to see “fresh and unexpected” designs from the “Two of a Kind” project entrants, but will also expect concepts to be practical and workable.

The creators of the winning interior and exterior concepts for each model will be taken to Fiat’s Centro Stile in Turin for four days, to help realise their designs as scale models, to be displayed next June as part of the course’s degree show. The winners - up to 10 people - will each subsequently be offered internships of around six months at Centro Stile.  

The competition, which begins now and will be judged early in December, will bring Fiat’s best-known designers, including Roberto Giolito and Lorenzo Ramaciotti, to the UK for fortnightly lectures on key subjects such as “Fiat’s design approach”, and “the roots of Italian design”. Entries will initially consist of sketches and storyboards, 2D proposals, 3D CAD surface models, virtual animations and digital portrayals of component details.

“This is an extremely important competition for us,” says Professor Dale Harrow, leader of the RCA course. “Fiat is deadly serious about drawing influence for its most important models from our students’ ideas.

Fiat design bosses, who admit they have big challenges ahead in designing a third generation “new 500” and a fourth-generation Panda, believe the influence of cosmopolitan London and the fresh thinking of the RCA’s international student body could produce important new ideas. “We like the RCA’s conceptual approach to car design,” says Roberto Giolito, Fiat Group vice president of design.

“For these students, design is about much more than styling. They understand the problem more deeply.”

Our Verdict

Fiat Panda

A very fine multi-use little car that offers an enticing ownership proposition

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Comments
9

3 October 2013

Other than the Alfa products (one of which I own and it really is as bad as the JDPower survey would suggest) Fiat don't really seem to be planning for the future.

They've the 500 and that's about it, RIP FIAT (thats Rust In Peace)

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

3 October 2013

So much for Students designing Fiats of the future, with horrors like the 500L about they really need them to redesign the current cars

3 October 2013

The 500L is a very innovative, stylish, city car. NOT.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

3 October 2013

Have you driven one? We've had one as a rental car and we quite liked it.

3 October 2013

Looks like a fascinating project. I wonder if it might address a possible future Topolino as well?

There are some great starting cues, in the forms of the existing Panda and 500 designs plus the 2000 126 Bis and the 2010 Seicento.

3 October 2013

Seems these days, Fiat is all about the 500 and unrelated models which will share the name such as 500L, and to a lesser extent the Panda.
I know Fiat is not alone struggling against the Golf in the Bravo/Golf class, but to think they have just given up on the Puntofor the time being is suicidal. The Punto was once Europe's best selling cars and still, despite its age, Italy's 2nd best selling. Seems a strange decision to me.

4 October 2013

Big mistake, I think, for Fiat to be so dismissive about the Bravo and Punto replacement, not least when the new Fiat Viaggio hatchback is just sitting there and could replace the Bravo.

Imagine others not having Polo/Golf, Fiesta/Focus, Corsa/Astra etc.

In some respects products are in place with the MiTo/Giulietta and Ypsilon/Delta but they are not sold as Fiats.

A version of the Ypsilon, slightly rebodied, would easliy serve as a 500 5-door and Punto replacement all in one.

K_A

4 October 2013
rmcondo wrote:

A version of the Ypsilon, slightly rebodied, would easliy serve as a 500 5-door and Punto replacement all in one.

The Chrysler/Lancia Ypsilon is actually based on an extended platform of the 500 city-car. It utilises the 500's TwinAir engine too.

A 500-based Punto replacement is apparently in the pipeline aswell.

4 October 2013

So Fiats STILL rust like they did 30 years ago?? Hmmmm...

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