The Phylla (Latin for leaf) is an innovative, compact electric car conceived for the city and boasting lots of interesting aesthetic touches. The car is the product of a commitment undertaken by the Piedmont Region to promote a realistically attainable form of ecological transport, with the collaboration of the Fiat Research Centre (CRF), Turin Polytechnic and a number of businesses from the Turin area. This rolling prototype is the first step in a journey which could lead to the production of a small fleet for use by the municipality and public services.

“This”, explains Nevio di Giusto, managing director of CRF, “is an ambitious project which, beginning with the involvement of the Piedmont Region, looks toward the future with a corporate mindset, bringing together different companies from the area and the Turin academic world to work as a single unit. Phylla is an authentic research laboratory on wheels exploring a number of issues, chief among which energy management. The whole project is intrinsically linked to Fiat’s ecological activities: today, the brand boasts the best performing range in terms of emissions, and the CRF continues to work toward even more ambitious objectives.”

“When we were contacted by the Piedmont Region”, says Pietro Camardella, director of Advanced Design at CRF, “we were given two parameters: the vehicle had to use alternative energy and had to be conceived for the city.”

At the very earliest stage in the project, Beestudio from Turin was brought in to do the design planning. This consisted of an extensive study to identify the characteristics to be incorporated in the definition of the style. Subsequently, the designers Paolo Tadini, Raffaele Vergano and Paola Peres from the CRF were joined by the students of the IED and the IAAD, the two institutes of transportation design in Turin. Their objective was to merge multiple proposals into a single direction.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 174

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