TTAC Photochop: Fiat Topolino

ttac photochop fiat topolino

There's one good thing about a crisis: it motivates people to create remarkable things that wouldn't have been possible (or necessary) in normal (or desired) circumstances. Remember: an oil crisis gave birth to the original Mini, a remarkable piece of engineering with incredible efficiency. Now that the days of efficiency are back, the car industry has once again been forced to awaken from its boringly predictable evolution and offer us some new efficient and smart solutions. The first signs have already been visible for a few years, with manufacturers showing a plethora of microcar concepts. Some producers even have such projects in advanced development. As spy photographs show, Fiat is currently testing a car smaller than the 500. At 3.2 meters the new Topolino ("little mouse" in Italian, named after the original model produced between 1936 and 1955) is expected to use the same 3+1 seats solution as the Toyota iQ concept (the rear bench is divided into a normal-sized and a smaller chair, placed right between the rear wheels at the very back of the car). With both rear seats in use, the car has virtually no trunk space. But fold the rear bench and now you got room for… a suitcase or two. Anyway, it's a remarkable achievement that could rival the original Mini. From a design POV, this layout doesn't allow for a sloped roof. I reckon a boxy rear will be the recognition element for all the 3+1 cars.

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  • IllinoisAutobahn IllinoisAutobahn on Aug 05, 2008

    No, Andrei is correct--there was a fuel crisis in Britain in 1956. It was caused by the Suez Crisis of 1956, and was mostly confined to Britain and possibly France, who were combatants in that war. There was a real boom in bubblecars and microcars in Britain because of the gas crisis, and it convinced Morris to go ahead with the Mini to provide a "real car" to compete with the bubblecars (Isetta/BMW, Messerschmidt, et al.)

  • Martin Schwoerer Martin Schwoerer on Aug 05, 2008

    Thanks, Illinois. I stand corrected.

  • Capeplates Capeplates on Aug 05, 2008

    I wouldn't be seen dead in a Fiat. These cars were never buit to withstand the weather conditions in the UK. Everyone I know who owns?has owned one reports problems during the wet conditions of winter. Staring can be a nightmare!

  • Sidon Sidon on Aug 06, 2008

    Build a better mouse etc... I think not Fiat judging by the bland on bland design that has been proposed for the new Topolino, The original showed engineering creativity and design flair - judging by what has been revealed so far this may possess some of the former but absolutely none of the latter. Tell your design department to throw their other mouse away and use their head and heart in the time honored Italian tradition to create a car that is worthy of using the Topolino name.

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