The new Fiat 500 electric city car will go on sale this December, with a starting price of £19,995 and up to 199 miles of range depending on battery
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This is the new Fiat 500 EV. It’s the successor to the Italian brand’s ever-popular retro-styled city car. However, for its third generation, the hatchback has ditched petrol power in favour of a pure-electric electric powertrain, becoming a direct rival for the Honda e and MINI Electric.
Now, UK prices have been revealed and it’ll go on sale in the UK this December, with a starting price of £19,995 including the government’s £3,000 plug-in vehicle grant. First deliveries are expected to arrive in March 2021.
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Fiat has separated the new 500 EV’s line-up into three trim-levels called Action, Passion and Icon. The Action badged base-model comes as standard with 15-inch wheels, keyless go, rear parking sensors and lane-keeping assist. Inside, buyers get a seven-inch digital instrument cluster and a smartphone mount in place of a traditional infotainment system.
The mid-range 500 Passion starts from £23,495 and adds 15-inch two-tone wheels, LED daytime running lights, along with a choice of two interior upholstery finishes. Buyers also get FCA’s latest seven-inch infotainment system, which offers support for natural language commands, as well as the usual Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Passion is also the trim level where the 500 Cabriolet becomes available, priced from £26,145.
Fiat’s range-topping Icon variant is priced from £24,495. Upgrades over the Icon model include 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and FCA’s all-new 10.25-inch U-Connect 5 infotainment system. Like the previous-generation model, the car’s dashboard can also be painted to match the exterior, or it can be swapped for either a wood-effect finish or vegan leather trim. The Icon Cabriolet starts from £27,645.
The launch edition La Prima 500 continues on sale, with a price tag of £26,995 for the hatchback and £29,995 for the convertible. This range topping model features high-specification items like a glass panoramic roof on the hatchback variant and exclusive colours and trim for buyers to choose from.
New 2020 Fiat 500 EV: motors and battery packs
Buyers have their choice of two powertrains. The entry-level 500 EV is fitted with a 23.8kWh battery pack and a 92bhp electric motor, which provides a 0–62mph time of 9.5 seconds and a top speed of 84mph. The powertrains maximum claimed WLTP range 115 miles – although Fiat says this figure will swell to 150 miles under city driving conditions.
Mid-range models and up are fitted with a 42kWh battery pack and 116bhp electric motor, which cuts the 500’s 0–62mph time nine seconds flat, while raising its top speed to 93mph. Range is improved too, climbing to 199 miles – and, when plugged into a DC fast-charger, the upgraded battery pack will recover an 80 percent charge in 35 minutes.
Both powertrains come with a choice of three driving modes. “Normal” mode is described by Fiat as being “as close as possible to driving a vehicle with a normal combustion engine”, while “Range” activates higher levels of brake energy recuperation. This will allow owners to drive the car using only the throttle pedal and anticipating stop situations.
The last mode, called “Sherpa,” preserves as much range as possible, so it limits the top speed to 50mph, reduces throttle response and turns off the climate control and heated seats.
New 2020 Fiat 500 EV: design and platform
Fiat’s revisions to 500 have been significant enough to make the 500 EV the third-generation model in the car’s lineage – following the model’s rebirth in 2007 and the original Cinquecento, which was made between 1957 and 1975.
It’s based on a new platform, which has resulted in a slight increase in size compared with the Mk2, so the 500 EV is 60mm wider and 60mm longer. The car’s wheelbase has grown by 20mm too, but the overall length of the hatchback is still under four metres.
Fiat hasn’t played around too much with the 500’s styling. The EV’s side profile is still unmistakably 500, but there are tweaks to the front end, with a new bumper that’s actually closer in design to the set-up on the original 500. There are split headlights, too – another nod to the 1957 model – and a new 500 badge on the rear end.
There are three body styles currently available – a hatchback, a cabriolet and what Fiat calls a “3+1” configuration. This latter option is identical in shape to the hatchback, but it features a small half-door behind the driver – similar in design to the Mazda RX-8’s – which opens rearwards. Fiat says the system makes it easier to enter and exit the 500’s rear seat.
Inside, there’s a big jump in design and finish, as Fiat has used the 500’s new platform to introduce a less cluttered dashboard, made from higher quality materials. The most noticeable upgrade is the new 10.25-inch infotainment system, which will offer support for a range of smartphone apps to allow users to remotely check their car’s battery level and warm or cool the cabin before setting off.
Fiat has also added a roaming WiFi hotspot to the models in the upper echelons of 500’s trim hierarchy – while a new tracking software will help to trace the car’s location if it’s stolen.
Finally, Fiat claims that the new 500 EV is capable of “Level 2” semi-autonomous driving, using a front-facing camera system to monitor the road ahead. What’s more, adaptive cruise control with automatic braking and accelerating, lane keep assist, speed limit assist, blind spot warning and 360-degree sensors for tricky manoeuvres all feature.
What do you make of the third-generation Fiat 500? Let us know in the comments section below…
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