Fiat Multipla the bulky big brother of the 500 family?

Originally, there was the Fiat 600 Multipla, an already atypical machine in its time (1956-1969). With its two-tone livery, its suicide-type front doors and its profile that could today be described as a coupe minivan, through a sloping rear window, it stood out in the automotive landscape. So much so that in full profile one could wonder where was the front and where was the back? In short, he embodied a mini riquiqui alternative to the Volkswagen Combi and, like him, had an air-cooled engine at the rear.

Fiat Multipla, originality has always been in the blood

If the Multipla of the 2000s is atypical at the front, the 600 Multipla of the 1960s is “original” at the rear.© DR

Once the decor and the legitimacy planted, let’s look at its even more charismatic successor, the Fiat Multipla type 186, produced from 1998 to 2010. He even played overtime, in China, under the Zotye brand from 2008 to 2013 (see our photo gallery), called Zotye Multiplan then Zotye M300 and available in a 100% electric version. If he did not have an easy physique, we would qualify him as divisive today, the Multipla did not need a misunderstanding to seduce. Its six seats in two rows, its brightness on board and its practicality, the carrying volume oscillates between 430 and 1,900 liters, convinced the pragmatists.

Nearly 350,000 European customers, mainly Italians, and 25,000 in China answered the call of this style rebel. Convinced that this atypical physique was counterproductive, the leaders of Fiat asked the designers to calm their enthusiasm. The latter commit in 2004 a restyled version finally bland. This Fiat Multipla phase 2 had the tasteless look of a utility vehicle.

Also to hang up the wagons of history, when the brand unveiled the Fiat 500L in 2012, it summoned the original 600 Multipla in order to legitimize a machine that marketing attached to the hen with the golden eggs that is the Fiat 500. A surname and a cosmetic evocation of the mythical Italian city car will do nothing, the Fiat 500 L and Fiat 500 L Living, the variant decked out with a backpack carrying up to 7 passengers, will have a career without experiencing great success. . The first will be kept in the catalog until January 2022, the second left the scene discreetly at the end of 2019.

Our vision of a Fiat 500 Multipla vintage 2022

A nose of the latest version of the Fiat 500, a two-tone livery (tricolor and patriot...) and the iconic Fiat Multipla is able to return to center stage.
A nose of the latest version of the Fiat 500, a two-tone livery (tricolor and patriot…) and the iconic Fiat Multipla is able to return to center stage.© Didier RIC

What if, rather than trying the adventure of the 500 L and 500 L Living, the Italian brand had simply combined the muzzle of the 500 with the characteristic silhouette of the Multipla Type 186? Today, in the range, we would have before our eyes a vehicle relatively consistent with our illustration. A model much more welcoming than the Fiat 500 Trepiuno, the one with its tiny rear door, which Leonardo di Caprio uses to install his dog in television advertising. Our revisited Multipla will remain 100% virtual, it will not tread the carpet of the Mondial de l’Auto 2022 in Paris in mid-October. Unlike the bodybuilt version renamed “Milletipla” for 1,000 hp under the hood concocted by the French Youtubers of the Vilebrequin channel. The latter will proudly exhibit their work at the show. Two complementary ways of revisiting the Multipla which definitely continues to be talked about in the cottages.

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Fiat Multipla the bulky big brother of the 500 family?