17.02.2004

The Fiat Barchetta and Alviero Martini


A superb meeting of the great Italian sports car tradition and the stylistic proposals of the future. This is the spirit of the new Fiat Barchetta which reinterprets emotions from the distant past in a modern key. The car on display in Geneva features a special outfit called 'Prima Classe' by Alviero Martini, a designer famous for his collections of leather goods and cases.
This particular version made its world debut at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show; it reveals changes to the bodywork and interior, and accessories feature leather printed with a map pattern that is a characteristic of this designer. The collaboration between the two companies from Piedmont underlines the quality, styling and refinement of Italian craftsmanship: something to be proud of and to promote with renewed enthusiasm. The Geo print becomes a highly distinctive motif and every traveller's dream of having the whole world at his fingertips is materialised in the seat cushions: each one holds a continent and the cut leather creates a planisphere. The pattern is present on the seats and panels and is repeated on the original panniers, the first created for a sports car. These prototypes were inspired by motorcycle panniers: they are practical and unobtrusive, and can be removed from the car with a simple click, to be used as regular suitcases.
This is the exclusive version on show. In general, the captivating Fiat sports car has new styling inside and out, but its most important qualities, which the public appreciate, remain the same: the excellent performance of the 96 kW (130 bhp) 1.8 16v engine with variable valve timing, for example, a top speed of 200 km/h and 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in 8.9 seconds.
The line remains very original, and there are significant added details. The front is dominated by a new grille, a large horizontal black 'mouth', that gives the new Fiat Barchetta a more aggressive look, an impression that is underlined by the larger exhaust tail-pipe, the new modern design of the front and rear bumpers, and the foglights that are standard throughout the range.
On the outside, the new details highlight the dynamic design and sporty line of the model, while at the wheel you experience the emotions of driving a sports car, without compromise and without uncertainty, a feeling of absolute freedom. The merit also goes to the extensive array of safety equipment, ABS, airbags and foglights, and the sophisticated sound system which includes an RDS/EON radio, CD and MP3 file player, electric aerial, 4 speakers and a double subwoofer (80 Watt). The latter are positioned behind the seats where they guarantee optimal reproduction even with the roof open.
A number of features on this elegant sports car (the central console, instrument panel, mouldings, air vents and door handles) are the colour of titanium.
The upholstery fabric of the seats and door panels is also new, as is the facia upholstery. This has a special embossed pattern that is pleasant to look at and to touch. And the owner can customise his car both inside, with leather upholstery, and out, choosing from 16" and 15" alloy wheels (available with two different designs).
The new Fiat Barchetta is a new type of car, one that adapts increasingly to the customer's tastes, and even anticipates his needs. And this level of customisation is enhanced by the long list of options. To name just two: 16" alloy wheels and a hard roof. The latter guarantees the comfort and safety of a closed car, and refutes the cliché that convertibles are only for the Summer.

IMAGES FIAT BARCHETTA


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