The Abarth 500e starts as a sporty offshoot of the Fiat 500 Elektro. We met the newcomer for a seat fitting and sound check!
At Fiat, the new 500 as a purely electric version is already firmly established in the model portfolio. The sister brand Abarth still relies exclusively and solely on the brother of the old Fiat 500, which gives the riotous small car as the Abarth 595 and Abarth 695. Fiat boss Olivier François has already confirmed that Abarth will also switch to the new electric group line and will only have electric models in the program from 2024. The clear announcement: Abarth - "Heating Up People, But Not the Planet".
More punch and sound for Abarth
The successor to the Abarth 595/695 models is a brother of the Fiat 500 E because the new Stellantis Group platform for small electric cars (STLA Small) will only be available from 2026. The new one is simply called the Abarth 500e and, apart from a few details, also looks like its Fiat counterpart.
Because the Abarth, by definition, has to appear sportier than the Fiat base, it has been extensively modified. There was no space for a larger battery, so the Abarth 500e also carries the 42 kWh energy storage device between the axles. For this purpose, the electric motor was trimmed with a new configuration for more power. The bottom line is that the Abarth offers 26 kW more, in total a respectable 113 kW - in old currency at least 155 hp. The maximum torque increases from 220 to 235 Nm. The 500e does not match the 165 and 180 hp combustion engines in terms of performance, but Abarth emphasizes that the electric version is superior to the combustion engines in many driving dynamics aspects - especially in the city and in urban environments. It can sprint from zero to 100 km/h in seven seconds. And especially when pulling through, it should noticeably distance the burners. In terms of top speed, the Abarth can run 5 km/h faster than the Fiat – a maximum of 155 km/h is possible. Better road holding comes from the longer wheelbase, wider track and better weight distribution, all of which the Abarth inherits from the Fiat 500 E. ,
Three driving modes, adapted design
The three driving modes Turismo, Scorpion Street and Scorpion Track are on board. The Turismo mode is more efficient with smoother acceleration and lower power (100 kW instead of 113 kW, 220 Nm instead of 235 Nm). Street combines maximum performance with maximum recuperation, Track simply offers maximum performance. The Abarth battery can be recharged with up to 85 kW. Electricity for 50 kilometers can be tapped in five minutes. It goes to 80 percent in 35 minutes. Abarth does not yet provide range information. The Fiat creates up to 320 kilometers, the Abarth should come 250 kilometers.
An optional sound generator that faithfully reproduces the sound of an Abarth petrol engine ensures that the Abarth 500e sounds like Abarth.A newly drawn Scorpion signet and a newly modeled radiator grille and slightly modified full LED headlights ensure the Abarth look. There is also a new front apron, more flared side skirts, a new rear diffuser insert and special light-alloy wheels and titanium-grey exterior mirror caps. The coupé and convertible – yes, the 500e is also available open-top, but the 3+1 variant with the additional door is not an option for Abarth – also have individually designed rear spoilers. The appearance is rounded off with Abarth decors on the flanks.
Launch Edition at the start
The interior of the Abarth 500e presents itself with a dark roof lining, an Abarth logo on the steering wheel impact absorber and an Abarth lettering on the steering wheel bezel. The steering wheel itself is crowned by a blue 12 o'clock marker.
At the market launch, Abarth is launching the Abarth 500e Scorpionissima special model. Available as a coupé and convertible, the launch edition features, among other things, special paint finishes in Acid Green or Poison Blue, 18-inch special wheels with 205/40 tires, a glass roof for the coupé, steel pedal pads, gray-edged fittings, heated seats, Alcantara - Seat upholstery with Scorpion embroidery and contrasting stitching and door sills with Abarth logo.
The Abarth 500e in the first check
The Abarth 500e is ready for the first seat fitting as a special Scorpionissima model in Acid Green. The bright color offers a good contrast to the gray design elements such as lettering and exterior mirror caps. The white painted strips on the front and rear aprons are likely to be rather impractical. Stone chips and curbs can quickly damage the paint here, depending on how you drive.
Before we get in, the sound check is on the agenda. The optional sound package is part of the standard equipment in the special model. So far, artificial engine noises have been known mainly in the interior of electric cars, for example in the Kia EV6. However, the Abarth 500e prefers to emulate the expressive appearance of its combustion engine brothers 595 and 695. Through speakers at the rear of the car, it sounds exactly how you would imagine a digitally imitated, programmed combustion engine sound. Somehow strange, garish. Unnecessary? It will be seen how the Abarth fans and those around them embrace the sound fanfare.
The driver and front passenger sit in comfortable sports seats with integrated headrests. Compared to the combustion Abarths, you sit much lower, more integrated into the car. This is also ensured by the other adjustment ranges of the chairs and steering column.
Dark gray Alcantara is not only laid under the back and seat, but also on the dashboard. The also shows a steering wheel with scorpion logo and 12 o'clock marking as well as stainless steel pedal pads. The 10.25-inch touchscreen display of the UConnect infotainment system will also be able to access specially designed Abarth menus.Unfortunately, this cannot yet be tried out in the pre-series car during our seat fitting.
Special model from 43,000 euros
The Abarth 500e Scorpionissima can be ordered now, and the first units will be delivered in spring 2023. The closed variant with a standard glass roof costs 43,000 euros, the convertible 46,000 euros. If you compare a Fiat 500 Elektro "By Bocelli" (from 39,990 euros), which is also quite lavishly equipped, the Abarth surcharge is a good 3,000 euros.
Further model versions will follow shortly after the market launch of the special series. According to current plans, the "3+1" body variant with an additional door on the passenger side will not be available for the Abarth 500e.
The Abarth brand has also committed itself to a purely electric future and is bringing a sporty derivative of the Fiat 500 E as the successor to the 595/695. It brings more power and a clear war paint. A sound generator provides the Abarth sound. The prices of the electric athlete start with the special model Scorpionissima at 43,000 euros.