VW ID.Life vs. Fiat Centoventi: electric cars for the people

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The small car based on MEB challenges the Turin city car

VW ID.Life vs. Fiat Centoventi: electric cars for the people-centoventi

At the 2021 International Motor Show in Munich, Volkswagen surprisingly presented the ID.Life, the study of a future small car of the ID family, which will be below the ID.3 in a few years should come on the market.

The look of the car differs significantly from ID.3 and ID.4 and also has its own peculiarities. When you look at it, you inevitably feel like you are at the Fiat Centoventi remembers, a concept that the Italian brand presented in Geneva in 2019, just like the ID. Life aims to make zero-emission mobility affordable for almost everyone.

Electric cars for everyone

Let's start with the philosophy behind both cars: Electric for everyone. It cannot be otherwise, if Volkswagen means "people's car" and the Fiat Centoventi is the battery-powered successor to the Panda, Italy's by far the best-selling car.

And in order to be attractive to the general public, both concentrate on the essentials: The cars do not appear poor, on the contrary, but were designed under the motto "less is more", with respect for the environment in all its forms, of course is particularly in the foreground. Let's look at them in detail, starting with the dimensions.

VW ID.Life vs. Fiat Centoventi: electric cars for the people-electric

Between SUV and city car

The ID. Life is 4.09 meters long (as much as a polo) and 1.6 meters high. As a small SUV, as they are in fashion today, it has a good ground clearance of 19 cm and an angle of approach and departure that are worthy of a good old SUV. The car is based on the MEB platform, which is also shared with the ID.3 and ID.4 (as well as the Skoda Enyaq, the Cupra Born and the Audi Q4 e-tron, to name just a few of the Group's other electric cars) and has been adjusted to reduce the overall dimensions.

The VW ID. Life has a completely new mechanical layout with an electric motor on the front axle, while MEB vehicles have always had rear-wheel or four-wheel drive.

The Fiat Centoventi, on the other hand, has the shape of a steep tail and is somewhat reminiscent of the first Panda from 1980. The Centoventi (Italian for 120) is 3.68 meters long and is based on the same platform as the Fiat 500 Elektro from 2020.

VW ID.Life vs. Fiat Centoventi: electric cars for the people-centoventi

The car is an anticipation of the second electric model from the Turin brand, which – mind you – will be based on a different platform in contrast to the Concept and maybe based on PSA's CMP, which could make it a few centimeters longer. As Olivier Francois made clear at the event at which Stellantis presented his plans for the future, it will definitely be a car for everyone. Francois also once said that the Elektro-500 attacks nobly from above, while the production version of the Centoventi should score points from below in a radically cost-optimized manner.

So let's talk about prices. The ID. Life will have a starting price of around 20,000 euros. The Fiat Centoventi is expected to cost a little less and be one step below the Fiat 500, which with a small 23.8 kWh battery has an entry-level price before premiums of 23,560 euros. The cheapest gasoline panda in Germany currently starts at 13,000 euros. An attack on the Dacia Spring is also conceivable, which starts after premiums from 10,920 euros.

VW ID.Life vs. Fiat Centoventi: electric cars for the people-fiat

Bye, color

Green doesn't just mean "battery operated". A truly sustainable car is one that also reduces its impact on the environment through innovative production solutions. The Volkswagen ID. Life and the Fiat Centoventi are very cleverly designed in this regard.

The body of the German concept, for example, is made of recycled wood chips, the roof is made of a panel made from plastic bottles, and the interior is also lined with recycled materials. Sure, that's the concept, we have to see what will actually be implemented in the production version.

The Fiat Centoventi pursues the same concept, which instead of the classic paintwork gives preference to colored plastics for the large bumper panels and thus also offers the possibility of personalizing the car as desired, as well as adhesive films for the body.

VW ID.Life vs. Fiat Centoventi: electric cars for the people-fiat

Aesthetically, the most original solutions of the two vehicles are the fabric hood of the ID.Life, which can be opened with a zipper, and the wing doors of the Centoventi, which also does not have a central column. These are impressive solutions, but again it is unlikely that they will be retained in the respective production models.

The same goes for certain elements in the interior, such as the VW's airplane steering wheel (the one on the Tesla Model S Plaid reminded) or the removable seats of the Fiat, which make it possible to attach a whole range of more or less imaginative optional equipment to the base plate.

Modular batteries

The platforms on which the two electric cars are based have already been mentioned. In addition, both will be equipped with modular batteries, so there is the possibility of choosing batteries of different sizes to meet different requirements.

The VW will most likely use the same batteries already seen in the ID.3, either 45 kWh or 58 kWh, but conceptually it offers a 57 kWh battery that promises 400 km of range, while the Centoventi goes for a Solution on the basis of individual modules that allow a more precise adjustment of the total capacity.

While the ID.Life will have an autonomy of 400 km, the Centoventi could vary between 150 km and 500 km, depending on how many modules are installed. So Fiat could keep the entry price low.

As for the engines, it is known that the ID.Life shown in Munich has 204 hp and accelerates from 0 to 100 in 6.9 seconds, while the Centoventi is also said to have a single engine at the front, but not more than It has 130 hp and should reach a top speed of 150 km / h. It remains to be seen whether the VW will actually be that strong. The ID.3 is also available with "only" 150 hp.

VW ID.Life vs. Fiat Centoventi: electric cars for the people-electric

Bidirectional charging

The Volkswagen ID. Life and the Fiat Centoventi both offer a battery that is able to interact with the electrical grid in a bidirectional way. They are not only able to receive energy for charging, but also to deliver it externally, so that they are compatible with both vehicle-to-network and vehicle-to-charge.

This means that both of them can both supply the house with electricity if necessary, perhaps using part of the electricity accumulated during the day thanks to renewable energy sources.

VW ID.Life vs. Fiat Centoventi: electric cars for the people-cars

When will both be on the market??

VW ID.Life and Fiat Centoventi perfectly embody the city car concept of the future. But how far is that future? Less than you might think. The German car is supposed to come onto the market under the name ID.2 in 2024. The Fiat Centoventi, on the other hand, could start in a further developed form by the end of 2022, at least according to the statements of the brand's top management, while FCA was dealing with the merger with PSA to form Stellantis.

Further electrical innovations from the IAA 2021: VW ID.Life vs. Fiat Centoventi: electric cars for the people-life Renault Megane E-Tech Electric (2022): France vs. ID.3

VW ID.Life vs. Fiat Centoventi: electric cars for the people-fiat Mercedes EQE: A scaled-down EQS, but without a large tailgate

And if you're not convinced by these two little electric cars, there is no guarantee that you won't find a zero-emission car in the same category that will better suit you. How about an example? The Renault 5, which will probably come at the end of 2022 / beginning of 2023. Or to stay closer to the concept of Centoventi and ID.Life, the new electric edition of the Renault 4, which, like the model produced from 1961 to 1992, will focus on essentiality and versatility.

Picture gallery: VW ID. Life concept

VW ID.Life vs. Fiat Centoventi: electric cars for the people-centoventi

VW ID.Life vs. Fiat Centoventi: electric cars for the people-fiat

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