Hertz is changing the face of car rentals in Italy with the new all-electric Fiat 500 Jolly Spiaggina Icon-e. The cars are being put together by Garage Italia, a custom car coach builder. Massimiliano Archiapatti, the General Manager of Hertz Italy, spoke of the partnership with Garage Italia. “We are very proud of this new initiative with Garage Italia, offering our customers a fun-to-drive, tailor-made electric Fiat 500 that sports true Italian flair.”
For Garage Italia, the project was more than just a business deal, it was an opportunity to keep historic cars in use. “We know that people still love historic cars,” said Carlo Borromeo, Director of the Garage Italia Style Centre, “but that some of those cars would be difficult to drive. So we wanted to make those vehicles that continue to excite entire generations usable, bringing Garage Italia’s signature quality, style, and philosophy.”
Garage Italia went straight to work on the 1958 Fiat 500 Jolly, removing the roof and doors. A core safety cell had to be inserted in order to maintain the car’s torsional rigidity. Garage Italia handcrafted external panels as well as front and rear bumpers. The driver’s and passenger’s seats, as well as the backseat bench, were swapped out for hand-made seats made of woven rope.
The windshield was redesigned for safety, and was reinforced along the perimeter. The front and rear lights are original, with the only update being the addition of LEDs in the front. Vintage Michelin tires were used to keep the look old school. The dashboard was updated to include a five-inch digital screen with a custom graphic interface.
Under the hood, the team installed an electric motor that was developed with the help of the Newtron Group. The new engine uses the original gearbox, and allows drivers to select from two-speed settings, with the top speed of 85 km/h. The car’s batteries can be recharged in four to eight hours, giving the car an approximate range of 120 km.
“We constantly seek new driving experiences for our customers,” states Archiapatti, “and with Garage Italia we can offer our guests something unique.”