If any automaker knows how to properly build a tiny car, it's Fiat. The new Fiat Topolino is a perfect example. It's a wonderfully cute, picture-perfect city car done right.
Billed as a "sustainable urban mobility solution," the Topolino is an all-electric city car aimed at the youth of Europe. The doorless buggy promises a taste of la dolce vita, according to the brand, and harkens back to the brand's long history with affordable small-scale motoring. It gained its name from the original Fiat 500. Built from 1936 to 1955, it similarly wore the Topolino moniker—the Italian word for "little mouse."
We've only got one photo of the Topolino, and no word yet as to when it will actually hit the market. Regardless, what we can see, we like. It's finished in a beautiful pastel blue, with a contrasting black roof that has a roll-back flap for catching some sun. Inside we can see some striping on the dash along with what look to be leather straps, for what is probably a fun beachy vibe in the interior.
If the Topolino is ringing a bell for you, it's because it's based on the popular Citroen Ami. It's expected to share the same performance specs, with the primary changes being to the interior and exterior styling. Officially billed as a quadricycle in Europe, the Ami features an 8-horsepower electric motor that drives the front wheels. Paired with a 5.5 kWh battery, it's good for around 45 miles of range. It weighs 1047 pounds, with a top speed of 28 mph, and is legally drivable without a license by anyone aged 14 and up.
City cars, or quadricycles, like these, are a perfect fit for many European towns and cities. They're ideal for getting around tight streets with minimal parking spaces and making longer trips beyond local walkable neighborhoods. They also serve as a way to open up personal transport to younger teenagers at an age where full-sized cars aren't necessarily deemed appropriate. It doesn't always go well, but by and large, they're a great way for young people to get around.
It may look like an absolute peach but don't expect to see the Fiat Topolino in the U.S. The realities of American infrastructure simply don't support the use of a low-speed lightweight vehicle, more's the pity.
If you simply must try the Topolino for yourself, it might be worth planning a little European getaway next summer. It's hard to imagine a more fun-loving, romantic EV for cruising around a beautiful old city.
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