The battery-powered iteration of Fiat’s 500 premium city car is finally here – and by here we mean the LA Auto Show, where it will make its world premiere and the state of California, where it will initially go on sale.
The 500e features a number of changes compared to its internal-combustion siblings. For example, its new bodywork has been shaped in the wind tunnel, resulting in a 13 percent reduction in drag thanks to improvements like the dot matrix front fascia, the restyled side sills, side mirrors, rear spoiler, flush-fitting 15-inch wheels and the underbody panels.
Fiat says it has uprated the chassis specifically for the 500e in order to achieve a 10 percent increase in bending stiffness and it has also tuned the suspension, increasing the spring rates, and power steering for optimum dynamic characteristics.
The zero-emission 500’s powertrain, dubbed “e-Drive”, comprises a permanent magnet, three-phase electric motor with an output of 111HP (83 kW) and 147 lb-ft of torque, and a 24 kwh, 97-cell lithium-ion battery pack that’s placed in the floor of the car.
The powertrain and battery are covered by a four- and eight-year warranty respectively. Fiat says that the 500e offers an estimated range of more than 80 miles (130 km), which in city driving is “typically” greater than 100 miles (160 km).
The paint palette includes five options, namely silver, grey, white, black and the “Electrico Arancione” bright orange, while the interior comes in “Nero” or “Steam” trims with orange accents. The instrument binnacle consists of a 7-inch TFT color display and there’s another 4.3-inch touchscreen display mounted on top that houses the TomTom navigation system and Fiat’s standard Blue&Me hands-free connectivity systems.
As of yet, Fiat has not put a price tag on the car.
By Andrew Tsaousis