Milan-based coachbuilder Castagna is hardly the household name that rivals such as Bertone and Pininfarina have become. In 1913, when ‘aerodynamics’ was not yet a common talking point, Castagna was the first to come up with the new ‘minivan’ concept and the ‘teardrop bodyshape that offers little air resistance’. Innovation is one of the distinguishing features of their design philosophy, so much so that it often becomes an aesthetics premise.
Their previous works have included one-off vehicles such as the Ferrari 550 Rosselini, Maserati Auge, Ferrari 575 Aria, Bentley GT Shooting Brake as well as a number of coachbuilding projects which saw creations such as a Mini Tender, Mini SUV and Mini Woody Wagon back in 2004. Now the Italian Carozzeria has released details and a full set of high-resolution images of its newest creation, the all-electric Fiat 500 Tender Two that’s inspired from the nautical themed late 1950s / early 1960s Fiat 500 Ghia Jolly.
Castagna has created a special study based on the new Fiat 500 that is in spirit of the original Ghia-built Fiat 500 Jolly, a relatively expensive beach car conversion of the 500 in the late 50’s – early 60’s that was intended primarily for enjoyment and marketed towards the rich and famous as yacht tenders, golf carts and estate runabouts. The Tender Two follows the original Tender model the coachbuilder created back in 2005 based on the Mini Cooper.
Up to this day it is the first plein air version of the Fiat 500 and the first car with fully electric propulsion in this class to have a technical solution that can push up to 130 km/h (autolimited speed), a range of 120/140 km (depending on the type of use) and times of extremely rapid recharge.
To create the Tender Two, Castagna’s designers removed the doors, rear-seats, tailgate and rooftop of the production car while in order to maintain structural rigidity, they raised and reinforced the 500’s side sills. The most prominent featute of the Tender Two is of course its removable striped canvas roof-top complimented by the nautical themed teak wood that coves the cargo area and the top part of the side sills. Additionally, the Tender Two features new upholstery.
A special digital instrument placed on the dashboard above the central air vents give all the information (power output, instant consumption, retention of office gear…) and the absence of the classic terminal exhaust are the only clues to reveal the new mechanisation of this example, which in terms of performance on the road does not make us regret those which are equipped with the combustion engine, especially in departure from still. Like the all fuoriserie Castagna, every detail is done from the customer’s description and the car is then regularly approved.
The interior is completely covered in leather-type watercraft (able to resist abrasion of salt water and sand) with contrast stitching in which are inspired by the special blue tone fabric made from waterproof for the awning. The new line is enriched by finishing in solid teak, which is used in glossy and matte contrast, in dark wicker plus the ‘tientibene’ in polished steel and many special nautical derivations giving a typical ‘marine style’ to the whole. At the center of the rear cockpit, in teak striped in black, a room that can accommodate a drawer for towels by the sea was obtained. Complete the on-board equipment awning’s foldable steel structure, side guards in transparent material for rainy days as well as the necessary cover for the winter period and the charging cable with the different types of plugs to access any type of socket.
However the coolest thing about the Fiat 500 Tender Two is hidden underneath the hood. In cooperation with Swiss company MES-DEA, Carozzeria Castagna has replaced the production 500’s powertrain with a zero-emission electric unit.
The Italian firm claims that the 500 Tender Two has a top speed of about 130 km/h – 81 mph and a range of 140 km or 87 miles after a four hour charge of the batteries which should be more than enough to fool around in the harbours of Cannes, Monaco or Puerto Banus, or any Mediterranean island Paradise. Have fun! Lots of fun!
Come into the wonderful world of Castagna.