• ETC
  • Mar 21, 2014
Small cars are becoming big business, especially for European automakers that are amping up the style. But is each new Euro city car's style unique?

Lapo Elkann is Fiat 500 Guccicalling that into question. The brother of Fiat chairman John Elkann and the grandson of his late predecessor Gianni Agnelli is known as much as a style icon as he is for his work within the Fiat Group, which he has served in various capacities. He's combined the two by birthing various special editions of the Fiat 500 like the Gucci edition (to say nothing of his own denim-clad Ferraris), but now his eye is fixed on another European city car: the new Renault Twingo.

Posting photos of both vehicles on his Facebook page, Lapo is calling Renault out for what he sees as copying the Cinquecento's design.



For our part, we'd really have to squint to see the resemblance, but we can't help but see the irony. For one thing, you might say that it was Fiat who "copied" Mini by bringing a retro revival hatchback to the market in the first place. Setting style aside for substance, though, Renault may have "copied" the original Cinquecento's rear-engine/rear-drive layout with the new Twingo, but when Fiat itself revived the 500, it went for a more conventional front-engine/front-drive layout (just like Volkswagen did with the Beetle). So what do you think, is Renault guilty of copying Fiat?



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 43 Comments
      KaBoomBOX
      • 9 Months Ago
      One is a front engined/front wheel drive 2 door hatch, and the other is rear engined/rear wheel drive 5 door, but hey, they're both white with 4 wheels so exactly alike.
      visconti24
      • 9 Months Ago
      I wouldn't take Lapo's statements as gospel or even gospel according to Fiat. Aslo, Lapo has an office at Fiat. To say that he works there or has ever worked there would be a stretch. So, if he thinks the Twingo is a copy of the Cinquecento, that is just another opinion.
      johnnythemoney
      • 9 Months Ago
      The second option should read: "maybe in style, but not in substance", as the Twingo is a rear engined rear wheel drive car, exactly the opposite compared to the Fiat 500. Unless you're referring to the original Fiat 500.
      MacProMan
      • 9 Months Ago
      http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-01-22/marketplace/sns-rt-us-autos-safety-minicars-20140121_1_iihs-small-overlap-crash-fiat-500
      Shiftright
      • 9 Months Ago
      Fiat who "copied" Mini ? Ahem, before Mini went retro chic in 2001 there was the New Beetle in '98, so you could say Mini/BMW copied VW
      karlInSanDiego
      • 9 Months Ago
      That's too funny: http://www.autoblog.com/photos/lapo-elkanns-baby-blue-ferrari-599-gtb-fiorano/full/#photo-342745/ Seriously. I wonder if the upholsterer was crying or laughing the opportunity to do something different?
      Travis C. Vasconcelo
      • 9 Months Ago
      WIll this little French oddity become a new Nissan Micra, too?
      c!to
      • 9 Months Ago
      I personally think the Renault looks better than the 500
      Gabbo
      • 9 Months Ago
      You guys are nuts - it is a clone of the 500 exterior.
      sp33dklz
      • 9 Months Ago
      File this under... they're both ugly, who gives a damn.
      tegdesign
      • 9 Months Ago
      Then Mini called Fiat on a very bad Countryman copy with their 500l.
        gtv4rudy
        • 9 Months Ago
        @tegdesign
        ...except the countryman is the ugliest P.o.s.
      TurboZ
      • 9 Months Ago
      The twingo actually looks better in every way. Mid engine goodness too. And im sure the renault wont be over priced like the 500.
        Shiftright
        • 9 Months Ago
        @TurboZ
        How is the 500 overpriced when you can the base Pop comes very well equipped for $16k? The 500 is not a cheap economy car, it's a premium small car.
        Lachmund
        • 9 Months Ago
        @TurboZ
        mid engine? did i miss something?
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