Fiat Idea

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Fiat Idea
Fiat Idea.jpg
Also calledLancia Musa
Production2003–2012 (Italy)
2005–2016 (Brazil)
AssemblyTurin, Italy (Mirafiori)
Betim, Brazil (Fiat Automóveis)
DesignerFabrizio Giugiaro at Italdesign[1]
Body and chassis
ClassMini MPV (M)
Body style5-door MPV
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
PlatformB platform (Project 188)
RelatedFiat Punto (188)
Lancia Musa
EnginePetrol engines:
1.2 L FIRE I4
1.4 L FIRE I4
1.6 L E.torQ I4 (Brazil only)
1.8 L X18XE I4 (Brazil only)
1.8 L E.torQ I4 (Brazil only)
Diesel engines:
1.3 L Multijet I4
1.6 L Multijet I4
1.9 L Multijet I4
Transmission5-speed manual
6-speed manual
5-speed Dualogic
Wheelbase2,510 mm (98.8 in)
Length3,930 mm (154.7 in)
Width1,700 mm (66.9 in)
Height1,660 mm (65.4 in)
Curb weight1,275 kg (2,811 lb)
PredecessorFiat Palio Weekend (Europe)
SuccessorFiat 500L

The Fiat Idea is a five-door, five passenger, front-engine, front-wheel drive, high-roof mini MPV (compact minivan) manufactured and marketed by Fiat (FCA) for model years 2003-2012 — over a single generation with one intermediate facelift.

Internally designated the Type 350, the Idea was FCA's first entry in the compact MPV market,[2] sharing its platform with the second-generation Fiat Punto (Project 188); exterior design by Fabrizio Giugiaro at Italdesign and interior design by Fiat's Centro Stilo. The monovolume design is noted for its centrally located instrument cluster, and high H-point, reconfigurable seating — with reclining, sliding and folding rear seating.

The Idea debuted at the 2003 Geneva International Motor Show, followed a year later by an upscale rebadged variant, the Lancia Musa. Both were manufactured at Fiat's Mirafiori plant and were superseded by the Fiat 500L. Production continued through MY 2016 in Brazil, including the Adventure model, a front-drive variant with increased ground clearance and styling elements resembling an off-road vehicle.

The Idea nameplate is an acronym for Intelligent Design Emotive Architecture.[3][4]



The Idea was conceived as a compact, monovolume MPV — i.e., to integrate the handling and compact size of a B-segment car under four metres in length with the increased height, flexible seating, cargo configurability and versatility of an MPV.

The Idea's rear seats combine 40:20:40 split/folding and 60-degree-reclining backrests with a 60:40 split, folding and sliding seat base — the rear seats slide forward or rearward to prioritize cargo or passenger space, recline for comfort lounging, as well as fold and tumble for maximum cargo. The front passenger seat folds flat to receive tall items and 25 storage compartments are distributed throughout the cabin.[5] The Idea's seating was designed using biometric principles developed by Antonio Dal Monte at the Italian National Olympic Committee's sport medicine institute.[2]

Standard features included six airbags, isofix attachments, automatic door locks, fire prevention system (fuel pump inertia cut off switch and in-tank fuel cut off; plastic fuel tank resistant to mechanical stress and fire; maxifuse-equipped electrical power leads to cut off power supply at high temperature; protectively located starter motor and alternator connections with abrasion‐proof coatings; and fire resistant interior trim), ABS braking with brake force distribution, an anti-slip regulation system to limit wheel slip in cases of reduced grip, traction control, electronic stability control, hill-holder, electric speed-sensitive power steering system, 0-20-40 split rear seating, and a headlight delay system marketed as Follow Me Home.[2]

Optional features included a panoramic sunroof, parking sensors and dual-zone climate control.[2]


The Fiat Idea engines are all Euro 4 compliant. The petrol engine is the 1.4-litre 16 valve 95 PS (70 kW; 94 hp), available with five- and six-speed gearboxes, and the diesel 1.3-litre 16 valve MultiJet units, with 70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp) or 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp). All of these engines can be matched with a clutchless 5-speed sequential manual shift with a selectable, fully automatic mode — as robotised manual gearbox marketed as Dualogic.

Model Engine Displacement Power Torque
1.2 Fire 16V I4 1242 cc 80 PS (59 kW; 79 hp) at 5,000 rpm 114 N⋅m (84 lb⋅ft) at 4,000 rpm
1.4 8V I4 1368 cc 77 PS (57 kW; 76 hp) at 6,000 rpm 115 N⋅m (85 lb⋅ft) at 3,000 rpm
1.4 FIRE 16V I4 1368 cc 95 PS (70 kW; 94 hp) at 5,800 rpm 128 N⋅m (94 lb⋅ft) at 4,500 rpm
1.3 16V Multijet I4 1248 cc 70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp) at 4,000 rpm 180 N⋅m (130 lb⋅ft) at 1,750 rpm
1.3 16V Multijet I4 1248 cc 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) at 4,000 rpm 200 N⋅m (150 lb⋅ft) at 1,750 rpm
1.6 16V Multijet I4 1598 cc 120 PS (88 kW; 120 hp) at 4,000 rpm 300 N⋅m (220 lb⋅ft) at 1,500 rpm
1.9 8V Multijet I4 1910 cc 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) at 4,000 rpm 260 N⋅m (190 lb⋅ft) at 1,750 rpm


The Brazilian version of the Idea was launched in late 2005. The engines available are the new 1.4-litre 8-valve 86 hp (64 kW) Fire engine (the same as in the Grande Punto) and the latest version of the GM-sourced Powertrain 1.8-litre 8-valve 114 hp (85 kW) engine.[6] Both have flexible fuel technology, which lets the driver use either gasoline or ethanol.

This version has increased height compared to the European version.[7] The dashboard derives from the Fiat Palio Mk. III, and adapted to the Fiat Idea. Options include a panoramic glass roof as an option, marketed as the SkyDome.

The Idea is exported in two different trim levels (the ELX with the 1.4-litre engine and the HLX with the 1.8 engine) and it has four airbags, anti-lock braking system with EBD; parking, rain and lights sensor, security laminated glass, the SkyDome, 15" alloys, Bluetooth phone system, and leather seats among other features.

Over 170,000 Ideas have been marketed in Brazil since its launch (2005). In 2010 the Idea received another facelift with new front, rear and door handles.

Idea Adventure[edit]

The Idea Adventure is a mini crossover version launched in September 2006 in São Paulo, Brazil. Chiefly featuring cosmetic revisions to the Idea, the Adventure has a revised suspension, tires are Pirelli Scorpion 205/70 R15, a body moldings, 15" alloys, interior mods like the white instruments, and standard safety equipment which features double front and side airbags, ABS brakes with EBD. In 2009 the whole Adventure line (Idea, Doblò, Strada and Palio Weekend) was equipped with a locking differential. The line was rebadged as Adventure Locker.


  1. ^ "lexible, utilitarian little MPV faces tough competition". Graphic News. 1 April 2004.
  2. ^ a b c d "Fiat Idea Press Release". Fiat. 19 February 2004.
  3. ^ Michael McAleer (17 March 2004). "FIAT Idea". Irish Times.
  4. ^ "FIAT Idea". Fiat. 17 February 2004.
  5. ^ Stephen Bayley (29 May 2004). "Car culture: A great Idea". Telegraph.
  6. ^ "Fiat Idea". Fiat Cars. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  7. ^ "1991 BMW 850i Automatic". Retrieved 22 June 2011.

External links[edit]

Media related to Fiat Idea at Wikimedia Commons