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2002 Fioravanti Yak Concept

In 2002, at the Bologna Motor Show, Italian automotive design studio Fioravanti unveiled the Fioravanti Yak Concept—a prototype mini off-roader designed to showcase innovative safety concepts and push the boundaries of automotive design. Under the leadership of CEO Leonardo Fioravanti, whose illustrious career included working on iconic vehicles like the Ferrari Daytona and Ferrari 288 GTO, Fioravanti transitioned from an architectural practice to focusing on automotive design in 1991.

Named after the Tibetano Buffalo, the Yak Concept embodied a new direction for Fioravanti, incorporating a powerful V8 engine and all-wheel drive to cater to the emerging crossover segment. With its compact dimensions and rugged design cues, the Yak represented an alternative approach to traditional SUVs, blending elements of station wagons and minivans while boasting off-road capabilities.

At the heart of the Yak's design was a cross-ring element serving as a central roll-bar, enhancing safety for off-road excursions. Notably, Fioravanti introduced side window wipers integrated into the B-pillars, improving side visibility in various driving conditions. The Yak's exterior featured innovative lighting concepts utilizing extremely efficient LEDs controlled by software to adapt to different driving situations, while large air inlets and outlets ensured optimal performance in severe conditions.

The interior of the Yak was equally groundbreaking, featuring a dual-zone cabin layout that prioritized driver-focused ergonomics and passenger comfort. A transparent bubble housed two screens providing comprehensive driving information, vehicle status, navigation, and infotainment options, connecting occupants to the internet and television programs. The rearview mirror incorporated telepass and electronic registration functionalities, further integrating modern conveniences into the driving experience.

In terms of safety, Fioravanti's patented system facilitated semi-automatic seat belts and special armrests that improved comfort and safety in side impacts and turnovers. Each seat was equipped with its own speaker, and the rear zone boasted a spacious three-passenger bench seat with disappearing headrests for enhanced visibility.

The Yak's exterior design, with its wardrobe-style doors and transparent rear bubble, showcased Fioravanti's commitment to versatility and innovation. The trunk compartment featured gleaming wooden trim, catering to various cargo needs.