Fiat 500: Second U.S. Chance?
The energetic Fiat 500e has just been brought out in the United States as an urban automobile powered solely by electric energy; four years after the petrol counterpart left American soil, only the 500X crossover remaining.
The 500e enjoys the honor of being Stellantis’ premier BEV to hit American soil (leaving aside those sold from 2013 to 2019 which Sergio Marchionne decried as a financially disadvantageous product he optimistically hoped would receive no business). Boasting a powerful 42 kWh battery and an electric motor producing 118 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque committing to the front wheels, it might not entice speed aficionados with its top speed of 94 mph, but will surely charm city-dwellers. A weight of 2,952 lbs helps it reach 60 mph in an admirable 8.5 seconds -more than enough velocity for bustling cities!
Having an EPA-assessed scope of 149 miles, constraining the Fiat 500e inside metropolitan fringes would be most beneficial. It is anything but a long-distance expediter; however, it smashes its nearest rival, the Mini Cooper Electric Hardtop, which has a sanctioned reach of 114 miles. Be that as it may, a substitution for the Mini is on the skyline. Its 42 kWh battery can be recharged in 4 hours and 15 minutes utilizing an 11 kW Level 2 charger.
Connected to a 85 kW DC rapid charger, one can gain 31 miles of range within a mere five minutes of charging. In total, a 0% – 80% charge takes approximately 35 minutes when using such a charger. It is important to mention that each Fiat 500e model comes with either a home charger box system or charging credits from the Free2Move Charge program as standard equipment. The 500e also provides one-pedal driving as a base feature, thus allowing its owners to replenish range while going at slow speeds in stop-and-go situations.
This mode allows the driver to slow down and stop without ever having to touch the brake pedal. Finally, in ‘Sherpa’ mode, the car will drive itself.There are three driving modes available in the car: Normal, Range, and Sherpa. In Normal mode, the car retains its “familiar” driving characteristics, coasting along like an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle. Range mode activates the one-pedal drive system with regenerative braking, allowing the driver to slow down and stop without ever having to touch the brake pedal. Lastly, in Sherpa mode, the car will drive itself.
Lastly, there is ‘Sherpa’ mode; optimized for efficiency and safety while getting the driver to their destination. The maximum rate of speed is curbed to 50 mph with a capped power output of 76 hp. Nevertheless, the driver can still access full torque if it’s ever needed in an urgent situation by pushing down on the accelerator hard.
To alert pedestrians of its whereabouts, the 500e is equipped with an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS) that “sings” a delightful melody as it passes by. Composed by Flavio Ibba-Marco Gualdi, “The sound of 500” has been described as offering a touch of Italian culture to your drive.
“The Fiat 500e has been a popular choice for those looking for a stylish car, and it’s no wonder why. The exterior styling of the 500e is simply delightful and has aged very well. US-spec models come with LED lighting at both the front and rear, flush-fitting ‘e-latch’ door handles, and 17-inch diamond-cut wheels – all of which add to the eye-catching design of the 500e.”
At launch, a one-and-only trim level will be offered: the (RED) Edition. Fiat has collaborated with the charity to assemble an individualized version that features unique red paintwork, original grille badges, and a crimson dash, only a few of its special characteristics. Whenever these models are sold, a part of the money goes to the heroic global cause helping people around the world who are in need. Stellantis has recently coupled with (RED) several times, introducing their very own Ram 1500 exclusive edition.
At the diminutive size of 142.9 inches long, 74.1 inches wide and 66.3 inches high, the Fiat is dwarfed when set alongside something such as a Toyota Corolla Hatch – making it appear more like an SUV.
Within, the 500e commemorates the original 1957 500 with a dual spoke steering wheel and a rounded instrument panel. Offering more modern amenities however, the 500e is without a doubt a contemporary city-car. With all the expected features, such as a 10.25-inch centre screen incorporating Uconnect 5 and a seven-inch totally digital driver’s display, the car provides boosts like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, together with an integrated virtual assistant. Included among these are also amenities such as wireless phone charging as well as double phone connectivity. Furthermore, the system can obtain OTA updates, thus guarantees it is kept up-to-date.
The operator obtains a six-way seat adaptation, while the traveller in front must settle with four-way modifications. Fiat articulates that the seating is composed of reused components.
Safety belongings include Lane Preservation Aid, Automatic Urgency Stopping, and Footpath Notification. Safety features include Lane Keeping Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking, and Pedestrian Alerts.
Pricing for the 500e (RED) Edition begins at $32,500 (without the $1,595 destination fee). That is surely quite steep; however, Fiat’s release of a special edition gives us expectation that a more affordable version (valued beneath $30,000) will be obtainable in the future. Regrettably, it seems that the 500e does not qualify for federal tax incentives, thus there is no $7,500 rebate (or portion thereof) such as what you can get with the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Nissan Leaf, two of America’s least expensive EVs.
Fiat is embracing the challenge of BEVs in a manner unique to the Italian brand, combining their signature ‘La Dolce Vita’ spirit with a commitment to sustainability and zero emissions. The upcoming 500e for MY2024 is a modernized version of the iconic classic, providing enhanced safety features while still being an enjoyable ride that stays true to its roots. Get behind the wheel of this car and we guarantee you won’t be able to keep the smile off your face! The 500e will be available at dealerships in the first quarter of next year.