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100-Year-Old 'Lingotto' Factory Inspires Latest Fiat Design

It used to be the largest auto production plant in the world.

FIAT is celebrating a big milestone in a unique way.

The legacy Italian automaker made an announcement that it would be marking the 100th anniversary of the Lingotto – a production facility in Turin that first opened its doors on May 23rd, 1923. But the building has more going for it than just longevity.

At the time of its opening, it was the largest auto production plant in the world and its unique shape featured five floors surrounded by windows. According to Top Gear, each floor was for a different segment of the production process, with raw materials at the bottom, finished product at the top.

The Lingotto also featured a 1.5km test track and flat rooftop that was incidentally featured in the 1969 original film, The Italian Job.

Today the building serves as FIAT’s headquarters, but that’s not the only use the company has laid out for this iconic facility. Olivier Francois, FIAT CEO, has announced that the Lingotto will serve as a design marker for the newest models of FIAT vehicles.

We should begin to see some of these design elements incorporated into 2024 model year FIATs, and Francois detailed the inspiration behind this plan in a recent press release, saying Lingotto’s characteristics from “the incredible roof track, to the ramp – a revolution in the 1920s – (are) a manifesto of our traditional lightness: less material, more space.”

Francois adds that oval shape of “La Pista 500” – the former test track now used as a rooftop garden and art space – will inspire interior shapes, while the building’s heavily windowed façade “will also become a distinctive signature of the future models.”

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