Fiat Multipla coming back as an electric vehicle, says report [Update]

Update: ‘Next-gen CMP products to be made in Slovakia’ section updated.

A decade after production of the Fiat Multipla ceased, news has emerged that the nameplate will make a comeback by the middle of the decade as an electric car. Note that Fiat has not expressed interest publicly in reinstating the Multipla, and this story is based on the claims made originally by a French magazine.

The resurgence of the Multipla comes on the back of the Stellantis’s low-cost platform, the CMP Entry, which will launch multiple affordable city cars with hybrid and electric powertrains for the various brands under the group.

Next-gen CMP products to be made in Slovakia

Jeep-516-teaser
The eCMP platform will give birth to Jeep’s first EV this year. The Jeep 516 (codename) is unlikely to see sales in the U.S. owing to its city-car proportions. Image – Jeep/Stellantis

Stellantis’s plant in Trnava, Slovakia, is gearing up to manufacture multiple CMP-based cars for the group. As per a report from Largus.fr, this factory will make the Citroen C3 (CC21) from 2023, the next-gen C3 Aircross (CC24), and Opel Crossland (OV24) from 2024, and the Fiat Multipla in 2024 with a new Fiat Panda joining in 2025.

Since this report was published, Stellantis has announced plans for future Fiat cars, which paints another picture. The company will invest EUR 190 million in EV production at the Fiat factory in Kragujevac, Serbia. A Fiat 500L successor will be the first electric vehicle made at this plant, with production scheduled to start in 2024. The second EV made at the Serbian production facility could be the Fiat Panda electric. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said that the platform of the EVs it plans to make in Serbia could spawn A-, B-, and C-segment models.

Fiat Multipla Electric Powertrain & Details

All CMP group vehicles will exist as EVs and an ICE option that will appeal to those who are not yet ready to invest in EVs due to their limited range or the high entry price. Like other siblings from the group, the thermal-engined Fiat Multipla will be powered by an efficient 1.2-liter PureTech engine. The Multipla Electric could reportedly exist in two range variants, with batteries supplied by China-based battery specialist, Svolt from its German plant.

Known for its quirky 3+3 layout back in its day, it’s a question mark if the Multipla will return with this signature feature. The Land Rover Defender gets the option for three abreast seating at the front, with the middle ‘jump seat’ (as Land Rover calls it) doubling up as a center armrest with cupholders when folded down. An EV drivetrain liberates more interior space, and if Fiat opts for a column-mounted gear shifter, the Multipla EV could have a functional third seat upfront.

Fiat Multipla never came to the United States

2006 Fiat Multipla
The Fiat Multipla underwent a major facelift in 2004 for a restrained look. It remained the only car to combine MPV flexibility with seating for six adults in two rows of three, at just over 157 inches in length. Image: media.stellantis.com.

Setting aside the oddball design, according to reports, some of the features of the Multipla would have made it unsafe for the U.S. market. And even if Fiat could have complied with American regulations, including pedestrian safety, it should be noted that the Italian brand did not exist in the country throughout the Multipla’s tenure. Fiat withdrew from the USA in 1983, but the nameplate made a comeback in late 2009 as the 500, 500 electric, and Ducato and Doblo commercial vans were sold. In 2022, Fiat is a single-model brand in the United States, retailing the Fiat 500X in standard and cabriolet versions.

Featured Image – Rendering of a Fiat Multipla EV by SRK Designs