New all-electric Abarth 500e makes first UK appearance
Olivier FranÃ§ois, CEO of both Fiat and Abarth, said: “The new Abarth 500e is one of the most exciting launches in the history of the brand: a great new addition to the Abarth line-up. I like to think of it as family, so our fanbase will be involved in every step of our electrification journey.”
He added: “You may ask ’why electric?’. Well, basically, performance made us do it: in fact, every change made in the Abarth is about getting the best driving performance. That’s exactly how our founder, Carlo Abarth, always went at it.”
As with other Abarth models, the 500e is marked out from its standard Fiat sibling by a dramatic performance-themed design overhaul, bringing a wider, squared front end (which is adorned by the brand’s name), lower side skirts and a subtle rear lip.
Inside, the car is near-identical to the Fiat, with standard kit including a 7.0in instrument screen, rear-view camera and 10.25in infotainment touchscreen. Top-of-the-range models get Alcantara-clad sports seats, and JBL speaker system.
The Abarth 500e – which will be available in either hatchback or cabrio variants, like the 695 – is expected to get marginally less range from the 42kWh battery than its Fiat sibling (143 miles) due to the higher state of tune of its motors – and lack of any range-extending ‘Sherpa’ mode, as fitted to the Fiat 500 Electric. However, it will match that car’s 85kW fast-charging speed, meaning it can be topped up from empty to 80% in 35 minutes.