Fiat previews ‘fun’ future with five new concepts, including bold global bakkie

Published Feb 26, 2024


“Functionality should never exist without fun”.

This is the philosophy behind Fiat’s future range of cars, which the Stellantis-owned Italian brand is giving us a glimpse of with these five new concept cars revealed on Monday.

The first of Fiat’s new generation of vehicles will be revealed in July this year, and following that the brand will launch a new vehicle every year until 2027.

They will be underpinned by a new Stellantis global multi-energy platform which accommodates electric as well as hybrid and internal combustion powertrain options.

The new models promise to make efficient use of space and sustainable materials, including recycled plastics and even bamboo fabrics.

Production costs will be lowered by a “less is more” approach that removes redundant parts and reduces polluting materials such as chrome, alloys and leathers.

The five concept vehicles take the form of a City Car, Pick-Up, Fastback, SUV and Camper. They all take inspiration from the Panda, but present a more futuristic take on Fiat’s iconic but minimalistic city car.

Will Fiat build this bakkie in SA?

Perhaps the most interesting from a South African perspective is the Pick-Up concept.

Fiat currently builds the Toro and Strada bakkies in South America, the latter being Brazil’s top selling vehicle, and Fiat believes it can replicate this success on a global level, even in Europe.

Now here’s something to think about. Stellantis is building a factory in South Africa, where it plans to build a Peugeot one-tonne bakkie. But there have also been rumours of the Strada bakkie being built locally. Given that Fiat wants to sell bakkies in Europe, and given SA’s duty-free access to that market, would it not make sense to build them in South Africa?

It remains to be seen exactly what Fiat is previewing with its new Pick-Up concept. A Strada replacement might seem the obvious choice but the firm’s larger Toro is also looking a bit overdue for replacement.

Fiat says the concept combines the functionality of a light commercial vehicle with the comfort of an SUV in a size that is “suitable to urban environments all over the world”.

Interesting passenger car concepts

Fiat describes the new City Car concept as something of a “Mega Panda” as it is larger in size than the current city hatch.

Fiat City Car concept.

It boasts a high driving position and roomy cabin that’s said to be sufficient for family weekend trips and holidays.

Fiat SUV concept.

The SUV concept is something of a “Giga Panda”, Fiat says, while the Fastback concept is a sportier and more car-like model that follows in the footsteps of the Fiat Tipo and Brazilian Fastback.

Fiat Fastback concept.

Finally Fiat also showed off a Camper concept whose role is self-explanatory but we reckon this vehicle is the least likely to reach showrooms given that just four of these vehicles are slated for production between now and 2027.

Fiat Camper concept

IOL Motoring