Fiat 500L a design approach



As bloggers we were invited to the presentation of the new Fiat 500L, the small MPV from the Turin company that will replace the “Idea” by the end of the year.
We don’t want to talk about the product, even though it deserves to be discussed, since the specialized magazines will do so as soon as the first models hit the road. Instead, we want to talk about the atmosphere, sensations and constructive spirit that the designers in the style center wanted to pass on to us.

It is an unusual way to talk about a completely new car, what they themselves have defined as the 500L Fiat design approach.

As soon as we entered the pavilion called Officina 83 (as the Fiat Style Centre is called), what really caught our eyes, besides the fantastic wooden model of the historic 600 Multipla, was the large black wall featuring famous quotations from people who were great in their field and in their time.
The first is from Aristotle and can only be referring to style: “A good style must, first of all, be clear”. And it is exactly this clarity that Roberto Giolito expresses when he introduces the presentation of the concepts included in the L-Zero Project.

A good analogy was used to describe how the team worked to create the 500L. Giolito compared the Team to a Jazz Band in which the musicians put their own experience and knowledge to the test to achieve the best possible performance.

The L-Zero Project is the result of the synergy and continuous dialogue between the R&D and Marketing departments and the various parts of the company that worked together (Ed., like with Steve Jobs in Apple) to create a car that was designed for its users.

Disegno 500L Originale


We especially liked the starting ideas for creating the project. The idea of a loft, where the “L” designation comes from, to define the car’s interior spaces, which must be large enough to offer great livability, combined with the desire to offer drivers a panoramic view, leading to the creation of large, continuous glass surfaces.


Andreas Wuppinger, head of the 500L project, explained to us that when he was asked to design the new MPV, the base concept that the team started from was to create a car with a strong brand identity that had smaller external dimensions but a large amount of interior space. The result was a car that resembles the 500 but has its own personality.

Based on the words of both Giolito and Wuppinger, the availability of all of the Fiat personnel present at the event and especially the attention they paid to listening and answering our questions, we understood that we were dealing with a group of professionals who love automobiles, is eager to meet with people and places a high value on the opinions of others.

Rossela Guasco explained that even the creation of the interior trim was drawn from the fashion world, seeking out the latest combinations of microfiber and marbled leathers. This is a sign that the automobile industry, which has always been pretty self-absorbed and not inclined to learn from other areas, is opening up to the outside world

Could this be the first “recovery” product?  That’s hard to say. We’ll have to see the price, what it feels like to drive it, the distribution and promotional logistics, the appeal that it will generate and, last but not least, the economic situation that significantly influences the propensity to making purchases. As the Giulietta taught us, if the Europeans appreciate it then the Italians will too. Even if the 500L was born under a different name, Fiat already won the gamble from the start…

What needs to be noted is that the climate, passion and sensations that were passed on to us were truly positive. We hope that the work method and love for automobiles that we felt from the L-Zero Project team and that Giolito also told us about at the end of the presentation can be extended throughout all of Fiat’s Italian structure and that it can be the start of a big change in the national automotive industry. We really need it!!!

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