Welcome to the new 500, Fiat's latest smash-hit car to be confirmed for a fully-electric future. Francois Olivier, Fiat's marketing boss confirmed that the new 500 EV will be unveiled at next year's Geneva Motor Show.
A wise move, considering that the 2019 star of Fiat's show is the adorable, boxy, deliberately utilitarian Centoventi concept which we think suspiciously shares a huge resemblance with the Panda.
“Collectively as carmakers we've been thinking about giving people a choice of 200km range, because we didn't dare say 100km range - it sounds too low. 200km is a compromise, and while 400km is nice, it's expensive. If you have something premium and expensive that's perfect, but you wouldn't see a Tesla with a base model of the range. It makes sense to make the best offer of range and embed it in a premium priced car. That's the way we'll go with the 500.”
So, coming in the next 364 days will be an electric and premium-priced iteration that will set a fixed course for Fiat's electric ambitions. How much you ask? Well, Olivier says “ The natural entry price for a B-segment car is €15-16, but over half of Fiat 500s sold in 2018 cost €22-24,000.”
While the all-new 500 will be electric-only Olivier confirmed that the existing 500s will remain on sale alongside it with their petrol powertrain. In addition to this, he also hinted there could be more upgrades to keep that 12-year-old design fresh.
For those who are not aware of Fiat's previous experience with an electric 500, it was such a loss-maker that late Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne publicly appealed for people not to buy it, to save the company money. Hopefully, Fiat has learned some hard lessons. The said car was a front-wheel drive, which we are unclear will make it into the new one.
“Please, you must give me something to reveal next year, or it will be a very short press conference”, laughs Francois. He merely admits that the finished product will “be very true to the spirit of the original 500.”
Till then, we are unclear if the company would be pushing for an Abarth version as well. The current 500 enjoys massive sales and brought much twee retro joy to our streets. And you can let us know what you think about it going full-electric below if you please.