Many electric vehicles are designed to look as futuristic as possible. But if you want to enjoy zero-emission driving without sacrificing the beauty of classic vehicles, here’s a car you might like. Californian tuning company Icon has taken an original 1966 Fiat 500 Giardiniera (think of it as a 500 estate), and given it a whole new powertrain.
With expertise from Stealth EV, Icon has given this cute wagon approximately 100hp – about four times the original output, and plenty for it to feel quick in city streets. That power provides a range of 120 miles, which is perfect for urban areas too. The electric transplant has added extra weight, so Icon has completely uprated the suspension to cope. The brakes were only mildly improved from the original drums, but the owner won’t need to use them very often – EVs often have regenerative braking technology, which scoops up some of the lost energy in braking and can provide extra brake force.
The interior has been given a thorough overhaul to make it look as original as possible. Faded seats were rejuvenated with new material and the original white piping, all the seals have been replaced and all the squeaks and rattles were found and rectified. That’s quite an achievement on an old Fiat. A retro-looking power gauge dial has been added to show the owner how much charge is left in the batteries, while the new gear selector is sympathetic to the classic style of the 500 Giardiniera. It might look compact, but it’s actually surprisingly spacious and well-packaged.
Watch the video below to see Icon founder Jonathan Ward take you through his team’s latest creation. It was built for a client who owns and loves the car, but wanted it to be reliable and feel like new.
We think this combination of classic style and state-of-the-art underpinnings is a good one, and may be replicated a few times in the next few years. Do you agree? Tell us on our Facebook or Twitter pages.
To celebrate 60 years since the first Fiat 500 Jolly, or Spiaggina, both Fiat and Pininfarina have created special edition cars. Soon you'll be able to buy one of these!
There's plenty of new tech, chic styling touches and state-of-the-art engines in the new Fiat 500X - read all about it here!
Check behind the back of the sofa - this classic transporter is coming up for auction. It's carried Ferraris, Maseratis and Ford GT40s, and is expected to reach a high price...