Three 500e one-off concepts, designed by Armani, Kartell and Bvlgari, embody the Italian spirit and three souls of the new 500e: sustainable design, sustainable fashion and sustainable luxury
LOS ANGELES – At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Olivier Francois, FIAT CEO and CMO global of Stellantis, officially announced plans to offer the fully electric Fiat 500e in North America. Spearheading the brand’s electrification strategy, the new 500e will arrive in the U.S. market in early 2024, marking a North American expansion in FIAT’s global journey outside Europe.
“Since 1899, FIAT has played a role in developing mobility, not only delivering vehicles to the masses, but also pursuing a social mission and riding the wave of ‘what’s next,'” said Olivier Francois, FIAT CEO and global CMO Stellantis. “Today, more than ever, we are facing a global revolution, which means that customers are looking for more than just a car and we intend to embrace their changing needs. The new 500e is more than a car, it is a social project to feed America’s appetite for change toward sustainable mobility. We want to introduce America to EVs with our icon, the Fiat 500, because this is the right thing to do. On a corporate side, we need to trailblaze new pathways and it will be a privilege for our new 500 to help lead change. On the human level: it is a commitment to taking customers into the future of mobility … again.”
Today, the automotive industry is facing a big change, moving to sustainable mobility. And FIAT is the perfect brand in the U.S. to play a significant role in the revolution, using the iconic Fiat 500e to introduce many American driveways to electric vehicles. The new 500e is irresistibly cool, small and Italian; it is the ultimate fashion accessory. If you want it, you must go electric because that is the only way it will be offered in North America.
The move toward greater electrification is not only about the technology, it’s about reinventing the customer experience, embracing the different needs of people and the planet.
During the press conference, Olivier Francois outlined FIAT’s plans in North America and announced that the official reveal of the North American 500e will take place next year at the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show. Availability is Q1 of 2024.
On stage during the press conference, three 500e one-off concepts, designed by Armani, Kartell and Bvlgari, were introduced. These three exclusive pieces reflect Italian craftsmanship, creativity and sophistication. A symbol of “Made in Italy” around the world, the three unique concepts embody the three souls of the new Fiat 500e: sustainable design, sustainable fashion and sustainable luxury, in line with FIAT’s vision of sustainability.
500 Giorgio Armani
Only Giorgio Armani, the undisputed king of the world of Italian elegance, could be the one to interpret the style. His haute couture house interpreted their version of the electric 500, the 500 Armani, in the name of timeless tailoring and sustainability. Using laser technology, Armani wished to shape the metal covering of the car’s bodywork (and eventually etching it) with exclusive micro-chevron engraving, bringing it as close as possible to the three dimensions of a fabric and creating a two-tone effect without adding polluting paint. The result is further enhanced by an Armani gray/green “silk effect” color. What’s more, the opaque paint used for the exterior is an innovative and sustainable product: a transparent top coat activated by UV light reduces air pollutants and bacteria.
The “GA” logo is a strong feature of the wheel design and customizes the fabric of the soft top, while the amber-colored windows raise the car’s level of harmony and sophistication.
The neutral and elegant nuances continue in the interior: the seats are upholstered in certified full-grain natural leather, sourced from Poltrona Frau, in a “greyge” color with micro-chevron wool bands, embellished with details taken from the craftsmanship of the best leather goods.
The naturalness and authenticity of the materials is also emphasized by the sinuous and sculptural dashboard insert, covered with reconstituted open-pore wood, embellished with thin layers of aluminum inlay. The piece was inspired by the elegance and contemporaneity of the Armani/Casa line.
Creativity and innovation are the elements of inspiration for the 500e Kartell concept, from the iconic brand of Italian industrial design, which constantly experiments and researches new aesthetic and functions for plastics. In recent years, Kartell has also been involved in developing increasingly sustainable plastics. The 500e Kartell is an ideal mixture of materials that come together to breathe life into a true object of contemporary design.
The exterior features a monoblock color concept where different types of materials – metal, glass, rubber, plastic and fabric – are interpreted in the same color: Kartell blue derived from Yves Klein blue, a universally recognized color iconic to the brand. The surfaces of the bodywork are mirror-effect Kartell blue, obtained using a blue Kartell mirror effect obtained with an environmentally friendly chrome paint. The two brands’ logos stand out from the bodywork, thanks to treatment with a sandblasted polycarbonate, to convey a sense of material and depth.
The most symbolic elements of the exterior, in addition to the color effect, are the components made of polycarbonate recycled from end-of-life parabolic projectors used in the front grille, wheels and mirror caps. These objects feature a unique design inspired by the pattern of Kartell’s Kabuki lamp, created and developed by the designer Ferruccio Laviani as a motif to lead the new car’s identity. The unique details recall the texture of the lamp and become special elements of the car. The Kabuki pattern remains the protagonist with a polycarbonate cover on the dashboard insert and transparently applied to the seats.
The contrast between the Kartell blue of the exterior and the brightness of the interior is striking, providing a clear and light environment, combining warm and cool hues. The tactile textile plastics used in the interior are 100% recycled polypropylene, just like the chairs from the latest Kartell collection. The fabrics take on a natural, cozy look, in recycled polyester.
B.500 MAI TROPPO
Bvlgari’s one-off B.500 MAI TROPPO pays homage to craftsmanship and beauty. The Fiat 500 has always played a role in La Dolce Vita, an Italian icon born of the love for beauty and art. The new interpreter of these values is Bvlgari, an emblem of Italian excellence, a brand that has innovated over the years by rewriting the rules of world jewelry and launching new trends that have become icons of contemporary design. The new FIAT 500e is a true gem, with an interior using the finest materials, embellished by the greatest attention to detail and unique finishes that recall the vivid, unmistakable combinations of colors and motifs that exalt Bvlgari’s Roman origins. It could, therefore, take no other name than MAI TROPPO, which means never too much.
The concept vehicle features saffron-colored pearlescent paint, an iconic shade at Bvlgari inspired by the chromatic variegation of Roman sunsets. This effect is enhanced by a nuance in the paint produced by a professional hands-on technique. The “saffron” paint emphasizes the character of the car as a jewel, based on the inclusion of gold powder recovered from the scraps of jewelry production. The result: an environmentally friendly car, resplendent in its own light. In addition to the gold paint, the B.500 has side sills and front moldings processed using a glazing technique; specifically designed wheels in the form of a star, the historical symbol of Bvlgari. The wheels also feature black lacquer with gold trim and a side “jewel” badge in polished gold, with a diamond-paved B.500 logo. The philosophy of reuse continues in the interiors, with an elegant dashboard fascia upholstered with heritage Bvlgari silk scarves of the past.
The seats are in leather with “Diva” pattern embroidery, gold details and scarf inserts. The true jewel of the interior are three semi-precious stones, amethyst, topaz and citrine, set in a removable brooch, made by the master goldsmiths at Bvlgari and placed in the center of the steering wheel.