GENEVA – Fiat Auto SpA’s quirky Multipla has gone conventional.
The facelifted model, launched at the Geneva show, goes on sale in Europe in June and gets a totally new front fascia.
Out goes the weird light arrangement that set the eight individual lights at three different levels on the previous model. Also gone: the deep beltline below the windshield and the near-flat liftgate.
Instead, the Multipla gets Fiat’s latest corporate grille, large one-piece lights and a sloping liftgate. The rear fascia features new taillights and bumper.
|Fiat redesigns its controversial Multipla to be more conventional.|
The greenhouse, clever 6-seater interior and mechanicals are unchanged from its predecessor, including a 103 hp 1.6L gasoline engine and 115 hp 1.9L JTD.
The styling changes mean the Multipla no longer meets the original target of building a 6-seat multipurpose vehicle with an overall length of less than 13-ft. (4m) The new version extends to 13.4-ft. (4.09m).
Fiat blames the Multipla’s controversial styling for the model’s modest sales success and believes the more conformist appearance could give sales a much-needed lift.
Last year, Fiat produced just 21,742 Multiplas, compared with 31,128 in 2002. Renault SA sold almost 300,000 Scenics in 2003, while Adam Opel AG built 216,564 Zafiras.