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FIAT cars is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Lingotto. The Lingotto is in the city of Turin and is FIAT’s former test track and a former factory. But now the company is saying that this iconic building in Turin, Italy, with a rooftop test track (!) will serve as a design inspiration for its next generation of cars. What does that mean?

The Lingotto used to be the largest auto plant in the world

The new cars from FIAT will be “Lingotto inspired,” the brand said. What does that mean? Well, for now it seems a bit nebulous in that FIAT says the goal is to “inspire change and make a sustainable future accessible to all.” For FIAT, less will be more.

In reality, that means less material and more space. The new interior design markers for future cars will be based on the company’s Lingotto building, which is the home of the brand in Torino, Italy. The building is so important to FIAT that it’s a design marker for future cars. The dashboard of one of the brand’s future cars, which has not been announced, will feature a design inspired by the Longotto’s test track in an oval shape, for example.

What is the Lingotto Building?

the rooftop test track on top of the Lingotto building in Torino, Italy.
FIAT built a test track on the roof of the Lingotto with banked corners | FIAT

The Lingotto building was opened 100 years ago. It was the base for FIAT’s production and design for years. However, in the 1980s FIAT repurposed the building into shops and offices. Today it’s now a museum called the Pinacoteca Agnelli that features the FIATCafe500, La Pista 500 with FIAT-inspired art installations, and more.

The centerpiece of the Lingotto is La Pista 500, the largest hanging garden in Europe. It has more than 40,000 plants, a hazelnut grove, and a meditation garden. According to Top Gear, the Lingotto was where the 1969 movie “The Italian Job” started.

How will cars be inspired by Lingotto?

FIAT says future cars will be inspired by signature aspects of the Lingotto. The most famous part of the building is its rooftop test track. The company will use design elements from the Lingotto. That means we will see representations of the oval test track and the building’s generous windows that span five floors in its cars.

In some images, Fiat is showing off oval consoles that flip and spin out of the dash. Also, the dash itself is an oval. The door handles look like the building if seen from the air.  It’s also showing that new cars will have the same light, airy, glass greenhouses, inspired by the giant glass bulb on top of the Lingotto, as well as the factory windows that bathed workers in sunlight all day.

International automotive group Stellantis owns FIAT, as well as Dodge, Jeep, Maserati, Peugeot and others. The name FIAT is in all capital letters because it was originally an acronym for Fabrica Italiana Automobili di Torino, or Italian Automobiles Factory of Turin. Today it sells several versions of the sub-compact 500 in the US  in two-door and four-door versions.


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