Fiat Risks The Abarth Nameplate On An EV

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For auto manufacturers, it’s hard to let go sometimes. Performance brands and nameplates have a reputation to uphold, and releasing a bad model under a performance name runs the risk of not only diluting, but potentially destroying the name and brand. So, it’s a big step to see Fiat put the Abarth name on something without a traditional gas-powered engine.

Abarth is introducing an entirely new era by debuting the fully electric New Abarth 500e to expand its model range, and successfully entering Brazil with the launch of the New Abarth Pulse for a line-up that more accurately reflects Abarth’s brand identity. The New Abarth 500e is said to be the most responsive and exciting in urban driving, and the fastest and most enjoyable in suburban driving. In other words, it’s more Abarth than ever. The electric architecture performs better than petrol thanks to improved weight distribution, better torque, and a wider wheelbase.

“Today we are celebrating a milestone in Abarth’s history: we are simultaneously presenting the first electric Abarth in Europe, based on the Fiat 500 electric, and also launching the brand in Brazil with the introduction of the New Abarth Pulse.” said Olivier Francois, FIAT & Abarth Chief Executive Officer and Global Chief Marketing Officer of Stellantis. “The New Abarth 500e is one of the most exciting launches in the history of the brand: a great new addition to the Abarth line-up. I like to think of it as family, so our fanbase will be involved in every step of our electrification journey.”

Francois continued: “You may ask ‘why electric?’ Well, basically, performance made us do it: in fact, every change made in the Abarth is about getting the best driving performance. That’s exactly how our founder, Carlo Abarth, always went at it. So, from that point of view, let’s say that nothing has changed: better acceleration, better handling, more fun. And then there’s Abarth’s legendary signature: its sound. All that will be feeding our gear shift to a more global presence: the New Abarth Pulse in Brazil is phase 1, then we’ll see phase 2 when the New Abarth 500e reaches markets beyond Europe, including Japan and Brazil. Put all that together and you get what we call more Abarth than ever!”

“The only reason to get an electric Abarth is to find the best performance. We have been searching for this goal over 73 years and came up with a model that takes levels of competition, excitement, determination, and energy never seen before. When you think about Carlo Abarth’s life motto “Go faster than yesterday. Win more,” you know exactly what we are talking about.”

Why They Feel Confident To Say It’s “More Abarth Than Ever”

The new Abarth 500e is everything an Abarth should be: irreverent, playful, and bold. It also offers a thrilling driving experience that’s just as fun as its predecessor! Why? The new Scorpion is said to be a powerful and stylish car that turns advanced technology into adrenaline. Thanks to its electric architecture, the New Abarth 500e is faster than ever before in both urban and suburban driving.

The new Abarth 500e is the most responsive and exciting car ever in city driving, performing better than an Abarth 695. In fact, it can accelerate from 12 to 25 mph in just 1 second — 50% faster than its petrol-powered counterpart. The new Abarth 500e is also faster outside of city limits. For example, on hairpin bends, where from 25 to 37 mph target speed can be reached in as little as 1.5 seconds — 15 meters ahead of its petrol version.

The fully electric New Abarth 500e outperforms its petrol version on the open road, reaching a speed of 62 mph (starting from 37 mph) in 1 second less time than it takes the petrol counterpart to reach 56 mph. In summary, on Misto Alfa’ Balocco’s track the New Abarth 500e beats the 695 by more than 1 second.

The New Abarth 500e is equipped with a powerful 42 kWh battery and 113.7 kW/155PS e-motor, resulting in the Scorpion’s performance levels with electric mobility innovation. In fact, it can reach 62 mph from zero almost instantly — seven seconds flat. Not to mention best-in-class acceleration and emissions while driving.

The New Abarth 500e is “exciting and fast” where it matters most — when you’re racing. This is how the brand has won over enthusiasts as well as people who have never raced before. The goal of New Abarth 500e is to expand its target market while still staying loyal to what made it great in the first place.

Minimizing Inconvenience

There’s one downside to the electric Abarth compared to the gas ones: charging time. But, Abarth and Fiat wanted to try to minimize the inconvenience. The New Abarth 500e is equipped with a 85 kW fast-charging system to reduce its charging time, so you can get back to your journey quickly. For example, it only takes five minutes to charge the battery enough for daily errands (up to 25 miles), which is less time than it would take you choosing your next destination. And when you’re in a hurry, the fast charger will bring the battery up to 80% of full power in just 35 minutes.

Is that Tesla speed? Absolutely not! But, A Tesla is a big, heavy machine, and Fiat-Abarth needed to take a different approach.

Unique Styling

The New Abarth 500e has several unique exterior features that make it stand out, such as the new dedicated front sporty bumper, the elusive and sporty lines of the lateral skirt, the cool white front DAM, the rear diffuser inserts, dedicated alloy wheels and the new Titanium Grey mirror caps.

The Abarth 500e is a sporty car that comes with full LED front lighting, front and rear disk brakes, new front and rear Abarth lettering in dark titanium grey, a new lateral electrified Scorpion signature logo, and a black convertible top with an integrated sporty spoiler. The hatchback version also comes with privacy glass on the rear windows.

There’s Much More

Fiat was very excited to share details on the new Abarth 500, but they’re a lot. If you’re curious, here’s a link to the original press release we got this information from, and you can get more details on the car’s features on the consumer site here.

Featured image provided by Fiat-Abarth.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

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