2023 Fiat Abarth 500e: The Angry Little Hot Hatch Goes Electric
Abarth is known for creating hot, exciting Fiats, and it’s now intending to continue that work with the company’s EVs.
The 2023 Fiat Abarth 500e has been revealed, with the automaker's electric hot hatch bearing a searing color scheme.
Update: 22/11/22 9:00 p.m. ET: The article has been updated with Fiat's comments below.
The Abarth 500e is the hot version of Fiat's EV hatch. It offers 155 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque, a healthy jump above the base model's 117 hp and 162 lb-ft. The extra grunt helps push the Abarth from zero to 60 mph in seven seconds, shaving two seconds off the time of the regular 500e. The new model will be available in both cabrio and hatchback form, as per the regular 500e.
Fiat also benchmarked the Abarth 500e against the existing gasoline-powered Abarth 695. Fiat determined the EV hot hatch is a full second quicker around the Misto Alfa Romeo proving ground. It's also a second quicker from 12 mph to 25 mph, too, in what Fiat calls the "urban pickup" test. In this case, the instant-on torque of the EV drivetrain is what gives the Abarth 500e a boost over its ICE-powered forebearer.
Battery-wise, the Abarth model uses the same 42 kWh battery that's available in the regular 500e. It can be recharged at up to 85 kW. Fiat reports that five minutes of charging can add 25 miles of range, while it takes 35 minutes to get the car charged from flat up to 80% capacity. No range figures are available as yet, but the basic Fiat 500e is rated at 199 miles of range with the 42 kWh battery. That figure may be slightly less in the case of the performance-oriented Abarth 500e.
The model will launch with a special edition known as the Scorpionissima, so named for Abarth's logo. Only 1,949 units will be built, a reference to the year that Abarth was founded. It will be available in a searing Acid Green paint, or Poison Blue. Other aesthetic touches include steel sill plates, bespoke metal pedals, and unique 18" wheels. It also gets a special fixed glass roof and tinted privacy glass in the rear. There are also plenty of Abarth logo embellishments in the interior to remind owners what they're driving.
Inside, the 500e is loaded with modern tech. The 10.25-inch infotainment screen features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It's paired with a 7-inch digital cluster display. As with any Abarth, up front are sporty bucket seats designed to hold one tight during enthusiastic driving.
The vehicle also features some very unique sound design. When the car is turned on or off, the Abarth plays a special guitar-based jingle. There's also a "strumming guitar" sound that triggers the first time the car exceeds 12 mph. Notably, the Abarth will also produce fake gas engine sounds if so desired. However, those craving authenticity will be pleased to know it can be turned off.
The new model is the first-ever electric Abarth model. If the performance and driving feel matches the sharp, futuristic looks, the company will have successfully transferred its unique character from the era of gasoline to the new electric future. There's no word as yet as to whether the Abarth model will reach US shores when the regular 500e does in 2024; The Drive has reached out to Fiat and will update this article accordingly.
Update: Fiat declined to comment on whether the Abarth 500e would come to the US market, indicating it is focused on the launch of the Fiat 500e in Q1 2024.
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