New Fiat 500 launched with all-electric powertrain
As part of FCA’s recent electrification push, Fiat has revealed the third-generation of its highly successful 500 supermini which will only be available in pure-electric form. Available now for pre-order, the new 500 will initially be available in soft-top form, priced from £29,000 inclusive of the government plug-in sales grant, when it arrives in the UK.
This is not the first all-electric Fiat 500 from FCA, having briefly sold a the 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 been available in Europe. With a whole ecosystem of small premium rivals like the new Mini Electric and Honda e, the new 500 boasts an impressive set of stats that stand it in good stead against its rivals.
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Featuring a larger 42kWh battery, the new 500 offers a WLTP-certified range of 199 miles, exceeding the 124-mile figure of the Mini and 137-mile range of the Honda by quite some margin. There is a cost though, with 0-62mph taking 9sec, falling short of the Mini Electric’s 7.3, and a top speed limited to 93mph. Normal, Range and Sherpa modes allow drivers to mimic the performance of a combustion 500, activate one-pedal driving or conserve charge.
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Though just the 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% in only 35 minutes using the appropriate charger, or 30 miles in just 5.
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, First Edition models of the soft-top 500 will cost from £29,000, pricing for the standard hardtop is yet to be announced. A total of 500 examples of these models 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 to come.