Update: ‘The 600 connection’ section and ‘TopElectricSUV says’ sections added.
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 600 connection
According to a report Passione Auto Italiane published on November 5, 2022, the Fiat 600 is coming back in spring 2023, with production scheduled to commence in September 2023. The new Fiat 600 (codename: Fiat F364) will be a B-segment crossover available in gasoline, hybrid, and electric variants. Next in the queue for revival will be the Fiat Multipla, scheduled in 2025, as per the report. The new Fiat Multipla (codename: Fiat UV5) will be a pure electric B-segment SUV.
The Fiat 600 was connected to the original Multipla, which is why we bring it into this story. Fiat designed the 600 as a saloon, but launched the 600 Multipla after an idea for a “carryall” version appealed to the Italians. 1955 saw the debut of the 600 saloon, followed by the 600 Multipla in January 1956. The last modern Multipla was a separate model, but the futuristic Multipla Electric should be visually and mechanically related to the 600 Electric.
Fiat Multipla Electric Powertrain & Details
The Fiat Multipla Electric, like the upcoming Fiat 600 Electric and the already available small EVs from Citroen, DS, Opel, and Peugeot brands, will be an eCMP platform-based model. It 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.
Passione Auto Italiane says the Fiat Multipla Electric will replace the Fiat Tipo as the company’s B-segment model that’s made in Turkey.
Fiat Multipla never came to the United States
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.
The Fiat Multipla Electric is likely to be a versatile mini SUV with a quirky design that appeals mainly to Europeans and strongly emphasizes on space and practicality. One could think of it as a replacement for the Fiat 500L.
Featured Image: Unofficial rendering of a Fiat Multipla EV by SRK Designs