The UK automotive market has gained exciting news, with details of the complete specification and pricing for the 100% electric Fiat 500 having been released. The new model will be available in cabrio and hatchback styles with two options of batteries.
Prices of the new 500e will start from £19,995 OTR (inclusive of PiCG) with orders commencing from December 2020. Here’s everything you need to know about the new Fiat 500 Electric.
New Fiat 500 electric history
This new offering is backed by a strong history, as it was in the late 1950s that Fiat first introduced the Nuova 500, making mobility and individual transport options both accessible and affordable. Indeed, the unique ‘clean face’ of the 500, even from its conception, could be argued to be related to that of an electric vehicle.
Just fifty years after this introduction, Fiat then presented the current 500, reformatting the city car segment from that previously known and quickly becoming the top-selling city car across Europe. This year now brings about the company’s newest offering, the New 500, which is not only the first totally electric vehicle from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), but also a new city vehicle that manages to maintain that renowned affordability whilst still offering top-rated features including autonomous driving, range and multiple battery configurations.
New Fiat 500 electric exterior design
The New 500 both retains the classic features and silhouette of its past whilst also bringing its own unique updates. Centro Stile designers have combined the beauty, creativity and soul of the Italian culture in the design of the new model, with the interior spaces of the New 500 having been remodelled to give the feeling of being on a ‘romantic bench’. The front of the vehicle has also been given a modern touch to provide a powerful first impression.
The New 500 is longer and wider than the dimensions of past vehicles, with a battery pack having been added beneath the new floorplan and a broader wheelbase with larger wheels than made previously. These extended proportions even continue internally with a larger passenger compartment than seen before. The layout of the chassis is also proportioned in a better manner, suggesting increased stability as well as dimensional presence.
Yet, the classic components of past generations have not been forgotten, with similar forms included to those in the first 500, such as the two-spoke steering wheel, an elegant and slender dashboard, minimalistic buttons presented in the style of a piano keyboard and of course, the iconic circular instrument panel. Ultimately, however, the New 500 brings a more robust and powerful character with clean and simple lines bringing elegance in a compact manner.
New Fiat 500 electric trims
This New 500 range is available in three trim levels; Action, Passion and Icon, with each choice best suited to a different lifestyle and offering high levels of standardised specification.
Fiat 500 electric Action
Fiat 500 Action performance
Firstly, considering the New 500 Action; at its base level, this contains a 70 kW motor and has the capacity to accelerate from 0-62mph in 9.5 seconds, with a limited top speed of 84mph. This option contains a lithium-ion battery that has a 23.8 kWh capacity, which brings a range of over 115 miles in the WLTP cycle and more than 150 miles in pure city driving.
The New 500 Action has a 50 kW fast-charging system, allowing the battery to be charged to a level to support an average commute in under 10 minutes. For further ease, a 3 kW cable comes with the vehicle to enable charging at either work or home. Fast charging in both AC and DC is also powered by a Combo 2 socket, found on the rear right-side panel of the vehicle and if desired, a three-phase 11 kW Mode 3 cable can be purchased, with a plug and play Wallbox by Mopar, developed by Engie Eps, to further facilitate charging in public or at home.
Fiat 500 Action design
The dashboard of the New 500 has also not been left out from this line of thought. Although a choice of body-coloured dashboard is still available, something which remains synonymous with the 500, inspiration from nature has additionally been included here, such as the influence of wood, with three dimensional and graphic surface printing, as well as weave work, mixing true craftsmanship with the unique contemporary style of the 500.
The natural influence further extends to the exterior colour selection of the New 500 with predominately iridescent hues. As well as the three colour choices that came with the La Prima launch edition, six further paint choices can be selected; Rose Gold, Ice White, Glacier Blue, Onyx Black, Cloud Grey and Earth Grey.
Fiat 500 Action safety systems
As well as having a natural and environmental focus, safety is another important consideration for the latest models. The New 500 Action, which is only available in hatchback, also includes multiple ADAS features, such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, which detects pedestrians and cyclists as well as of course vehicles; Drowsy Driver Detection, which monitors the concentration level of the driver; Traffic Sign Recognition, which reviews road signs and advises the appropriate driving speed and Lane Keep Assist, which notes any drifting and signals an alert to the driver to get back in their lane.
Further highlighting that safety was a key consideration during the design and development of the New 500 is the fact that it is the first car within its segment to feature level 2 autonomy. The engineers working on this vehicle additionally ensured greater accuracy in the monitoring of risk levels and reduced the intrusive nature of the automatic warnings of the aforementioned ADAS features. For example, keeping the 500’s close relationship with Italian culture, its Acoustic Vehicle Alert System uses the tune composed by Nino Rota for the movie Amarcord, to alert cyclists and pedestrians of the vehicle’s presence, at speeds up to 12.5mph.
