Fiat 126 reimagined and rendered

Published: 14 October 2020

► The Fiat 126 is back…kind of
► Rendered by Italian design house
► No word on a real world effort

The Fiat 126 – a shining beacon of robust and cheap motoring for a huge portion of Europe – has been reimagined as a retro-tastic EV.

Italian design studio MA-DE is behind the throwback/future design, which it calls the Fiat 126 Vision.

Interestingly, this is the first automotive design project completed by the company’s co-founder, Andrea Della Vecchia.

Fiat 126 Vision with original Fiat 126

Why the 126?

Well, MA-DE is a design studio. And considering the project was self-authorised, we imagine it’s been done to drum up some business.

Why the 126 in particular? According to MA-DE’s website, the company is “curious and passionate about novelty and modernism”, which to us is a perfect encapsulation of the 126 Vision.

After all, the 126 is a bit of a novelty in the UK – but it isn’t elsewhere. The original was the replacement for the Fiat 500, and amazingly, it lived on until 2000 in the shape of the Polish-built Polski Fiat 126.

More than three million Polish Fiat 126s were built. These simple, cheap, and easy to fix cars became, and still are, iconic in Eastern Bloc countries.

Across Italy and Poland, more than four million 126s were built. And, as you can see by the picture taken in Sicily in 2020, 126s, despite being old, are not cherished classics. 126s are in fact workhorses for much of Italy and Eastern Europe – quite different to the upmarket EV MA-DE is pitching.

Fiat 126 in Sicily

Vecchia is unsurprisingly a fan of the 126. He said: “With this 126 Vision, we have decided to preserve, adopting a new interpretation, the contour and some unmistakable stylistic elements, such as the roof tapered at the rear and the squared headlights dominated by the character line that surrounds the vehicle.”

Talk to us about the design

The render has been done by a design studio that covers a lot of ground. Sunglasses, umbrellas, and laptop covers are just three of the company’s latest portfolio.

Not being a purpose-built car design studio means MA-DE can take a new look at the 126.

The square headlights are pure 126, while the side profile apes the 126 too – albeit quite a bit bigger. Most notable exclusion are the rear air vents, not needed because this render is of an EV.

Any signs of a production model?

Nope! As it’s from a design studio, no info about battery packs, suspension geometry, or boot sizes are given. It is just a sketch, after all.

But Fiat itself released a render of a 126 earlier this year too – so it’s certainly on the company’s radar.

Saying that, if we were Fiat, we would be sliding right into MA-DE’s DMs.

Fiat 126 Vision rear

By Murray Scullion

Petrolhead, journalist and traveller. Loves fast old cars and new tech. Deputy editor of sister site,