A Small Chriat Wishlist

chriat

On the heels of such exciting news as we revealed to you a couple days ago, there is, of course, always a “but.”

It’s not a very big one, though. It’s a rather small, cute one, in fact. If what Automotive News and AutoWeek are saying is true, and the new Chriat lineup does look like what they’ve told us in North America, I’ll be quite happy. Still, if we acknowledge that perfection doesn’t actually exist, and instead is just a concept that we must continually strive for, what we’re left with is this: there is always room for improvement.

So in what particular way do I hope that Fiat will sweeten the pot? Follow the jump to find out.

isetta-reborn

Back in July, AutoExpress wrote a VERY interesting article about rumours that BMW and Fiat were going to link hands and form a partnership to crank out a revival of some names you might remember from the past on a shared new sleeker microcar platform. With the runaway success of the MINI and the Nuova 500, and the staggering numbers that the smarts are showing worldwide, it’s the next logical conclusion, right?

And so, talk of reviving the 500’s prewar name as its own brand new microcar, the Topolino, came to the table. As did talk of reviving the BMW Isetta, of which you can see a concept drawing above. Further speculation at the time held that this new jointly-developed platform would also have implications for the next-gen versions of both the MINI and Alfa Romeo’s MiTo. As one does, when one is a car manufacturer. All in a day’s work. Or 365’s, whichever.

So here’s what I’d like to see: if these cars do, in fact, make it out of the rumours stage and into actual production, I want to see these cars available for sale in Canada. And yes, for our neighbours to the south, too. Even with the prospect of electric versions being quite far off and the iffiness of their selling the diesel-engined versions here (as with everything else for which there are approximately a zillion engine variants in Europe that we don’t get and only hear of via carrier pigeon), if the gasoline-powered ones do get their fabled 100 + MPG, will anyone really be complaining?

Well, perhaps they will if the resulting vehicles cost more than they should, but that’s another matter entirely. Provided they’re made available at a reasonable price point, I don’t see any reason why they can’t help to build a new car culture to drive us forward into the future.

No one’s spending any money now because they haven’t got any money to spend, and so more people are losing their jobs, and on and on it goes. Even with gas prices falling back down into a more reasonable range, money’s still tight all over the world. With cars like these encouraging people to invest just a little bit into their futures, and with sweet-talk like the promise of 100+ MPG fuel ratios and incredibly low CO2 emissions (which could soon prove to be very necessary in California, 13 other US states, and possibly Canada if environmentalists have their way), I can almost talk myself into not being able to see how BMW and Fiat can say no.

And, of course, with Fiat and Chrysler’s new partnership, why can’t they, then, take the next logical step and make them available all over the North American continent? It isn’t such a large thing, really. I’m not asking for special treatment. I’m just hoping that we’ll be included in the microcar party, if and when they decide to throw it. I’ll even bring the champagne and bake a cake. Promise.

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