Shock level turned-up as Fiat reveals new EV-only Abarth 500eNovember 22, 2022
Having reimagined the 500 as the all-electric 500e two years ago, Fiat has now done the same with the performance Abarth model by introducing the newcomer as the Abarth 500e.
The first EV in the sub-division’s 73-year history, and the first since becoming part of Fiat in 1971, the Abarth 500e follows the same route as the outgoing internal combustion engine Abarth 595 by receiving a series of exterior and interior revisions, as well as more power, to difference itself from the 500e.
Abarth on the outside
A model that builds on the success of the 595/695 versions of the previous generation, the Abarth 500e’s visual changes are evident and consists of 18-inch alloy wheels, extended door sills as well as sportier bumpers, a new faux rear diffuser, honeycomb lower air intake, titanium grey mirror caps and revised dark titanium Abarth lettering.
The most dramatic adaption from the 595 though is the Abarth lettering spread across the sealed grille, Abarth decals at the base of the doors and a so-called electrified Scorpion logo down the rear wing.
Besides full-LED headlights and a prominent satin silver skidplate underneath the front bumper, the Abarth 500e’s completion touches comprises two new colours, Poison Blue and Acid Green, as well as a special launch model called the Scorpionissima that receives privacy glass plus diamond-cut titanium alloy wheels also of 18-inches.
Restrained Abarth inside
Noticeably lower to the ground than the 500e, the spruced-up interior receives Abarth sport seats trimmed in Alcantara with double Acid Green stitch work, Abarth scorpion embossed headrests, special graphics within the seven-inch digital instrument cluster, an Abarth steering wheel with Poison Blue 12 o’clock marking and an Alcantara dashboard.
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Standard specification include keyless entry and push-button start, a surround-view camera system, dual-zone climate control, rain sense wipers, Auto High Beam Assist, a wireless smartphone charger and the so-called Performance Pages integrated into the 10.25-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system.
Notable safety and driver assistance features is Traffic Sign Recognition, Blind Spot Warning, Autonomous Emergency Brake with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Alert and cruise control.
The most controversial aspect of the Abarth 500e though is a sound generator that emits an imitation petrol soundtrack made additionally more audible via the speakers of the upgraded JBL sound system.
A standard fixture on the Scorpionissima, the setup is said to emit a typical Abarth roar at speeds above 20 km/h, though it can be switched-off entirely when the 500e is stationary.
As already indicated, the centre of the system’s focus resides up front where the long-serving1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine departs in favour of a 42-kWh battery that powers a single electric motor on the front axle.
Switched to the default Turismo setting, outputs stand at 100kW/220Nm, which increases to 113kW/235Nm in Scorpion Street or Scorpion Track modes.
Despite the Abarth 500e’s weight not being disclosed, the uptake in power of 26 kW over the 500e that uses the same battery translates to a seven second 0-100 km/h sprint with the claimed range being unknown.
A total of 40 km is, however, attainable after five minutes plugged into a 85 kW fast charger with Fiat also reporting a performance gain of one second from 40 km/h to 60 km/h versus the Abarth 595 and a waiting time of 35 minutes from 0-80% when using a fast charger.
On-sale next year initially only in Europe with the 595 continuing in other markets like the internal combustion engine 500 for the time being, the Abarth 500e will be available as either a hard-top or soft-top C with pricing to be announced at a later stage.