Fiat CentoVenti concept: is this the next Panda?

Published: 06 March 2019

► New Fiat CentoVenti concept
► Full switched-on show car
► Unveiled at Geneva 2019

Well doesn’t this look cute? This is the Fiat CentoVenti – a small, boxy concept car that might just be an early preview of the next Panda city car. It’s made its official debut at the 2019 Geneva motor show. It’s still a concept, obviously, but could point to Fiat’s small car future beyond the 500.

The Honda e Prototype certainly has its work cut out for it in the dinky EV sphere now, as the CentoVenti has the aim of attracting millennial buyers.

Fiat CentoVenti Concept at the 2019 Geneva motor show

It’s a five-door hatch with rear-hinged back doors, four seats and charm by the bucketload. There are customisable roof options including a canvas soft top, two-tone polycarbonate or even one with a roof box.

Technically, the CentoVenti is designed to come in just one colour to help streamline the manufacturing process, but Fiat says the car can be easily (and heavily) customised. The ‘4U’ programme has four exterior wraps, four wheel trims, four bumpers and four roof options for you to spec yourself, allowing for some clever combinations.

Pretty name. Does it mean anything?

CentoVenti means 120 in Italian – a nod to Fiat’s 120th anniversary this year, and the car is being pushed with the brand’s new tagline: ‘Affordable But Cool.’

During the press conference, the CentoVenti was described as ‘not a scooter of any kind, nor a glorified golf cart.’ Could that be a jab at the Citroen Ami One?

What’s the driving range?

Regardless, the concept car claims a painfully limited 62-mile range from its EV powertrain. But the modular battery can be expanded, allowing you to purchase or lease another three packs, expanding the range.

Fiat CentoVenti Concept - plugged into a charging point

A solar panel roof powers the air con and a large display on the tailgate that can send out messages to drivers behind and pedestrians alike.

You mentioned a big exterior display?

Yes, and Fiat thinks it’s onto a winner with this. The idea is that you can rent out the display space to businesses; the brand says it could be used to advertise the business you’re currently parked at, to recoup the cost of your car using up a space.

What’s the interior like?

The cockpit is clean and airy and has what Fiat calls the ‘Lingotto 20’ instrument display, which is made up of two 10-inch screens that control the infotainment and communication functions.

Fiat CentoVenti Concept - interior design

Since it’s meant to appeal to the switched-on youth of tomorrow, you can also make the infotainment rely on a smartphone or tablet instead.

A-Z of the Geneva motor show 2019 on CAR

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By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches