More Details On The Fiat Ellezero Aka "Grande 500"

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
more details on the fiat ellezero aka grande 500

Our European Best and Brightest dropped some knowledge on us, informing TTAC that the Fiat Panda, was not going to be Fiat’s new 5-door vehicle coming to the U.S.

Instead, the vehicle we’ll be receiving is a new car codenamed the “Ellezero”, which will be based on a modified Panda platform but look a lot like the Mini Countryman. Prototype pictures have leaked out of Fiat’s Serbian plant (which once built the Yugo) – the image above appears to show the car outside the factory gates, while wearing Belgrade license plates. Engine choices are said to be the 900cc TwinAir powerplant, a diesel and the 1.4L turbocharged MultiAir engine. Guess which choices won’t be coming Stateside? Seven seats are said to be an option, though we can’t imagine anyone other than pygmies being comfortable back there. AWD will also be offered.

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  • Rod Panhard Rod Panhard on Jan 19, 2012

    You could strap three to the roof.

    • Turkina Turkina on Jan 19, 2012

      Come on, even Mitt Romney managed to strap one onto the roof. 3? Seems reasonable.

  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Jan 19, 2012

    Okay 7 passengers - where's the trunk? AWD for real? Or will that be [Nippon] Cube-style with an electric motor twisting the rears when needed? Okay Sergio conservative 20K sales forecast - so will you be halting 500? I mean could be me but I don't see combined sales 20K+.

  • Olddavid Olddavid on Jan 20, 2012

    I love the hubris shown by Mssrs. Marchionne, et al. Does it remind anyone else of the same sin on display by another set of foreigners in the not too distant past? What's that old saw of the definition of insanity? Expecting a different result or something like that.....?

  • Fred schumacher Fred schumacher on Jan 20, 2012

    I believe the image above is a photoshopped rendition. Here's some real spy shots The car will come in two different lengths, a shorter one, as above, for the 5-seat and a longer one for the 7-seat. The 7-seat version is only half a foot shorter than my 1993 7-seat Dodge Caravan. The ElleZero is based on the widened SUSW platform. It seems clear that Marchionne is well aware of American desires for larger vehicles. Other than the Fiat 500, other new cars being developed by Fiat and Chrysler are based on American body proportions. That this car looks like a Mini is not surprising. Both the BMW Mini and the Fiat 500 were designed by the same person, Frank Stephenson. Something that caught my eye on the spy shots was that the car was running on moderate diameter steel rims with real tires, not rubber bands. The Euro fashion of huge rims and wide rubber band tires does not work well on America's poorer roads, especially for those of us who live in snow and gravel road country. Besides being prone to damage, big rims quickly become out of balance from dirt and snow piling up on the inside faces. My brother-in-law plans to get plain steel rims and mount narrower, high aspect ratio snow tires on them for his Mazda 6, since he's tired of the constant vibration from the stock rims in winter.

    • Banger Banger on Jan 20, 2012

      This is looking like a Fiat I could almost like. The 500 is quirky, which as a Nissan Cube owner I can definitely appreciate, but it's almost too small and impractical to be seriously considered as a daily driver candidate. This Fiat looks kind of like it'd be the size of our Cube. I look forward to seeing one in person.