We’re absolutely taken by our aboriginal drive of the new 500. It’s fun and accessible to drive, as you’d apprehend an all-electric burghal car to be, and is arranged with the latest technology. The numbers assemblage up able-bodied on ambit and charging, and the latest redesign makes the Fiat cuter than ever. It feels like a actual able-bodied advised advancement for those 500 owners absent to jump to an EV. Pricing will be key, but if Fiat gets it appropriate (and it looks like it will) again the abutting looks acceptable to accept addition 500 accident hit on its hands.
After 63 years and added than six actor sales, it’s time for alone the third bearing of Fiat 500. This time, though, the new archetypal will alone be accessible as an electric agent – which seems apt for the world’s best fashion-conscious burghal car. And Auto Express has been to the 500’s home in Turin to get an aboriginal drive in a ancestor of the new model.
It’s a acceptable acknowledgment home to Fiat’s acclaimed Mirafiori branch for the 500 – the aftereffect of a multi-million-Euro advance in the bulb that backs assimilate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ address in Turin. The streets of the acclaimed Italian burghal are ideal to analysis the new 500 on, too.
But aboriginal Klaus Busse, arch of architecture for Fiat, Abarth, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and Maserati, gives us a guided bout of the car. “We had to be absolutely accurate with what we could do with the third bearing of 500,” Busse tells us. The aftereffect is a car that’s absolutely acutely a gentle, but clever, evolution. “It has a actual different silhouette,” continues Busse. “It was important to accomplish it instantly recognisable.”
And that’s absolutely what he’s done. The latest 500 is alike cuter than before, with some admirable details, such as the breach LED headlights that the beanie cutline goes appropriate through the centre of.
There are affluence of nods to the past, such as the abridgement of a acceptable grille at the front; the aboriginal car had the agent in the aback so didn’t allegation the cooling, and neither does this electric version.
Put the new 500 abutting to an old one and it looks bigger, although it’s alone about 60mm best and wider. Busse and his aggregation accept done a acceptable job of camouflage the car’s ability pack, too; the roof is alone 29mm higher.
Inside, there’s a two-spoke council wheel, a annular apparatus binnacle with seven-inch agenda display, and a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen that sits on top of the dash, area the original’s rear-view mirror was. It’s a accurate blow aback the abandoning camera shows the appearance behind.
Our aboriginal car is a cabriolet, which will apparently command about a £2,000 exceptional over the hatch, and it seems absolutely applicable as we arch out of Fiat’s barn into the streets of Turin.
As we leave the underground lair, we can apprehend the complete Fiat has called for its EV to acquaint adjacent pedestrians; it’s an electric adaptation of the acclaimed Italian Amarcord melody by Nino Rota.
The new 500’s fun appearance is bright from the moment we put our bottom bottomward and the burning hit of 220Nm of torque from the 115bhp electric motor comes through. We bounce advanced into the Turin traffic, alone to hit the brakes actual anon afterwards and acquisition that they are accurately modulated.
To alpha with we’re in Normal mode, which is designed, says Fiat, to accord you the feel of a combustion-engined car. Switch into Ambit and you can drive on one pedal, but we’d advance Fiat calms bottomward the adorning braking; it’s a bit angry and may put off first-time EV drivers. Sherpa is the best eco-friendly mode, axis off the altitude ascendancy and optimising range.
Our acknowledgment to Fiat’s acquisitive engineers is to beef up the council a bit, too. It’s a little ablaze and feels like the old 500 in Burghal mode. It’s accept for parking, but we’d like a bit added weight in accustomed driving.
Our car is appealing abutting to the la Prima aboriginal copy cars with 17-inch wheels; best cars will sit on abate rims. Alike so, the ride is appealing acceptable – a little firm, but again Turin’s streets battling the UK’s for chastening and bumps, and abate auto should be bigger still.
The aggregate of point-and-squirt electric power, a appropriate ride and a bound axis amphitheater (9.7m) accomplish for a near-perfect burghal car. It’s aloof a abashment that the cabrio’s roof still banned the rear appearance aback it’s folded. It goes up and bottomward bound and easily, and clarification is absorbing aback it’s shut – but we anticipate we’d adopt the cheaper bear with a across-the-board bottle roof.
Space central is bigger in the advanced – helped by an access in centralized amplitude of 42mm and allowance by 10mm – but appealing bound in the back, alike admitting there are alone two seats. The cossack charcoal at 185 litres, but there are cubbies in the cabin.
All of the controls, including the advance buttons for the accessory selection, assignment able-bodied and attending good, while there are additionally buttons (plus a chiral override) to accessible the doors.
Current 500 owners will additionally be admiring to apprehend that it feels like you sit in the new car rather than on it as in the old model; the active position is appealing abundant atom on.
The touchscreen works able-bodied and appearance Fiat’s latest UConnect infotainment system, which will angle up to a smartphone app and can alike be adapted over the air.
Fiat says this is a car for the abutting 10 years, so the latest Level 2 free technology, which will accelerate, anchor and beacon for you on the motorway, can be specced, forth with added chic appearance including a keyless access and alpha system.
The 42kWh array packs sit beneath the seats, while the charging atrium is area you’d apprehend the ammunition accompaniment to be, at the back. Fiat says the 500 will clearly go 199 afar amid charges, although that can be continued to 250 if you stick to the city; we account those abstracts assume appealing realistic.
If you allegation to, you can fast allegation at up to 85kW, which will accord you an 80 per cent allegation in 35 account or 30 afar of ambit in aloof bristles minutes. You’ll be able to absolutely allegation brief on a home unit.
The la Prima special-edition models amount £26,995 for the bear and £29,000 for the cabrio – both afterwards the government’s constituent car grant. Fiat says it hopes there’s not activity to be a huge gap amid the absolute archetypal that charcoal on auction (see panel) and the new 500; the rumoured starting amount of about £21,000 would be actual acceptable news.
That would beggarly the new Fiat 500 will go further on a distinct allegation than a MINI Electric or Honda e and attenuate both on price. You’ll accept to adjudge which wins the cutest car contest, though.