The much-loved Fiat 500 Abarth finally has a successor, and now it's electric. The 500e Abarth takes the regular model and adds a much more powerful electric motor, plus sportier styling. And while outright power is less than the top gas model, Fiat says that the new Abarth is faster on track.
On the outside, the Abarth features the brand's name plastered across the nose in place of the regular "500" logo and chrome bar. The scorpion badge now sits on top of the hood. The front bumper is unique with more aggressive air vents and a deeper air dam. The side skirts are new, too, and the rear bumper diffuser gets white inserts to match the front air dam. The Abarth scorpion badges on the sides have been tweaked to fit the electric theme, and the car gets new 18-inch wheels and some of the coolest side stripes we've seen in some time. Inside, the Abarth in the launch Scorpionissima trim gets a three-spoke steering wheel, Alcantara upholstery and stainless steel pedals and door sills.
The major performance upgrade for the 500e Abarth is the motor. It makes 153 horsepower and 173 pound-feet, compared to the next most-powerful 500e at 118 horsepower. It will get the little hatchback from 0 to 62 mph in 7 seconds. Fiat didn't say much about suspension and brake upgrades, but we assume they've been improved to match the sporty pretensions of the Abarth. Especially as Fiat says the electric Abarth will lap the company's Balocco test track more than a second faster than the current gas-powered 500 Abarth 695, which packs 180 horsepower. Certainly the lower center of gravity, wider track and longer wheelbase play some role, but there are likely other upgrades at work.
The Abarth won't be going farther than the regular 500e, though. It uses the same 42-kWh battery, which returns 199 miles of range on the WLTP cycle in the 500e. In the Abarth, with its more powerful motor, range is likely to decrease somewhat.
Owners worried about the lack of sound from an electric car won't have to worry about that with the Abarth. Available is an external sound generator. It can produce an emulated exhaust note based on the gas-powered Abarth models audible to the driver and to passersby. Fortunately, it can be switched off, too, if you don't like the idea of fake exhaust sounds. We sort of wish they opted for a more creative and less "realistic" sound like Dodge did with the Charger Daytona concept and its Fratzonic exhaust sound generator.
The Abarth is available to order now in Europe. With the regular 500e heading to America in 2024, the 500e Abarth is certainly a possibility. However, the final decision on whether to offer it hasn't been made. We hope they do bring it.
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