It was to be presented at the Geneva Motor Show, but it was finally via a press release and a press conference that Fiat lifted the veil on the 500th, the electric version of the most famous city car. Autonomous level 2 driving, improved connectivity, Mini Cooper SE, Honda e and Twingo ZE had better watch out.
The cutest city girl is electrified! The goal? Launch the electrical offensive to face the increasing competition in the segment. For this, Fiat has equipped its city car withan electric powertrain that develops 118 horsepower (87 kW) powered by a 42 kWh lithium-ion battery. The latter is positioned under the floor.
In terms of performance, acceleration will not stick to anyone in the seat, but it is quite honorable: 9 seconds to swallow the 0 to 100 km / h. Once this speed is reached, you can keep the accelerator pedal depressed before reaching a maximum of 150 km / h. However, the 0 to 50 km / h is surprising: it will hardly take more than 3 seconds to achieve this speed.
On the autonomy side, Fiat says 500e can travel 320 km on a single charge according to the WLTP cycle. This is 55 km less than a Renault Zoé (395 km), but better than the Honda e (222 km) and future Twingo ZE (180 km). Only the Peugeot e-208 really plays in the same court as this 500th with 340 km of autonomy.
When the battery is depleted, it will take about six hours to recharge it on a 7.4 kW WallBox. When plugged into an 85 kW fast charger, the battery should be able to be recharged to 80% in just 35 minutes. On the other hand, it will be necessary to anticipate the recharging on a household 220V socket: 14 hours will be necessary.
This new generation offers three driving modes : Normal, Range and Sherpa. No need to explain the first one, however the other two are unknown to the general public. The Range mode follows the same principle as the One pedal mode on the Honda e, (initiated by the Nissan Leaf with the e-pedal system): it then optimizes energy recovery by providing more engine braking during deceleration phases. The last named Sherpa is neither more nor less than an “eco” mode – even ultra eco – which turn off air conditioning or heated seats, limit speed to 80 km / h… In short, it reduces energy consumption as much as possible.
Better equipped and revamped
Inside, we find a sleek dashboard with a 7-inch digital instrument cluster at the counter and another screen of 10.25 inches for the infotainment system. The latter should support the Android Auto system.
If you doubted it, this is indeed a new generation and not a simple restyling. Even if on the look side, this new 500 does not break the stylistic codes of the previous generation. However, the dimensions change slightly: it is 6 cm longer and its wheelbase widens by 2 cm.
For the rest of the changes, you have to look in more detail. The hood has been redesigned and now incorporates the upper part of the headlights. The shield has also been very succinctly redesigned, front and rear. All these little details visually expand the car and give it a feeling of being upgraded. But maybe it’s not just a feeling.
Tariffs and marketing
We know that electric vehicles are still expensive. But this new 500th is perhaps a little too much: pre-reservations have been open since March 3 for the limited edition (only 500 copies). Price of the exclusivity: 37,900 euros excluding ecological bonus and WallBox included.
Its official launch and the first tests will not start until July 4, as planned for some time. This new 500e will not immediately replace the current 500: the thermal model should remain on sale for “a few more years”.