1999 Fiat Ecobasic idea previewed the city vehicle of the future



In the late 1990 s, Fiat laid out to verify green and also low-cost weren’t equally unique. It said an auto might be both with an ingenious, opinion-cleaving idea called Ecobasic developed to sneak peek the econobox of the future.

Fiat silently provided the Ecobasic at the 1999 version of the Bologna car program, which was still a huge bargain 21 years back, and also it showed it once more at the list below year’s Geneva program. Its high-top Converse-shaped shape transformed heads anywhere it went, which was just the start. Looking closer disclosed its front end obtained a clear panel that allowed individuals include oil, coolant, wiper liquid, or offer the battery a dive. Audi embraced a comparable option for its A2. It had one door on the vehicle driver’s side, 2 on the traveler’s side, and also a clear hatch highlighted by a set of straight lights. It extended 137.7 inches long, 67.3 inches vast, and also 57.8 inches high, measurements that made it regarding 2 inches taller, 3 inches broader, and also an inch less than a contemporary 500.

Maintaining production expenses in check was a concern, so Fiat utilized plastic body panels colored with shade throughout the manufacturing procedure and also installed them to a steel framework, a setup like the Smart ForTwo’s. They were developed to be reused at the end of the vehicle’s life process. Inside, the guests were dealt with to a wonderful workout in easy, back-to-the-basics style. The vehicle driver beinged in front of a four-spoke wheel, while a gas and also a speedometer scale were incorporated right into a shell that grew from the facility of the control panel. The transmission’s equipment selector, a handful of switches, and also the HEATING AND COOLING controls were lined up listed below it.

The domed, bolted-down hood covered a 1.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel created particularly for the Ecobasic. It showcased Fiat’s Multijet common-rail innovation, which guaranteed boost gas economic climate without jeopardizing power. Theoretically, that’s precisely what it accomplished. The 4 created 61 horse power at 3,500 rpm and also 118 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm, which were sensibly reputable numbers for an Italian city vehicle made in the late 1990 s, and also it returned virtually 80 miles per gallon. Fiat estimated a 13- 2nd 0-62- miles per hour time.

The firm obviously did not flush when it hinted it might develop 200,000 devices of the Ecobasic each year and also market every one for roughly 5,000 euros, a rate which would certainly have made it among the most affordable brand-new automobiles marketed in Europe. Execs backpedaled, the Ecobasic stayed at the idea phase, however several of its technologies got to manufacturing. It set you back 5 million euros to create, so it would certainly have been a pity to consign it to the attic room.

Capitalizing on its temporary tie-up with General Motors, Fiat fine-tuned the model’s Multijet innovation and also fitted it to a 1.3-liter turbodiesel that, in a strange spin of destiny, made its launching in the 2003 Opel Eco Speedster idea. It got to manufacturing the list below year under the hood of the face-lifted Punto (a Ford Fiesta-sized hatchback) and also spread out throughout the firm’s array throughout the 2000 s. General Motors utilized it, also.

The general style eventually really did not proceed past the attracting board. Reliable reports declared it would certainly affect the second-generation Panda ultimately due out in the very early 2000 s and also the Seicento’s follower anticipated to reach regarding the very same time. The previous common no greater than a really obscure, passing similarity with the Ecobasic, for far better or even worse. The 2nd task was postponed, and also the Seicento’s follower really did not show up up until2007 It looked absolutely nothing like the Ecobasic; it was the modern 500 still marketed throughout Europe in 2020.

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