By on July 8, 2008

Bella machina?Fiat makes some really wonderful small cars. But as always, it's more fun to do it with someone else! And so Fiat likes to take lovers, much like the Italian Prime Minister does (e.g. former topless model/current Minister for Equal Opportunities Mara Carfagna, Ministers of Parliament Gabriella Giammanco, Micaela Biancofiore and Nunzia De Girolamo and Venezuelan Model Aida Yespica). Consider: The Fiat Panda and 500 share a platform with the upcoming Ford Ka. Fiat partnered with PSA Peugeot-Citroen for the (these are real names) Fiorino, Bipper, and Nemo small vans. In Europe, Fiat sells the car us North Americans know as the Suzuki SX4 as the Fiat Sedici. And Fiat has been rumored to be talking to Tata about accessing Jaguar's RWD platforms for future models. And now, BMW! Automotive News reports that Fiat is looking to hook-up with BMW for future platform engineering and powerplants. In particular, BMW and Fiat may co-develop the next gen Fiat 500 and MINI. Considering the 500 is reported to be not the most phenomenal car to drive, this would be good news for the Italians. For its part, BMW realizes the importance of collaboration. The current MINI Cooper's 1.6-liter mill was co-developed with PSA Peugeot-Citroen, which also makes a home in a number of small French car-things. And BMW has declared that future BMW branded 4-cylinder engines will be shared with PSA. So how long is it, really, before there are just two car platforms in the world: one RWD, one FWD, with 30 different badges?

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5 Comments on “Fiat, BMW to Collaborate on Platform, Engines...”

  • avatar

    “much like Italian Prime Minister”

    Just being a grammar fascist, but that would be Silvio Berlusconi, or as I like to call him, the whack-a-mole of politics.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Follow-up article: BMW to help Alfa in North America in 2010. Um, okay.

  • avatar

    We have a Berlusconi pizza here in Finland, has a lot of stuff Berlusconis “favorite” stuff in it like reindeer. Coincidentally, it won “The Americas Plate” at The New York Pizza Show.

    The Suzuki SX4 is sold here too, while the Fiat Sedici is not.

    And the platform sharing between the MINI and the 500 could be good for the 500, or bad for the MINI. Or make both more bland. OR both better. could go any way really.

    Having been a passenger in a 500 i have to say it feels pretty solid. And less cramped in front than a V70 or A6. And it rides pretty nice for such a short and tall car, though it does tend to bounce a bit in the rear sometimes, which feels weird. This was the diesel version. I would definately be interested in the Abarth version when it’s released, supposedly with a 135hp turbo engine. Assuming the chassis can handle the power.

    Most of my Fiat experience is from my dad’s old Tipo though, which pretty much disintegrated along the way. a 5 year old me was strong enough to break the window cranks, though i quickly learned how to crank them without cutting myself or ripping them loose. Pretty much everything except the engine, which worked just fine, disintegrated. Apart form the time he rushed to the fire station and blew out the oilpan on a speedbump.

  • avatar

    Dios mio!!!!! never seen Aida Yespica before… WOW!!!! Thanks man for showing me the local beaties.

    Oops, this is about cars… almost forgot….

    Fiat is either or selling or “buying” engineering.

    Fiat engines are rock solid, and the gearbox ratios are well selected. And they kick ass in diesels.

    Didn’t know about the partnership with PSA on the Fiorino. In fact the first of those type of vans I remember is precisely the Fiorino.

    I don’t think about one FWD or RWD platform. I see about 8 FWD and 4-8 RWD or a series of modular platforms that can be converted to FWD/RWD or AWD just changing some parts.

    The Iveco heavy and medium truck cabins are VERY modular (smart italians) and can be EASILY configured for LHD or RHD, in some cases, just by swapping parts. Of course, I’m simplifying a lot.

    Don’t see why cannot be done with cars.

  • avatar

    Looks like FIAT has mastered the small engines, or else Bimmer wouldnt have teamed up with them.
    But then whats wrong with Bimmer to make their own small engines, they used to build bubble cars, 700cc etc. Or their own engneers got too entangle with Bangle. Simply too F***ing lazy to work.
    So the MINI in the future will have an Italian job.

    The original movie with Michael Caine was priceless.

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