This issue tells the story of the joint Fiat-PSA Group project for the creation of four different MPV models, from its origins in 1994 when it was announced as the U60 Project. The models in question, the Fiat Ulysse, the Peugeot 806, the Citro¨n Evasion and the Lancia Zeta have all been market successes over the years. However, in the rapidly evolving MPV segment, greater differentiation between the four models was clearly demanded.
Having realised that, the Italo-French joint venture launched Phase 2 of their operation investing 650 million euros in the development of a new generation. The project brief demanded an extra 27 cm in length of which 13 cm was to be added to the front overhang and 14 cm to the tail end. Some of that extra length would contribute to a roomier interior.
Both Turin and Carrières-sous-Poissy were involved in the design processes. This created a dialogue between the two style centres that culminated in the difference in styling to be observed between the two French and the two Italian models. Those differences are essentially formal since mechanical constraints and the use of a shared floorpan left no room for radical modifications.
The first noticeable difference concerns the A pillar on which the upper section is identical but the insertion of the pillar into the wing takes two forms: one Peugeot/ Citroën, one Fiat/Lancia.
Furthermore, each brand’s identity is proclaimed by an individual radiator grille and front lighting cluster design.
Inside, brand differentiation is largely a matter of colour and trim. And while the instrument dials on all four are in pale green, the actual shapes are slightly different on each model.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 134