The new all-electric Fiat 500e was set to debut this week at the Geneva Motor Show, which has been canceled due to the coronavirus. In the confusion, leaked images of the new, stylish, urban Cinquecento EV emerged on the web. The shots reveal the third-generation as bolder, cleaner, and less retro than its predecessor. The photos of the fully retractable roof are especially inviting.
The last of the first-gen Fiat 500e electric minicars left US dealerships in 2019. But it’s coming back sitting on a new, bespoke EV platform. Fiat will make 80,000 units a year of the 500e, starting in the second quarter of 2020. Details about sales in the US, probably in 2021, are not yet known.
Fiat chief Olivier Francois recently admitted that CO2 regulations partly motivated the new 500e. He told Autocar that the new Fiat 500e would sell for around €32,000 ($35,500), a hefty price for a small EV with short range. Francois suggested that upscale appointments and features would be needed to warrant that price.
Few technical details are available. Media reports speculate a driving range of about 125 miles. That’s well below the norm of EVs in the US but is consistent with the new breed of small Euro electrics designed for urban use, like the Honda e and Renault Twingo.
Previous spy shots on the web showed the 500e with a re-worked dashboard, including a larger infotainment screen. Now we have a clearer view based on leaked shots from Autopareri and other sources.
The Fiat 500’s previous dashboard screen was tiny. The old, big clunky (but kinda cool) round gear selector is replaced with a refined row of buttons. The overall feel is more grown-up. It’s still playful with a pattern of the word “Fiat” stitched into the seats.
The front end feels beefier with a bowed hood. The previous tiny Fiat logo is replaced with large “500,” which apparently will get a slash through the last zero to turn it into an e for electric. Larger rear-view mirrors are mounted further back and a higher point at the beltline.
The 500e signals the beginning of new FCA EV efforts. In 2019, Fiat said it would invest nearly $800 million on the new 500e, including a new production line in Mirafiori, Italy.
FCA was also expected to show an all-electric version of the Maserati Alfieri in Geneva. Images of the Alfieri EV have not yet shown up.
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