A leak of the upcoming Fiat 500-based electric Abarth hot hatch shows what to expect.
The new Abarth 500 EV is due to be unveiled in the coming weeks, but leaked images posted to Instagram by Cochespias look to provide an early glimpse of its more aggressive styling.
It appears the Mini Electric rival will be distinguished from the regular Fiat 500 by a revised front end with more prominent air dams and a flat upper fascia. A neon green paint job with side striping, plus low-profile turbine-style alloy wheels help to further mark it out from the regular supermini. Spy shots of a camouflaged test car, which surfaced last week, also revealed a chunky rear spoiler.
The car, officially being revealed on 22 November, will mark the beginning of Abarth’s transition into an electrified go-faster sub-division of Fiat. Other models will receive the treatment on a case-by-case basis. Brand boss Olivier François told Autocar earlier this year that he expects to have between one and three Abarth models at any one time.
The car will mark the beginning of Abarth’s transition into an electrified go-faster sub-division of Fiat. Other models will receive the treatment on a case-by-case basis. Brand boss Olivier François told Autocar earlier this year that he expects to have between one and three Abarth models at any one time.
François said at the time: “A year and a half ago, I said it can’t be that hard [to make an Abarth version of the electric 500]. Electric cars are so fun to drive already. The good news is that we are actively working on it, and once it’s confirmed, it will be relatively quick.
“The bad news is that it’s more complicated to deliver than I thought. If you want to do a real Abarth, it’s not the same electric powertrain. Once it has the power and torque you want, it’s no longer the same drivetrain, nor the same transmission or brakes… The whole thing has to be adapted.”
He added that final test drives were under way ahead of official confirmation of the car: “It’s going to be fantastic. The sound is going to be very interesting. There will be a choice to be silent or not.”
The Abarth fan community will play a crucial role in shaping the development of upcoming models, said François: “When it comes to marketing, it’s a totally different brand to Fiat. These [Abarth fans] would not buy a Fiat, and vice versa. It’s basically one car [the 500] and two totally different targets. We are going to leverage the community, involve them in the development. Social media is ideal for that.”
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The electric Fiat 500 has a 0-62mph time of 9.0sec, a top speed of 93mph and a range of 199 miles. The upcoming Abarth version is likely to aim for that sprint in under 7.0sec with a top speed over 100mph, but at the cost of some range.