Abarth has unveiled its first electric model – the 500e. Essentially a performance version of the Fiat 500 Electric, Abarth claims this new EV will be the most engaging, responsive and dynamic model it has ever created.
- Abarth 500e gets a 42kWh battery
- 500e first Abarth to offer connected car tech
Abarth 500e: performance
The Abarth 500e packs a 42kWh battery, same as its Fiat sibling, but will get marginally less range due to the higher state of tune of its electric motor, or a lack of any range-extending ‘Sherpa’ mode from the Fiat 500 Electric. However, it will match that car’s 85kW fast-charging speed, meaning it can be topped up from empty to 80 percent in 35 minutes.
The electric motor in the 500e, which the Italian marque claims is more responsive, produces 155hp and 235Nm of torque, an increase of 16hp and 15Nm over its Fiat counterpart. Abarth claims that the 500e can achieve a 0-100kph time of 7 seconds, which is 2 seconds faster than the Fiat 500 Electric, and only 0.3 seconds slower than the 183hp, ICE-powered Abarth 695.
With a wheelbase 24mm longer and track 60mm wider than the Fiat, coupled with a lower centre of gravity afforded by the under-floor battery, the 500e also promises improved handling over its petrol siblings, the 595 and 695, with a boost in turn-in response and higher corner exit speeds.
Another highlight will be its artificial petrol engine-aping soundtrack, Abarth claims. The firm says “sound has always been important” to the brand as a “distinctive” characteristic. The feature, which is equipped as standard, can be switched off for silent running.
Olivier Francois, CEO of both Fiat and Abarth, said: “The new Abarth 500e is one of the most exciting launches in the history of the brand: a great new addition to the Abarth line-up. I like to think of it as family, so our fanbase will be involved in every step of our electrification journey.”
Abarth 500e: exterior, interior and features
The 500e will be offered in hatchback and convertible body styles like the Abarth 695. As with other Abarth models, the 500e is marked out from its standard Fiat sibling by a performance-themed design overhaul. It gets a wider, squared front end, lower side skirts and a subtle rear lip.
Inside, the 500e is fairly similar to the Fiat, with the standard kit including a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, a rear parking camera and a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. Top-of-the-range models get Alcantara-clad sports seats and a JBL speaker system. The 500e also gets Abarth’s wearable key, automatic climate control and an electrochromic rearview mirror.
The 500e is also the first Abarth product to offer connected car technology with its Uconnect Services, which gives drivers real-time information and onboard security, and can be managed using Fiat’s mobile app.