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The all-new, all-electric Fiat 500, paves the way for a zero-emissions Abarth hot hatch
As part of FCA’s recent electrification push, Fiat has revealed the third-generation of its highly successful 500 supermini which will now only be available in pure-electric form. Mind you, this is not the first all-electric Fiat 500 from FCA, having briefly sold a low-production electric version of the 500 in California from 2013, but it is the first one that’s been designed from the ground up as an EV on a brand new platform, and is available in Europe.
Featuring a 42kWh battery, the new 500 offers a WLTP-certified range of 320km. There is a cost though, with 0-100kmph taking 9sec, and a top speed limited to 150kmph. Normal, Range and Sherpa modes allow drivers to mimic the performance of an ICE-equipped 500, activate one-pedal driving or conserve charge respectively.
Though just one electric powertrain has been revealed so far, FCA hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a hotter electric Abarth, based on this all-new 500. Luca Napolitano, Head of Fiat and Abarth, EMEA region, said: ‘The car [new Fiat 500] is an excellent foundation on which to start dreaming of an electric Abarth. If there ever will be an electric Abarth, it will surely have the performance that our die-hard fans expect.’
Though any details are still some time away, Napolitano also added that: ‘The Abarth take on the hot hatchback theme is characterised by agile and balanced proportions and an excellent power-to-weight ratio that makes the car fast and fun to drive.’
One of the most important factors for EV buyers is charging speed, and so Fiat has included fast 85kWh charging as standard - this allows drivers to charge from ‘empty’ to 80 per cent in only 35 minutes using the appropriate charger, or 48km in just five minutes.
Along with the new platform comes additional cabin space, thanks to a 6cm increase in width and length, and a 2cm increase in wheelbase - also contributing is the lack of a transmission tunnel or physical gear selector. Inside, Fiat has gone somewhat minimalist, removing buttons for less clutter, and opting for a simpler, more cohesive design. A 10.25” screen displays the new UConnect 5 infotainment system, allowing for the use of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wirelessly.
Set to be produced at Fiat’s Mirafiori plant in Turin, A total of 500 examples of the First Edition models of the soft-top 500 will be produced, available in either Mineral grey, Ocean Green, or triple layer Celestial Blue. Personalisation, more than ever, is also key to the new 500, so expect a vast variety of colours, interiors, wheel designs and bodywork options to be available on the full 500 range.
Now, since Fiat has shut shop in India, there are almost no chances of the 500 EV making it to our shores. However, with the rise of EVs and hybrid options in the SUV space (for instance with the MG Hector), there might be some chances of a trickle-down of tech with FCA’s only brand Jeep, in India in the future. Either way, we’re keeping our fingers crossed.