As vehicles are increasingly defined by their digital features, tech companies are seeking out ever-closer partnerships with carmakers. A new collaboration between Google and Fiat, though, is the most extreme we’ve seen yet.
Three new special edition Fiat 500s — the Fiat 500, 500X crossover, and 500L MPV — have been branded with Google livery that extends from using the tech giant’s corporate colors in the cars’ seat upholstery to placing “Hey Google” badges above their front wheel arches. Having this sort of branding inside a car is not unusual, but this is the first time we’ve seen a tech company’s logo appear on a vehicle’s exterior.
A press release from the Italian automaker (translated by Google, of course) boasts that the vehicles demonstrate “where Google technology meets coolness” and offer “the perfect mix of iconic design, freshness and coolness” (yes, they keep on italicizing coolness for some reason).
All three vehicles come with 7-inch touchscreens with Google Assistant built in, naturally, but offer some unique features thanks to integration with Fiat’s Mopar Connect service.
These will let users monitor and control certain aspects of their car remotely through Google’s digital assistant on their phone or Google Nest Hub. They can check on the car’s fuel level, see if it’s locked, switch on its emergency lights, or even find the closest Fiat service station. Alerts can also be sent to the owner if the car exceeds a certain speed or leaves a certain geographic area. (Though not all these features will be available globally.)
The real flair in this partnership, though, comes from the design changes to the Fiat. We’ve already noted the Google upholstery and exterior badges, but even the car’s B-pillars match the company’s colors and tags on the seats are branded with the Hey Google logo. According to Motoring Research, the cars also come with a Google goodie bag, which includes a Google Hub, branded tote bag, and matching key cover.
The new Fiat 500s will be available in 10 European nations, including the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland. According to AutoExpress, prices in the UK start at £16,005 ($22,046) for the hatchback and £18,655 ($25,695) for the cabriolet.