Skip to main content

Fiat brings its highly customizable Centoventi electric concept to CES 2020

CES is all about the future, but Fiat will use it to celebrate the past as well. At CES 2020, the Italian automaker will show off an electric car concept called the Centoventi. First seen at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the concept’s name means “120” in Italian, signifying Fiat’s 120 years in the car business.

The number-based name certainly fits with other Fiat models like the 500 and 124 Spider, and the boxy shape resembles past no-nonsense Fiat designs such as the original Uno or Panda. But this isn’t just another small hatchback. The Centoventi is designed to be highly customizable. Owners can continually change the car to suit their needs, rather than trade it in for something else.

Related Videos

If the Centoventi went into production (Fiat hasn’t confirmed anything), it would only be painted in one color. But owners would still be able to change the color by swapping out the roof panel, bumpers, wheel covers, and choosing different exterior vinyl wraps. Customers would have four color options under a program cutely named “4U.” The interior has a modular design that will allow owners to install “interchangeable interior accessories” in a “plug and play” fashion, according to Fiat.

Even the battery pack is customizable. The Centoventi can be configured for between 60 miles and 300 miles of range. This is vaguely similar to Tesla’s previous practice of selling one battery pack, but using software to limit range on entry-level models. However, Fiat indicated extra range could be temporarily unlocked for longer trips. A press release said the setup would be “perfect for urban commuting and a weekend getaway by the sea or in the mountains.”

The Centoventi also features two outward-facing screens — one in the windshield, and one in the tailgate. They’re meant to project messages to passersby when the car is parked. Fiat suggested these could be used to show that the driver has paid for parking, or whether the car is “busy” or “free” (if it’s part of a car-sharing service, presumably), but that hardly seems worth the extra cost of installing screens.

Fiat’s future electric car plans are unclear. The automaker currently makes an electric version of the 500, but only to satisfy California’s zero-emission vehicle mandate, which requires high-volume automakers to sell battery-electric or hydrogen fuel cell cars in the state. Fiat has never shown much interest in marketing the electric 500 –called 500e — elsewhere. The electric model will be dropped from the United States along with the rest of the 500 lineup, and it’s unclear if anything will replace it. Fiat has said the next 500 will be electric only, but the car may not be sold in the U.S. The 500 is being withdrawn just as rival Mini launches its electric Cooper SE.

Fiat’s American siblings will also appear at CES 2020. Chrysler will show its Airflow Vision concept, while Jeep will unveil plug-in hybrid versions of the Wrangler, Compass, and Renegade, dubbed “4xe.”

Editors' Recommendations

Why you should consider a plug-in hybrid in 2023
2020 audi q5 tfsi e first drive review phev 19

EVs are all the rage — and it makes sense. Electric vehicles allow you to avoid high gas prices and feel good about not impacting the environment as much, plus they’re usually sleek, stylish, and fast.

But in 2023, owning an EV isn’t for everyone. After all, charging stations, while improving, still aren’t as common as they should be -- and depending on your car, they sometimes aren’t all that fast. If you’re worried about those issues, there’s an alternative — a plug-in hybrid (also known as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, or PHEV). These are cars that essentially offer the best of both worlds: A battery and electric motor for quick, clean trips around town, and a gas engine for longer road trips.
What makes a PHEV so great?

Read more
10 electric cars with the longest range
Lucid Air

Electric cars are becoming increasingly common, but there’s still one issue that new EV buyers run into — range anxiety. Because charging isn’t as easy or as quick as filling up a tank of gas, range can make or break an EV — it dictates how far you’ll be able to drive before you run out of juice.

Electric cars will continue to gain longer and longer ranges over time, but there are already some impressively long-range cars available. Here’s a look at the electric cars with the longest range.
Lucid Air Dream Edition

Read more
Mercedes is finally bringing an electric van to the U.S.
Front three quarter view of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter electric van.

Mercedes-Benz might be known for luxury cars, but it also makes vans, and it's finally bringing an electric van to the United States.

Scheduled to start production this summer, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter is an all-electric version of the Sprinter full-size cargo van that's already a favorite of delivery services like FedEx and Amazon, as well as camper van converters. While the automaker has been selling electric vans in Europe since 2010, the new eSprinter is the first one aimed at the U.S. market.

Read more