2024 Fiat 500e Hatchback 112 1668446426

Fiat’s Iconic 500 City Car to Return to U.S. in 2024 as an EV

  • Fiat announced today that its beautiful 500 minicar will return to the North American market after a four-year absence.
  • Unlike the previous generation car, the 500 will be sold here only as the electric 500e.
  • The new 500e is already on sale in Europe and comes with an estimated driving range of up to 199 miles on Europe’s very optimistic WLTP cycle.

After Fiat discontinued the 500 and 500L models in North America a few years ago, we were skeptical about the future of the brand. The 500X SUV is the only Fiat currently sold on our shores, but now a completely redesigned 500e electric hatchback is on the way to give Fiat a boost in the US market.

Based on the 500 city car already sold in Europe, the 500e will go on sale here as a 2024 model, but Fiat has so far been tight-lipped about details on US specifications for its electric drivetrain and battery pack. We suspect it will carry over exactly as it’s sold in Europe, with the larger of the two available battery packs, a 37.3 kWh unit and an electric motor driving the front wheels capable of producing up to 117 horsepower.

With this larger battery, the 500e carries a range estimate of 199 miles on the European WLTP cycle. But unless Fiat somehow squeezes a larger battery pack into the US variant, we expect to see a significantly lower EPA range estimate, likely around 160 miles per charge.

It looks like the 500e is coming to the US in both hardtop hatchback and softtop convertible body styles, though there’s no word yet on whether the European version’s 3+1 door configuration will make the jump. With the help of Italian fashion houses Armani and Bulgari as well as contemporary furniture design firm Kartell, Fiat showed three one-off concept cars at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show that highlight the car’s fashionable styling.

2024 fiat 500e hatchback

Fiat

2024 fiat 500e hatchback

Fiat

The Armani 500e, for example, features a special exterior paint treatment with a laser-etched chevron pattern meant to make it look like fabric. The Kartell version uses sustainable plastics to decorate the car’s interior, and the Bulgari model boasts a luxurious look inside and out with colorful embroidered upholstery and a matching dashboard mural. That version also features a removable brooch with inlaid amethyst, topaz and citrine gemstones mounted in the center of the steering wheel. Unfortunately, we do not expect such an option to come to production.

Those in the know will recall that the 500e version of the previous-generation car was sold here through the 2019 model year, although its availability was limited to California and Oregon. That model was a big money loser for the brand, with former Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne telling Reuters in 2014 that he hoped not too many people would buy them because his company lost about $14,000 on each one.

2024 fiat 500e hatchback

Fiat

2024 fiat 500e hatchback

Fiat

This time, the 500e is poised to offer a better business case. For starters, it will likely go on sale in more states, and we expect it to carry a higher starting price than the 2019 version, which retailed for around $34,000.

The 500e will be among the first EVs to reach the US from Fiat’s parent company, Stellantis. While competitors such as General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen quickly introduced EV models, Stellantis lagged behind. The company has shown flashy concepts like the Chrysler Airflow and the Dodge Charger Daytona, but these cars are still in the concept stage. Since the 500e is already on sale in other parts of the world, it could beat those vehicles to production.

Fiat says the production version of the 500e will debut next year at the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show, and by then we’ll likely know more about the car’s powertrain, battery and range.

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