Heavily camouflaged all-electric Fiat 500 snapped during its handling assessment, due to be revealed at Geneva
A heavily camouflaged, pre-production version of the all-new, all-electric Fiat 500 has been caught on camera ahead of its planned launch at next year’s Geneva Motor Show. When it goes on sale during the second half of 2020, it’ll offer competition for the Honda e and forthcoming MINI Electric.
The current-generation model has been a staple of Fiat’s range for more than a decade, with over two million units produced since its introduction in 2005. It remains a popular seller for the brand to this day but, to keep pace with current industry shift towards electric drive, Fiat is planning a bold reinvention for the 500.
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There will be no internal combustion engine offered in the next car – instead, the line-up will consist entirely of electric powertrains. The car’s styling will also receive a minor update to appeal to the 500’s increasingly upmarket customer base. However, the mule in these spy shots shares the same bug-eyed headlamps and curvy panelling as the current model.
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.
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.”
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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…