Could this be a Fiat electric crossover?
Fiat sells four cars and crossovers in the United States, and if you combine all their sales, you get the volume of one Chevy that’s already been dropped due to lack of interest. But in Europe, Fiat is hot stuff within their little-car segments.
A few years back, Europeans realized that their diesel cars were not clean, economical alternatives to gasoline-powered cars; they were, instead, particulates-belching, poorly-regulated pollution machines. Belatedly, the European Union went from encouraging people to buy diesels, to enforcing seriously stringent emissions rules which made diesels far less attractive. The solution: electric and gasoline-electric hybrids.
Fiat, whose MultiJet engines did relatively well in the emissions scandals, has had to go on a crash program to push ahead its electric and hybrid cars, whose development (in theory at least) was centered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The company now has three different types of hybrid-electrics, ranging from the barely-hybrid Ram pickups to the plug-in Pacifica, as well as battery-electrics (the first was the California-spec Fiat 500e). Like every other serious European automaker, though, Fiat is diving into battery-electrics.
That’s what inspired this rendering, which is based on the Fiat 500; it shows a generously (by Fiat standards) sized crossover, with a vaguely ’68-Charger-like closed grille. This one is meant as a battery-electric, but the same form could easily fit a hybrid, drawing air in either from the center of the aluminum-toned lower grille or from an outlet in the thinnest “grille.” Normally, though, all that area would be either smooth black plastic, or, under the Fiat logo, finned black (if the aero boys okayed it) to lend some more character and avoid any Tesla cues.
Why is this on an American car site, you may ask? Largely because the powertrain would likely have been developed in Michigan, or would at least be based on Michigan-born technology.
Is this where Fiat is heading? We’ll find out over the next three years, as a bevy of high-voltage cars start coming out of the company’s factories in Italy, Brazil, Turkey, China, and such.