by Paul Negyesi
During the recent Paris Autoshows Fiat showed a new little MPV. It's called Multipla and it isn't a concept - it's a fully-running prototype and it will be available from 1998!
Cinquecento, Punto, Bravo(a) and now the Multipla - Fiat is trying to follow Chrysler's path: introducing new, innovative models which break away from the usual, boring mold.
There was a Multipla back in 1956. It was based on the smalles Fiat: the 600.
Times are changing: Multipla II uses Bravo(a) parts, which is a middle-class
Although the shape may look a bit shocking, it has a noticeable coefficient drag: 0.32
The Multipla's platform is a flexible steel spaceframe, that's constructed in sections, with the steel body both welded and bolted to the spaceframe.
Initially two engines: a 1.6 petrol and a 1.9 turbo diesel and one, 5-speed manual, transmission is on the menu.
The Fiat fans have two years to get used to the car. The sales will start in 1998. Fiat states there won't be major differences between this showcase model and the production version.