It was at her home in Turin, very close to its head office, that the Italian manufacturer invited us to take charge of the all new generation of its iconic city car. A third generation, now only offered in 100% electric. A small revolution for the Cinquecento, born here at the Mirafiori factory in 1957, and which thus immediately confirms its status as the most trendy model of the Transalpine brand.
Contrary to what one might think we are not dealing with a simple electrified 500 but a brand new model. A new platform, a single engine offered, 100% electric, and two types of bodywork: sedan or convertible. It is not really obvious, but Fiat has started from scratch to develop this new generation of 500, always so charming, while generally maintaining the same silhouette and the same proportions, although its size noticeably swells : +6 cm in width and +6 cm in length (3.64 m, i.e. +6 cm including +2 cm in the wheelbase).
Good to know: anticipate the purchase and resale.
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No aesthetic revolution facing the 2007 generation therefore. Always such a crisp boil and a neo-retro look that definitely does not take a wrinkle. We are rather witnessing a little refreshment, a facelift with more modern elements like a new look formed of two-part LED optics. The fog lights incorporate a body color element, the grille is full. Logic is now 100% electric. It also displays its name, basically. No more Fiat logo, but a “big 500”, just to further personify this particular model for Italians. This gives him a more premium spirit, which suits him very well.
We are witnessing the same treatment ” premium »In profile with some chrome-colored elements that highlight the beltline. The turn signal reminders take the form of small fins, the rims are large in diameter (17 inches) and even the soft top is now customizable on the convertible version. There is clearly a move upmarket. We can already imagine that road services will also improve. Large rims should benefit handling by making the body more stable. Let us not forget also that the dimensions of the body have increased. We notice it especially at the level of the rear with these more generous hips that make this little 500 even sexier than it was.
Revolution on board
We told you, plus 6 cm in length and width, so in terms of habitability what does that give? Well for once, it is not really obvious. We have a little more elbow room but it’s minimal. The most sensitive is especially the disappearance of the gear lever which frees up space. Everything is now managed with 4 keys: parking, reverse, neutral and forward. You can also choose different driving modes with a small dial.
The technical sheet still tells us that the habitability has improved slightly, at the front as well as at the rear, but it remains quite cramped. The trunk also retains a volume of 180 liters, exactly the same capacity as the previous generation, although this is electric. The lithium-ion battery is in fact integrated into the floor to take up a minimum of space and lower the center of gravity. Its capacity is 42 kWh and it can recover 50 km of autonomy in just 5 minutes with a 22 kWh system and recharge to 80% in 35 minutes (total charge: 14 h on a 220 v domestic socket – 2.3 kW).
But so it is side atmosphere that we are witnessing the biggest changes. I’m telling you, it’s a small earthquake for once. You can see it right away, the atmosphere is more modern, more chic. We clearly go upmarket with a 10 1/4 inch multimedia system subtly integrated to the side of the 7 inch instrumentation block. The materials exude quality, it is refined, very elegant. The dashboard becomes much more serious. We are far from the toy of the previous generation. The seats of our test model with the high-end finish ” Prima Are superb, with their particular stitching. We also appreciate the small buttons that act as door handles. Nice! Finally, note a fairly high-end equipment with the presence of a level 2 autonomous driving system, in particular.
Fiat 500e / Peugeot e-208, the city cars of tomorrow – TURBO comparison of 11/15/2020
More agile than ever!
It remains to be seen what that gives on the road. Fiat gave us a preview of the car. A first grip to judge the evolutions. In this case it is no longer the same car that we knew!
Indeed, those who had bought the previous generation for its vigor and agility do not worry too much. With its maximum torque delivered instantly, the 120 hp electric motor largely compensates for the overweight of the model and in particular the 200 kg of the battery. (total weight: 1300 kg). The announced performances are also interesting: the 0 to 100 is achieved in 9.1s. But 0 to 50 km / h is even more telling: only 3.1 s (V-Max: 150 km / h). Autonomy side, Fiat announces 320 km in WLTP cycle. Which, in addition to the Renault Zoé, quite simply serves as a benchmark against all of its rivals (Mini Cooper SE: 234 km / Honda e: 222 km / Renault Twingo electric: 180 km / Renault Zoé: 395 km).
We have three driving modes : The mode ” Normal Speaks for itself. The mode ” Autonomy »Reinforces the engine brake to recharge the battery more efficiently. With anticipation, you can drive with just one foot without almost ever having to use the brake pedal. The mode ” Sherpa “Encourages smoother driving. Acceleration becomes more gradual, it restricts speed to 80 km / h and optimizes all energy flows (air conditioning, heated seats in particular) to optimize autonomy to its maximum.
Note that the driving position improves considerably thanks to a greater range of seat adjustments. Another observation, the comfort becomes quite good. It must be said that these seats, in very soft fabric, compensate for the presence of large diameter rims. Finally, in terms of behavior, we find the agility of a classic 500. We sometimes feel the overweight of this generation but the widened chassis and mechanical vigor more than compensate for this overweight. Especially with the battery located in the floor, stability is better than ever. You simply have the feeling of driving a more versatile 500. Which is quite paradoxical for an electric!
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