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Melbourne show: Nothing flaky about Filo

Thought provoking: Bertone's Filo is designed to get us thinking about the cars we will soon be driving.

Bertone's future-tech concept car heads for Melbourne

4 Feb 2003

FAMOUS Italian design house Bertone's future-tech Filo concept car will be one of the stars of this year's Melbourne motor show, which kicks off Friday, February 28.

The four-seater is being presented by the show organisers in conjunction with the Department of Innovation Industry and Regional Development to help show-goers grasp future car technologies.

Bertone created Filo in conjunction other automotive supplier companies. It started with a clean sheet to design a car that needed no steering wheel, no pedals and an interior environment without constraints for driver or passengers.

The car was first presented at the Geneva show in 2001.

The Filo achieves its minimalist functionality by replacing the normal controls with electronically-operated steering, brakes, accelerator and transmission.

There is no steering column and no floor pedals - the floor is flat and uncluttered. In the dash a large central "eyelid" panel opens to reveal all the required information. Braking and acceleration are controlled by twist grips on the control pod.

The air-conditioning is diffused throughout the entire vehicle - no more directional vents. The rear seat - which looks more like an expensive sofa than a car seat - is positioned slightly higher than the front seats. There is no centre pillar and the floor is completely flat so getting in and out is easier.

The interior is a combination of soft surfaces and colours designed to be soothing. The lighting is hidden and suffused, the audio and navigation systems discreetly in the background - with an ambience evoking a luxurious lounge room.

The Filo will appear as part of Australian Automotive Week, a joint initiative of the Department of Innovation Industry and Regional Development and the automotive industry in Victoria to highlight the importance of the automotive sector in Victoria.

Filo is just part of what is shaping up as an extensive array of new models at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, with the organiser estimating there will be at least 38 reveals from 23 manufacturers and importers.

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