Fiat 500 Action driving modes
However, attention to safety has not caused a compromise on individuality as the New 500 Action also includes an e-Mode selector as standard, supporting the choice between three driving modes; Normal, Range and Sherpa, to suit varied driving styles and requirements.
Normal mode allows the vehicle to perform like an automatic transmission with an internal combustion engine, whilst bringing an impressively strong performance for a city car. It provides an output of 87 kW, which is equivalent to 118hp, as well as 220 Nm of torque that is immediately available. In this mode, the car can accelerate from 0-31mph in 3.1 seconds or 0-62mph in 9 seconds.
Range mode allows a novel experience of driving, using just one foot. A ‘one pedal’ feature allows the same pedal to control both acceleration and deceleration. If the pedal is not pressed then the vehicle can recover energy back to maximum, slowing it down to a stop. This mode is particularly useful in urban areas to support the recovery of a large amount of the vehicle’s energy.
Considering this energy, Sherpa mode is then helpful if the range is low as it can make the most of those resources still available, to enable the car to reach its destination. This can be either the end destination set into the vehicle’s navigation system or the nearest charging system.
Fiat 500 Action technology
The technological treats do not end here, however, as the New 500 Action also receives ‘smart audio’ which can transform a smartphone into its infotainment system. This includes an ergonomic base for the vertical or horizontal positioning of your smartphone, a smartphone cradle, a Bluetooth connection linking the speakers in the New 500 to the smartphone and an app for use both inside and out of the vehicle.
Technology and style sit hand in hand in the design of this vehicle. Halogen headlights and 15″ wheels support the look of the exterior of the Action, whilst internally, technology is in abundance in the entry-level model, surrounded by style with a black dashboard and seats with Seaqual yarn displaying a geometric chevron motif and silver-coloured stitching. The noted technology within includes rear parking sensors, an electric parking brake and an auto-start button (Keyless Go), as well as a configurable 7-inch digital TFT colour screen positioned in front of the driver. This replaces the standard instrument panel and allows the driver to see key information about the vehicle, such as the charging status and range.
Fiat 500 Passion
Fiat 500 Passion performance
With all this key technology, if a slightly higher class is still sought, the mid-range option of the New 500 Passion can be considered. This model contains a 42kWh battery, bringing a range of up to 199 miles in a WLTP cycle, further improving to 285 miles when solely driven within the city. 85kW fast charging is also included, allowing the battery to be recharged to 80% range in 35 minutes, or for 30 miles in approximately 5 minutes.
Fiat 500 Passion design
The attractive qualities of the range also continue in this model, with the Passion featuring LED daytime running lights and 15″ two-tone gloss finish wheels. It brings greater choice with the look of its interior than the Action, with options of either dark with a black dashboard and seats, with the aforementioned Seaqual yarn with chevron motif and silver coloured stitching, or a white dashboard with blue seats featuring the chevron motif.
Fiat 500 Passion technology
As well of course as the equipment earlier described in the New 500 Action, an even more exciting array of technology is found here, with the New 500 Passion presenting FCA’s new infotainment system, featuring a 7″ touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to support connected services, and a DAB radio. A Natural Language interface system with advanced voice recognition is also included within this thrilling new system, featuring the wake word “Hey Fiat” to allow direct communication with the car to control its charging systems and range, as well as personalised music choices and programming of the air conditioning. Indeed, climate control, as well as cruise control additionally, come as standard in the New 500 Passion.
Read next: Mini Electric review: Style over substance?
Fiat 500 Icon
Fiat 500 Icon performance
Finally, for those looking for the finest model in the series, the New 500 Icon is on offer. This option also has a 42 kWh battery and a top-rated range of 199 miles in the WLTP cycle, as well as a DC fast-charging system that enables rapid recharging, running up to 85 kW.
Fiat 500 Icon design
The exterior look of the New 500 Icon helps to further set it apart, with 16″ alloy wheels in a dark finish. Such style does not diminish when looking at the elegant interior either, with a choice of bright and soft shades selected by the Centro Stile designers for the interior trim. The dashboard of the 500 Icon also helps to maintain the exclusive flow of the vehicle’s look by being painted in the same colour as its bodywork. For those final intricate touches, once again, Seaqual yarn makes up the seats with a pinstripe motif. These can be opted for in dark grey with the 500 logo as well as copper coloured details or light grey with blue flecks and a silver 500 logo and detailing.
