As mentioned earlier, Monday I was at Duncan Imports shooting a bunch of videos, which also means I was surrounded by lots of great cars. One that really caught my eye was this absolutely charm-slathered yellow Fiat 600, a car I’ve always liked, as it’s the perfect spot if a Volkswagen Beetle is just too much car for you and yet a Fiat 500 is just not enough. One of the things I like best about the 600 is contemplating the beautiful mystery of its trunk. Rear-engine car front trunks, or, to use a vulgarism, frunks, are often tricky packaging challenges, and the 600 is one where you can see those challenges manifest right before your eyes.
The Fiat 600 is quite reminiscent of the most famous of rounded rear-engine cars, the VW Beetle. Their approaches to frunk design, though, are quite different. If we look at a cutaway Beetle, we can see that the floor of the trunk is formed by the fuel tank:
This isn’t a bad solution, and was similar to what was done on many rear-trunked cars back in the day, too. The 600 takes a very different approach, pushing the fuel tank to one side:
This is interesting; essentially, it buys depth in the trunk at the expense of width. Oh and ignore that battery cover on the floor of the trunk above there; it should be, you know, covering the battery-hole right behind the spare tire. So, does it make sense to provide more depth instead of width? Maybe? That’s not a bad volume of space they’ve carved out there? It’s tricky to see in a side cutaway, because we see the side of the fuel tank:
Also note that like a Beetle, the 600 has a little luggage well behind the rear seat, too. But, we’re talking frunks. Fiat actually re-considered the fuel-and-stuff-side-by-side approach later on, when they re-designed the fuel tank to look like this:
Okay, so here we retain the depth of the trunk, we gain width, at the expense of length. I think this is a pretty good solution, perhaps better than the side-by-side method, because it seems to take into account the general shape of one of the most likely things to be shoved in here, a suitcase or duffel bag or something like that.
Regadless, it’s something to contemplate throughout your day! Something important.