Derived from the basic model, the '5terre' prototype stands higher and has distinctive two-tone bodywork, combining 'sunny' Rainbow Gold (three coats of paint with warm iridescent tones) and the Moss colour of the side rubbing strips (a colour with a granular effect that recalls the Mediterranean scrub). The side strips underscore the lines sculpted into the sides, urging dynamically forwards. The front itself has a trapezoid shape, where the two lateral 'claws' highlight the tapered wings, embracing the bumpers and the lower air intake with a strong three-dimensional effect.
The drop-shaped, oblique headlights fit modular hi-tech optics, mounted without frames in a kind of eyelid with a winged profile, which act as the direction indicators. And finally the grille, which merges dialectically with the other styling features to produce the ridge at the centre of the bonnet. The Fiat Idea '5terre' has generous glazed surfaces which enhance the luminosity and visibility in the interior, lightening the car's compact, sturdy shape, an effect underlined by the upper pane that extends the windscreen dynamically onto the roof. The sensation of solidity is repeated in the protective metallic mouldings in the lower part of the front and rear bumpers. This is a distinctive styling feature which is designed to protect the sophisticated 4x4 engineering of the car. The tail end has a simple, rounded shape, from which the cylindrical light cluster modules emerge.
From the exterior to the interior. The passenger compartment is furnished with the same warm welcoming colours as the bodywork, using natural materials like the woven coconut matting that covers the floor and the rear luggage compartment. The upper lid of the facia is treated with a moss effect that is soft and porous to the touch, while all the controls have a 'metallic' finish similar to molten steel. The Moss colour returns in the door panel inserts, upholstered in soft, marble-effect 'Maktub' which also covers the seats. It is an Alcantara ultra-microfibre specially developed for the car by Trend Design Alcantara. The effect is completed by the napped Dove Grey leather inserts of the head-restraints and lateral containment of the seats.Published 28 February 2004