Fiat needs to build this Fiat 126 Vision | FOS Future Lab

27th October 2020
Gary Axon

By way of extreme contrast to the new electric Hummer EV, Fiat is also set to imminently launch its all-important, all-electric new 500e into key European markets. Possibly taking some inspiration from both of these new electric retro vehicles, an Italian-based design house, MA-DE Studio, has also taken a strong nostalgic-influence from another popular rear-engined city car from Fiat’s extensive back catalogue.   


Just as Fiat is finally bringing its successful retro-esque 500 firmly into the 21st century with electric power, the international MA-DE industrial design studio has released images of its nostalgic ‘Fiat 126 Vision’, an appealing electric reinterpretation ‘concept’ of Fiat’s 126, the rear-engined 1972-2000 urban classic that ultimately replaced the original and much-loved Fiat 500 of 1957-1975.

Making its debut at the 1972 Turin Motor Show, the diminutive Fiat 126 retained its cult 500 predecessor’s rear-engine and snug four seat interior layout, all packaged in a more modern and space-efficient shape, its squared-off profile reflecting its larger contemporary Fiat siblings, such as the best-selling 127 and 128.


Although never endearing the same cute, lovable reaction as the 1950s Fiat 500 it replaced, the 126 was ultimately more successful commercially than the rounded 500, with around 4.7 million examples of the straight-edged bambino built over a loooong 28-year product run (most being made in Poland), compared to just 3.9 million 500s over its shorter 20-year career.

Envisioned by designer Andrea Della Vecchia of MA-DE Studio, the Fiat 126 Vision concept doesn’t lose any of the distinctive identity of the 1972 original with this electric reinterpretation cleverly preserving Fiat’s unmistakable boxy shape, but with a smoother, rounded update, retaining the 126’s contours and strengthened by some key styling elements, such as the roof tapered at the rear and the squared headlights, dominated by the character line that surrounds the car.

If the new car market’s reaction to Fiat’s electric New 500, plus its pending plug-in Panda replacement, is favourable, here’s hoping that the huge FCA Group will top-off a trio of capable electric city cars by producing this accomplished 126 Vision concept.

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