Fiat 500 Icon technology
Yet, the New 500 Icon is not just attractive for its looks. Like its junior counterparts, the interior of this top model is a cavern of technology, featuring multiple components not seen in its segment before, setting a precedent for future city cars. For the first time on any A-segment city car, the New 500 Icon features, as standard, handsfree access via passive entry. Furthermore, a clear standout feature of the model is the black button-free ‘pebble’. This is a bio-based polycarbonate key with smart wearable technology, which can be carried discreetly by the user and which communicates directly with the car. It can automatically unlock the doors when close enough to the car, or lock them via a tap on the door handle.
A further top-performing highlight of the New 500 Icon is its 10.25″ landscape high definition Cinerama touchscreen display that includes GPS and an infotainment system. This exciting feature fits neatly into the dashboard of the vehicle to prevent it becoming a distraction.
Read next: Honda e review: A tech-tastic electric car
New Fiat 500 3+1
As an addition to its line, Fiat also has a new 3+1 option, which will be added in a select few market (left-hand drive only) around the world. This has come from Centro Stile designers creating a smart solution with the same dimensions as the hatchback and cabrio styles but with an added small third door on the passenger side of the vehicle.
Maintaining the same dimensions and sized footprint as the other bodystyles, the only increase is 30kg in weight which will have no impact on the vehicle’s range or handling. This added small door opens in the opposite direction, with no central panel, allowing passengers to enter the car more easily and enabling larger items to be unloaded with greater simplicity. The 3+1 has the goal of allowing those who have a longstanding taste for the 500 but have developed new requirements or habits to keep their choice of car to suit their new lifestyle. This model will first be available for left hand drive market.
New Fiat 500 electric development
As is clear from the abundant innovative technology within the New 500 models, extensive attention was put into this aspect of design right from conception. From the point of development of the Group’s first electric car, the engineers of the FCA produced a new structure around the electric motor to combine new safety, entertainment and control technologies. This has culminated in a vehicle that not only boasts the top dynamic performance within its group but that is also agile, comfortable, quiet, fun to drive and constantly connected. Influence was taken by engineers from the simplicity of smartphone use, converting these theories for practical application in the automotive world.
Indeed, this was how the New 500’s technology ecosystem was first developed, looking to support individuals in their use of a car both on and off-board, ensuring it remained intuitive and simple to manage. The ultimate aim was to adapt all of the automation systems that support our enjoyment in everyday life, for inclusion within the New 500, such as the Alexa voice assistant and a Wi-Fi hotspot. This hotspot is in fact just one feature offered by the new UConnect Box, which allows access to the New 500’s UConnect Services and can, for example, connect up to eight devices simultaneously.
Such connective technology is more commonly found in higher segments, however, Fiat is, for the first time, enabling its accessibility in an A-segment car, adapting the features to specifically suit electric vehicles. Thus, the aforementioned UConnect can also be used in conjunction with the Fiat mobile app, which enables access to a vast array of features now also seen for the first time in a city car. One such feature is ‘Dynamic Range Mapping’ which displays on a map the area it is possible to drive and calculates the total possible distance, whilst considering parameters including the remaining range. The app additionally enables the option of seeing where nearby charging points can be found, as well as indicating which can be reached according to the current battery charge. These maps are continuously kept accurate via over the air updates.
A further key piece of technology in the app is found in the ‘My Car’ service, which enables remote monitoring of the battery charge level. Moreover, the ‘My Remote’ feature allows scheduling of vehicle charging for chosen times, pinpointing of the vehicle’s exact location, the locking and unlocking of the vehicle, programming of the air conditioning, turning the lights on and off and with the ‘My Easy Charge’ feature, the determination of the location of public charging stations, with the option to pay from a smartphone, thus enabling access to 200,000 charging points across Europe. This information can also continually be updated over the air to meet new developments.
Yet, this is not the only supportive app presented by Fiat. As, if despite all of the aforementioned highlights, making the change to a totally electric vehicle is still a concern, the Fiat GOe Live app, available on iOS and Android, can aid the decision by providing a simulation of the use of the New 500. It can demonstrate the possible environmental and economic benefits of making the switch to the New 500 in comparison to an individual’s current vehicle. This app also allows access to helpful information regarding the e-Mobility experience, can also find charging points across Europe and can support online ordering for the New 500.
New Fiat 500 electric pricing and technical specifications
|New 500 hatchback
|OTR inc. PiCG
|New 500 cabriolet
|OTR inc. PiCG