milan-based creative agency garage italia has announced a project that will see it electrify classic cars in a bid to safeguard them for the future. in doing so, the company wants to bring back iconic car spirit, making much-loved models contemporary, usable and fun.
images courtesy of garage italia
refocusing its efforts into what it is called the ‘e-icon’ project, garage italia has revealed its first refurbished model, a classic fiat 500. as well as replacing the vintage classic’s combustion engine with a contemporary electric drivetrain, garage italia has given the four-seater several other contemporary twists.
‘with the roof and the door sections removed, the torsional rigidity of the car is maintained by the insertion of a safety cell,’ garage italia explains. ‘with icon-e, the restomod phenomenon becomes eco-friendly too, through re-use and upcycling, both central to the project.’
fans of the fiat 500 will notice that its classic leatherette interior has been replaced with seats made from woven rope. developed based on material research conducted by baolab studio, this detail is intended to capture an ‘outdoor style’, made entirely by hand.
the car does maintain some original detail including front and rear lights, with the inclusion of LED lamps to the front for enhanced illumination. the tyres fitted are selected from the vintage line by michelin, garage italia’s partner on the e-icon project.
other updated details include: a five-inch dashboard display which shows a custom graphic interface, a metal fiat badge on the front that opens to reveal the charging port, and a gear lever with two symbols on the top indicating the car’s two gears: a tortoise and a hare.
with the e-icon project, garage italia hopes to secure iconic cars’ place in today’s market, by exciting younger generations who are increasingly concerned with the environmental impact of their lifestyle. the iconic jolly e-icon is only the first drop for this project, to be followed by other seasonal releases that garage italia says are currently in development.
garage italia was founded by lapo elkann, grandson of fiat founder giovanni agnelli. the creative studio, and venue space, describes itself as a ‘concept-to-product trendmaker’ which works at the crossroads of fashion, design and the automotive industries.
it recently collaborated with pininfarina to re-shape the body of the fiat 500 spiaggina, 60 years after its first debut. the beach-tailored design featured a waterproof cabin, deck-inspired flooring, and even a shower.
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