Our first glimpse of all-new battery-powered Fiat 500's rear styling reveals evolution not revolution will occur in the looks department
A fresh pic of a completely undisguised next-generation Fiat 500 has surfaced online that exposes how the Italian car-maker plans to reinvent one of its best-sellers.
The rear shot of the all-new Fiat 500, that was posted on Cochespias’ Instagram page, is particularly revealing as to the untrained eye the small supermini looks like a facelifted version of the current car.
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Nothing could be further from the truth though as Fiat has some radical plans to go all-electric with the next-gen Fiat 500 to create a smaller, cheaper alternative to the Honda e and the upcoming Mini Electric.
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With the manufacturer committed to the idea of a zero-emission supermini there will be no combustion engines at all available in the next Fiat 500, with the small hatch moving to an all-new dedicated EV platform.
Look closer at the image and you can see some very subtle changes over the current car that include the moving of the door mirror to the corner of the A-pillar, the little 500 also gets a pair of larger, blockier D-shaped rear lamps and a completely redesigned boot lid that ditches its chrome.
New door handles and smooth lines all round appear to suggest Fiat designers are creating the next 500 under the mantra ‘keep it simple’, confirming the accuracy of our exclusive Auto Express renderings.
Recent spy shots also confirm the 500’s trademark bug-eye headlamps upfront will also live on, but inside is perhaps where the biggest changes will take place.
FCA’s Chief Marketing Officer, Oliver Francois said: “Premium is the way we will go with the EV 500. A new 500, totally renewed. Totally electric. It’s kind of an urban Tesla, with beautiful style. Italianess, dolce vita in an electric car. It’s the polar opposite of Centoventi.”
The Centoventi concept was a surprise entry from Fiat for the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. It previewed the next-generation Panda, which is touted to feature a selection of affordable electric powertrains, offering anywhere between 60 and 300 miles of range.
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Francois couldn’t clarify whether the two vehicles would share the same underpinnings, but he did confirm that the next-generation 500 will use FCA’s brand new dedicated electric architecture. He said: “It’s a new platform designed for electrification. It makes the car radically different. It’s still a 500, same size, same proportions, but it’s just not the same car. The 500 of the future.”
FCA’s marketing chief also hinted that, due to the all-electric 500’s planned shift upmarket, its price would increase significantly over the outgoing model. However, Francois pointed towards the appeal of the more expensive limited edition variants of the current car, adding “the appeal of the 500 is so strong we may not lose customers.”
An Abarth version is not part of the plan at present, but could potentially appear further into the 500 EV’s lifespan. Francois also confirmed that the new 500 EV would not be the end of the line for the current generation 500 though, which will continue on after the launch of the new electric model, offering buyers a more affordable route into 500 ownership with a selection of petrol engines.
Fiat recently confirmed that the all-new 500 will be built at its Mirafiori plant in Turin, on a dedicated assembly line manned by a 1,200-strong workforce. Fiat has already allocated £700 million for the plant’s re-tooling – an investment which the company expects it will easily recoup, with a forecasted annual production capacity of 80,000 units and the potential for further expansion, should customer demand exceed expectations.
Now read all the latest on the Fiat Centoventi Concept. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…