Garage Italia Teams Up With Hertz To Offer Electrified And Modified Fiat 500 And 595 Abarth
The typical rental car is a mildly depressing but pragmatic piece of transportation made enjoyable only by the opportunity to drive it like, well, a rental car. There’s hardly a better version of a slow car driven fast than renting a compact, but Hertz Italia and Garage Italia have recently collaborated on two lines of souped-up Fiats that elevate the experience for enthusiasts who prefer to travel in something better than a soulless gray box.
On the classic side of the new offerings are these restomodded Fiat 500s (below), which imbue the original design with electric drivetrains developed by Newtron Group, and take on aesthetics that hark back to the post-war excellence of both Fiat and Carlo Abarth’s eponymous competition-focused company, Abarth. Dubbed the Fiat 500 “Carlo” Icon-e, the electrified classic features a 9kWh battery pack good for about 120km of driving, as well as a boost function—via the “Drive Me Crazy” button—and a refreshingly spartan interior complete with manual-crank windows. Charging stations for the “Carlo” are located and accessed via app, with a daily rental rate of €160 (~$186).
For drivers looking for something more modern, there are the modified Fiat 595 Abarths (below), which become the Abarth 595 Turismo K-Hertz thanks to the addition of a KERS system that make the pocket rocket a mild hybrid. The KERS system does not change the car’s power output of 163hp and 170lb-ft of torque, but it will bolster the Abarth’s braking and acceleration performance.
The liveries for both the modern and classic Hertz Fiats were designed by Garage Italia, and include the Turbina (named after the 1954 Fiat jet-car prototype), the Tuono (derived from the blue and white 1959 Abarth 750 GT Zagato), the Fulmine (inspired by the WRC-winning Fiat 131 Abarth rally car in its Olio Fiat livery), the Kappa (based on the iconic red and white Robe di Kappa livery worn by many Fiat-Abarth racing projects in the past), and finally, in a callback to the 1966 Shelby GT350 Hertz, the black and gold-striped “Rent-a-Racer.”
The “Carlo” and the K-Hertz are both grouped under Hertz’s Selezione Italia offerings—which include a slew of modern Maseratis and Alfa Romeos in addition to another Garage Italia-modified classic, the Fiat 500 Jolly “Spiaggina” Icon-e—and are available in Milan, Turin, Bologna, Venice, Florence, and Rome for the time being. Although both of these novelties are pricier than your average rental, they offer an extra degree of authenticity to Italian traveling that typically can’t be bought on a per-day basis.