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Sunday, October 31, 2021

The forerunner of the Fiat barchetta today

~Seasick~ The unique and unusual object shapes are usually used as the inspiration sources for automotive designers in designing motorized vehicles. But of the many forms, a vehicle with the boat-inspired design may rarely be made, but that's not made it has never been done. As you can be seen here in a concept car made by the Italian automotive giant back in the 1993 named the Fiat Scia Concept.
The Fiat Scia Concept is designed by John Kinsey and Darrin Caddes of Fiat Centro Stile in collaboration with Carrozzeria Maggiora as a try-out for the public of the upcoming barchetta (to be introduced 2 years later). . (Picture from: Fiat Barchetta)
The creation of the mentioned unique car stems from the successful event of a design competition held by Fiat in 1991 with the participant coming form several Italian well-known automotive design houses to remodel the appearance of a small Cinquecento (Fiat 500). And 2 years later, the Italian manufacturer again invited 9 automotive design houses including the Fiat's in-house studio to participate in similar event, in which now used the Fiat Punto 1st generation as the base model.
The Fiat Scia Concept is brought to life by Carrozzerria Maggiora under the direction of the Fiat Centro Stile to be presented for the first time at the 1994 Turin Auto Show. (Picture from: DrivenToWrite)
As the results, ranging from just plain ugly, the Giannini Punto 4x4 TL (Tempo Libero or Free Time), ridiculously six-wheeled weird vehicle, the Boneschi Doblone, or being simply forgettable concept of the Zagato Monomille, and many others. The most prominent of all design concepts at the time was the Fiat Scia Concept.
The Fiat Scia Concept's styling cues are shown to the unsuspecting audience, like the uprising mirrors, the three-dial dashboard and the cut-off windows. (Picture from: Fiat Barchetta)
In Italian, Scia translates as 'the wake of a boat', but the nautical theme also extends into the concept's unusual forms. Created within the Fiat Centro Stile by John Kinsey in collaboration with Carrozzeria Maggiora, with the body shaped like the hull of a yacht. A strong line flows around the car, splitting the upper half from the lower, which tucks dramatically underneath. A thin opening at the front creates a timeless face and hosts four tiny, round headlights while the long tapered rear deck suggests one you would find on a Riva yacht.
As a logical consequence of the roofless sportscar, so the Fiat Scia Concept's interior should be prepared to use waterproof materials. (Picture from: Fiat Barchetta)
On the empty deck, two pairs of taillights sit on each side of a dorsal fin, which runs along the centre of the car. Around the wheels, there's a little can be seen, only a dish, four holes, four inserts. They look good despite their simplicity but don't really seem to have been designed for the car (some said, it tends to weird and ugly). Finally, a cut-off wind deflector on top of the seed-like body dives into the doors to complete its ultimate barchetta ('little boat') look.
While in the Fiat Scia Concept's rear, there're two pairs of taillights sit on each side of a dorsal fin, which runs along the centre of the car. (Picture from: Fiat Barchetta)
The interior done by Darrin Caddes is very Spartan, with a simplistic dashboard only consisted by three gauges. The ultra-thin seats are fixed but the position could be adjusted by shifting the steering wheel and pedals to suit the driver, in addtion, as a logical consequence of the roofless sportscar, so the interior should be prepared to use waterproof materials.
This concept car was then brought to life by Carrozzerria Maggiora under the direction of the Fiat Centro Stile to be presented for the first time at the 1993 Turin Auto Show. The unique two-seater sports spyder still powered by the Fiat Punto's mechanical elements, and then aroused public curiosity and paved the clear way for the future Fiat barchetta which is launched 2 years later.
If You have spare time, don't forget to see the Bertone Barchetta an almost similar styled car as the Fiat Scia Concept, which is built based on the tiny Fiat Panda and is released in the 2007 to celebrate the coachbuilder company's 85th anniversary. We bet you got the same sensation in the Bertone-made roofless cutie car, as the Scia. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | FIAT BARCHETTA | CARDESIGNNEWS | CARROZZIERI-ITALIANI | 2040-PARTS | DRIVENTOWRITE ]
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