Fiat has unveiled a concept EV to promote the idea of a completely customizable car that's available to everyone. The Centoventi, which means "120," in honor of Fiat's anniversary, would be sold as a bare gray car. The buyer could then pick four paint wraps, along with four bumpers and wheel wraps. You could even choose among a soft top or solar panel roof cover.
To make it affordable enough for all budgets, the Centoventi (loosely based on the Panda) comes with a small battery pack with about 62 miles of range. That's also modular: via a sliding rail system, you could buy or even temporarily rent extra packs to get over 300 miles. That could be ideal for city dwellers who want to make the odd long trip.
Once you've got the exterior and powertrain worked out, you'd be able plug in 114 Fiat-Chrysler accessories. Parts include replacement seats (including a US-illegal front baby seat), cup-holders, head rests, seat cushions and a sound system. The dashboard has small holes that Fiat relates to Lego, making it possible to use non-car accessories like Bluetooth speakers, camera mounts and smartphones, which is kind of a genius idea.
Fiat also had the strange thought that you could put digital messages on the back bumper and possibly lease it out to companies to display ads. I guess that could make you some cash, but such it seems strangely contrary to the rest of the egalitarian concept.
Fiat sees the modular idea as a way to become the Amazon of plug-in car options. "So, this is a new business model for automotive accessories, enabling them to be resold or traded on the Web," it said in a press release. "This new business model is focused on e-Commerce, the virtual market that knows no boundaries."
We've seen other concepts like Renault's EZ Go aimed at democratizing transportation, but some of the Centoventi's ideas -- like rentable batteries -- actually seem feasible for a production car. Fiat didn't say whether it would ever be commercialized, but hopefully the company will continue to at least explore and develop some of the very novel ideas.
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