Although the interior of the 2014 FIAT 500L is both stylish and significantly larger than the cabin of the original 500, no one would confuse it with the Sistine Chapel—until November 20, anyway. Because that's when artist Nicola Verlato will begin work on his latest commission, which involves creating an homage to Michaelangelo's masterpiece on the ceiling of a 2014 Fiat 500L. The action will take place during the upcoming Los Angeles International Auto Show, although art lovers unable to make it to the Golden State can catch Verlato at work, and check out behind-the-scenes footage of the project, by visiting www.FiatUSA.com/en/social.
Now, even with its roomy interior proportions, the 2014 Fiat 500L did have to be specially prepared for the event. Most notably, the car's production headliner was covered by a unique, purpose-built fiberglass ceiling, while its seats were removed to enable Verlato to paint while laying on his back, "in the style reminiscent of Michaelengelo and other artists who worked during the Renaissance era," according to Fiat. As for the current project's artist, Verlota is an Italian-born, U.S.-based artist who learned his craft from a monk living nearby his home village in northeast Italy.
Of course, Verlota knows his way around the auto world, too: Among his recent exhibits were this summer's Kustom Kulture II Show, honoring California custom-car pioneers like Big Daddy Roth and Von Dutch.
Said Olivier Francois, head of the Fiat Brand Worldwide (and chief marketing officer of the Chrysler Group): “The Fiat Brand is about immersing oneself in Italian style, design and culture. We wanted to play with this concept by taking one of the most far-reaching pieces of Old World art and combining it with the iconic new design of the Fiat 500L."
Speaking of which, the 2014 Fiat 500L—with four doors and 42 percent more room than the FIAT 500 proper—is on sale now with a price tag that starts at $19,100.