Electric cars might be a contemporary phenomenon, but they’re far from a new idea. The logic follows then that old-school cars are ripe for being retrofitted with new-school guts.
The latest is the Fiat 500 Jolly, a compact Italian car first produced in 1957. Milan design studio Garage Italia refurbished the old-school model, replacing its combustion engine with an electric drivetrain.
The updated Fiat 500 keeps the same bug-like frame and retro details minus the roof and side doors. Garage Italia added a few classy touches like replacing the leather seats with handmade woven rope, giving the car the feel of sitting in a moving picnic basket. The designers also swapped the headlights for LEDs and added a graphical dashboard display and charging port under the Fiat decal.
Like the revamped Ford Bronco, Garage Italia’s Fiat 500 is less about mass-consumer practicality and more about designing a tricked out collectors edition with an eye towards sustainability. In other words, don’t plan to see many of these things on the road. The new Fiat is the first in Garage Italia’s Icon-e project, which will release a new environmentally friendly version of a classic cars seasonally.