This week at an event in Milan, Italy Fiat took the wraps off the third generation Fiat 500, which has been redesigned as a battery-electric vehicle.
At first glance it’s difficult to tell this is a completely redesigned 500; it looks strikingly similar to the previous iteration. But do not be fooled, this 500 is new from the ground up on an all-new architecture. The new architecture has enabled Fiat to grow the 500’s footprint by 2.4 inches both in width and length. The wheelbase has also been stretched by 0.8 inches.
Regardless of how similar this 500 looks to previous one, the 42 kWh battery pack found within the 500 certainly makes it different. Fiat says the battery will be good for about 199 miles of range on the overly-generous WLTP cycle. The battery can be charged at a rate of 85 kilowatts which could top up the battery to 80 percent in about 35 minutes.
Unlike many EV’s, this 500 is not designed to be a powerhouse. Fiat says it will go from zero to 62 mph in about 9.0 seconds. Despite disclosing this performance metric, Fiat has yet to offer any power output data on the new 500.
Inside, Fiat designers kept to a theme similar to the previous 500, but cleaned it up significantly. One of the luxurious of EV’s is that there is no transmission or exhaust plumbing to design the interior around. Fiat designers seized on this by designing a large storage bin where the gear selector would normally reside. Subsequently, the dash design is much simpler than the previous 500, housing a 10.25-inch touchscreen. A 7-inch screen rests in the gauge cluster.
For now Fiat is only confirming that the 2021 Fiat 500 will launch in Europe in early 2021. There’s no official word on the U.S. market. Fiat pulled the 500 from the U.S. market last year as sales continued to slide.