The Fiat Centoventi, which debuted this week at the Geneva Motor Show, is an entirely customizable modular electric car that allows owners to personalize their vehicle, so it doesn’t just meet their needs but also reflects their personality.
Although customized cars are nothing new, the Centoventi, named for the Italian automaker’s 120th anniversary, goes one step further by giving consumers a say before the car leaves the assembly line. As an example, customers can buy a standard metal gray car and select from four different roofs, four bumpers, four wheel covers, and four paint wraps. Roof options include the soft top or the solar panel, which powers the car’s electronics, including the digital display on the rear bumper.
After selecting the basic exterior features, customers can then choose from 114 different accessories offered by Fiat Chrysler’s partner Mopar. Additions include seat cushions, head restraints, bottle holders, and sound systems. Fiat has also foreseen adding 3D print parts that can be easily attached to the Centoventi. Holes enable a variety of accessories to be plugged into the dashboard next to a 20-inch digital instrument cluster, such as Bluetooth speakers, smartphones, tablets, or camera mounts.
“[T]his is a new business model for automotive accessories, enabling them to be resold or traded on the Web, nurturing a real community of brand fans or connoisseurs of Fiat’s Italian design, just as with collectors’ items,” Fiat says. “This new business model is focused on e-Commerce, the virtual market that knows no boundaries.”
Even the Centoventi’s battery is adaptable. The car features a standard small battery pack that has roughly 100km, or about 62 miles, of range, yet the pack attaches to a rail system that allows extra packs to be added. According to Fiat, customers could buy or rent additional packs for up to 500km, or around 311 miles, of range.
The Centoventi’s tailgate also includes a display that shows the Fiat logo when the car is moving, yet when the car stops, messages can be shared. The “digital tailgate” would enable owners to “rent” advertising space to generate income. Given its adaptability, the car is ideal for urban drivers who don’t need much range but would appreciate the extra cargo room, as well as for families planning a road trip who need extra cargo space.
The Centoventi also seems to be challenging the notion of the car as a staid piece of machinery by allowing accessories to be added and changed at will. For now, the Centoventi is only a concept car, but it could realistically hit the market in the near future.
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According to the company, "This is a new business model for automotive accessories, enabling them to be resold or traded on the Web. This new business model is focused on e-Commerce, the virtual market that knows no boundaries."