“This 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,” the company writes in a press release. “This new business model is focused on e-Commerce, the virtual market that knows no boundaries.”
The Centoventi’s modular ethos even spreads to its battery. The car comes standard with a relatively small battery pack that has about 100km of range. But the battery packs attach to a sliding rail system that leaves room for others, and Fiat says customers would be able to buy — or even rent — extra packs to get up to 500km of range.
The interior of the concept features novel customization options. The doors can be equipped with features including bottle holders, storage pockets, and stereo speakers, depending on the individual customer's needs or budget. The same idea goes for the seats, which offer the buyer the ability to mix and match from a variety of cushions and upholstery choices to suit their style. The front seat can be removed and in its place a storage box or a child seat can be installed. Fiat even shows what looks like a pet carrier attached to the passenger seat's frame. The video also shows several rooftop options for carrying luggage or a surfboard.
Customers would buy a common gray car however would be able to choose from four different roofs, four bumpers, four wheel covers, and four paint wraps. The roof choices, for example, include a soft top option or a solar panel to help power the in-car electronics — including a digital display on the rear bumper.
Once those are selected, the customer would then be able to choose from 114 different accessories provided by fellow Fiat Chrysler company Mopar. This includes everything from seat cushions to head restraints to bottle holders, or even the sound system. Fiat also imagines the ability to 3D print parts at home (or at a dealer, if home 3D printing still hasn’t caught on) that could slot right into the Centoventi. Small holes in the dashboard make it possible to plug different accessories in next to the 20cm digital instrument cluster, like holders for a Bluetooth speaker, or a smartphone, or a tablet, or a camera mount.
There’s no word on when Fiat would build a production version of the Concept Centoventi, however based on the language used in the release, it looks like the company is firmly committed to the ideas this car pioneers.
Source: John Beckerich