Fiat paved the way for mass car ownership in Italy with the launch of the 600 in 1955. This compact four-seater two-door saloon featured a rear engine and rear-wheel drive. At the Brussels Motor Show in January 1956, the original “multipurpose” version designed by Dante Giacosa was introduced: the 600 Multipla.
The Multipla shared the mechanical components of the 600 sedan, with the engine mounted just behind the rear axle. However, the cabin was extended to include the entire front of the car. It is difficult to imagine without seeing it: instead of the front bonnet, which housed the fuel tank and spare wheel in the sedan, the Multipla featured a two-seater bench.
The front of the car was almost entirely vertical, resembling a minivan. The result was a car that appeared to be moving backward, with the rear more streamlined and aerodynamic than the front. Despite this unusual appearance, the Multipla could accommodate up to six people inside across three rows of seats.