Fiat Portofino concept re-creates 1960s beach cars

Fiat Portofino concept re-creates 1960s beach cars

Named for the sunny Italian town with its legendary beaches, the Portofino vehicle concept, based around the coachbuilt Fiat beach-cars of the 1960s, features an odd yet attractive marriage of form and function. Built from a Fiorino Combi van, the Portofino strives to offer utility with five-person seating and substantial cargo room.

The appearance of the Portofino is stylish, but firmly rooted in function, with the open-top and door-less configuration designed for maximum access and exposure on the beach. Water-proof seating ensures neither surf nor rain will mar the interior, while a split rear seat allows for easy removal to make way for bulky cargo. A nautical theme dominates the styling, with natural fibers treated to ensure durability. A laminated wood floor takes on the appearance of a boat's deck.

The roll-hoop is a reminder of the car's van-based design as well as a visual cue to the car's off-road nature. It also helps to stiffen the otherwise completely open vehicle. The front end of the car is almost completely stock, including the windscreen, as is the hinge arrangement of the rear doors. Thanks to the Fiorino Portofino's diminutive donor vehicle, the car is small and nimble, with a turning radius of just 33ft (10m).

The company plans to add a covered version for sun and rain protection, but at this point the car remains only a concept. The Fiorino Portofino will be on show at the Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf, Germany from August 29 to September 7.