The secret had been very well kept. During an event organized on Wednesday evening in Turin, on the roof of the Lingotto, the historic building of the brand, John Elkann, president of Stellantis, welcomed rockstar Bono on stage.
While it is not uncommon for a celebrity to lend his image to a car brand, the presence of U2 singer Bono went, this time far beyond mere public appearance.
Fiat 500 RED, more than a color
This is a detail that had not escaped some buyers, the new electric Fiat 500 was not available in red, a color widely acclaimed by buyers of the previous generation of the city car.
A deliberate choice according to Olivier François, CEO of Fiat Automobiles: “Red or orange are associated with combustion and fire. It was unthinkable for us, when the 500 went all-electric to offer these colors. But not a week went by without being asked for a red 500. That’s when we met the RED team. ”
The car that fights pandemics
The RED association, founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver, fights mainly for the eradication of AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and more recently Covid-19. The organization raises funds by partnering with major global brands. After the Vespa RED, the Iphone RED, the Beats RED helmets, the time had come to launch the first RED car.
“Suddenly, this red FIAT 500 story took on its full meaning,” explains Olivier François. “We could continue to go green, while offering a red car.”
Initially, the manufacturer undertakes to pay four million euros to the organization.
Le Lingotto, a legendary track that has become a garden
The choice of the location of the press conference announced the colors: the Lingotto, inaugurated in 1923 is the historic industrial building of Fiat.
On the roof of the factory, a track with two banked turns overlooked the city and in itself symbolized the power of the automobile in the country. Very largely vegetated, the “Lingotto” today becomes a giant garden.
“Today, it is in Lingotto that we are planting the seeds of our future. The track is still there, but it will be open to the public and will host electric car testing. More than a car track, the Pista 500 is also becoming the largest hanging garden in Europe, ”explains John Elkann.
Inaugurated by Ginevra Elkann, president of the Pinacothèque Agnelli, the track also hosts a “Casa 500”, a mini museum dedicated to the Fiat star.
Fiat believes in the future again
The inauguration of Casa 500 and La Pista 500 was above all an opportunity to try to find out more about the future of the brand. For John Elkann, “planting seeds here on the roof of our historic building is obviously symbolic. It also symbolizes Stellantis’ commitment to confidently lead the transformation of the automotive sector. ”
But it is Olivier François who reveals a little more to us.
A B-segment model in 2023
“Obviously, if the 500 is an iconic model, we cannot develop a brand sustainably without a new model. Imagine that today Fiat, the specialist in the B segment (city cars such as Clio, 208, Corsa) no longer has models of this size. This will be the first novelty, marketed by 2023. In a year, we will certainly be able to unveil this new model to you. The first of a long series. FIAT is back, and this time everyone seems to believe it. ”