17 March 2008

Fiat’s got wood

Italian coachbuilder whittles wood-trimmed 500 estate. Top Gear makes childish puns

Fiat WoodyWagon

Wood has been largely superseded in recent years as a car-building material by, well, stuff that doesn't catch fire. Or snap. Or splinter. Mostly, anyhow.

But that hasn't stopped Italian coachbuilder Castagna putting together the WoodyWagon (honest), a stretched Fiat 500 that might just give a few clues to the styling of the official estate Cinq, set to arrive later this year.

We can't imagine it'll get the WoodyWagon's old-school grain panelling, but beneath that B&Q-chic exterior lurks a stretched chassis with a bigger boot and more upright tailgate - all of which seems to fit rather nicely with the 500s cheery, curvy lines.

Castagna's engine modifications sound tasty, too. The 500's 1.4-litre 100bhp unit has been fitted with a supercharger, boosting power to 155mph and allowing the 500 to hit 60mph in under eight seconds. If you fancy an Abarth but suffer from an irrational phobia of scorpion decals, you know where to go.

Castagna has also created a wood-panelled Mini Clubman, named the Mini Woody Passion Kit. It sounds like a pocket-sized sex aid and looks even less appealing. Oh dear.

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