- The performance version of the Fiat 500e has been revealed, with the Abarth model going electric for the first time.
- 153 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque are fed to the front wheels, sending the little hatch to 62 mph in 7.0 seconds.
- The Abarth 500e also comes with a sound generator that produces fake engine sounds, but the electric hatchback probably won’t be sold in the United States.
At the Los Angeles Auto Show earlier this month, Fiat announced that it will finally bring the electric 500e, which has been on sale in Europe since 2020, to the United States for 2024. In fact, Fiat CEO Olivier François said Car and Driver that the automaker’s US lineup will consist only of the 500e, with the 500X SUV not receiving a new generation. Now, parent company Stellantis has revealed a new Abarth 500e, bringing zippy performance to the small city car, though it’s unclear if the Abarth version will ever reach American shores.
A single electric motor powers the front wheels of the Abarth 500e, producing 153 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. That’s a decent increase over the standard 500e, which puts out 117 horsepower and, in the US-spec car, 162 pound-feet of torque. Abarth claims the hot hatch can reach 62 mph in 7.0 seconds, and Abarth says the electric car was 1.0 second faster around the Misto Alfa test track at Balocco than the gas-powered Abarth 695 based on the previous 500. The Abarth uses the same lithium-ion battery than the standard 500e, which has a usable capacity of 37.3 kWh, and although no range figure has been quoted, the Abarth probably won’t be able to travel as far as its less powerful counterpart.
The Abarth 500e has three driving modes—Turismo, Scorpion Street and Scorpion Track. Turismo smooths power delivery and limits output to 134 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque, while the Scorpion modes unlock the full power and escalate the 500e’s performance. One-pedal driving is available on Turismo and Scorpion Street, and Abarth says with a maximum charging rate of 85 kW, the 500e can reach 80 percent in 35 minutes.
Abarth also touts a “comprehensive sound experience” for the electric hatch – when you start the car, a simulated guitar sound is produced, and when you first go over 12 mph after start-up, a “strumming guitar” plays. . A sound generator can also be switched on to reproduce the noise of an Abarth gas engine.
Stylistically, not much has changed compared to the standard 500e, with the 500 badging swapped out for a bold “Abarth” font and the scorpion-bearing badging on the nose. The front and rear bumpers have undergone minor revisions, a new “electrified” scorpion logo sits behind the doors, and there’s a new wheel design. The version seen here is the fully loaded Scorpionissima launch edition, which will be limited to 1949 units and come in either Acid Green or Poison Blue. It brings unique side graphics and 18-inch diamond-cut wheels as well as embossed seats, unique steel pedals and an Alcantara dashboard.
While Fiat is bringing the 500 back to the United States for the 2024 model year, we don’t expect the Abarth model to return, at least not initially. Fiat has announced that full details of the US-spec 500e will be revealed at the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show.
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