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Pint-Sized Fiat Mio Concept Designed By Team of 17,000

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On: Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 2:42PM | By: Chris Weiss

Pint-Sized Fiat Mio Concept Designed By Team of 17,000

The Sao Paulo Auto Show isn't as world-renowned as the Paris and LA shows that it's sandwiched between, so there aren't many huge debuts coming out of Brazil. But Fiat did use the show to introduce a tiny subcompact that's not only an interesting concept but also an interesting concept in the auto design process.

The Mio concept was created with help from a team of no less than 17,000. Fiat opened the design process up to online collaborators who worked through the company's website to design the concept. Those contributors offered up some 10,000 different ideas about the overall design, components and materials, and input came from countries around the world. The inspiration behind the design was to create a car that emphasized futuristic mobility and sustainability.

The process behind the car sounds a lot like the model that Local Motors used to develop its Rally Fighter, only with the focus on green and urban rather than powerful and off-road.

The Mio concept measures just 98 inches from bumper to bumper, well shorter than the Smart ForTwo. Not much is detailed about the powertrain of the Mio, but it was designed to be a self-driven car so that the "driver can be simply a passenger and can have the vehicle controlled through intelligent means." That's part of the whole futuristic angle.

Elements of the car include lounge-inspired interior with a sofa-like seat for two (good for relaxing when you don't have to keep your eyes on the road) and a fully glass windshield/roof. The wheels are covered over to increase efficiency, and between that and the tiny size, the Mio would certainly be efficient no matter what's driving the wheels. Inside technology includes touchscreen-based controls, head-up display and mobile phone integration, none of which sound all too futuristic.

Fiat has said in the past that the concept may serve as a preview to a future model.

I'm not sure that I really like this concept, but I love the idea of online collaboration toward development of such an auto.

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