Electric Fiat 500e is One Powerful Urban Machine

5 years ago by Eric Loveday 6

Fiat 500e: the electric urban machine that Fiat doesn't want to build.

The standard Fiat 500 turns head, sips fuel and is ideal for urban environments, but the electric version could possibly be the ultimate 500 and here’s why: horsepower and torque.

With 111 horsepower on tap, the Fiat 500e surely packs a punch.

Most versions of the gas-burning Fiat 500s make due with less than 100 horsepower, but the electric 500 packs quite a punch.  Rated at 111 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque, the 500e is only outgunned by the pricey Abarth performance version of the 500.  Range for the electric Fiat is expected to be 80 miles.

Usually, electric versions don’t get a bump in power over their gas-fueled counterparts, but the 500e is an exception.  Fiat seems set on positioning the 500e near the top of the 500 line and its option set and specs indicate that the electric 500 is ready to stand its ground in the top spot.

The electric 500 bares a striking resemblance to the gas-burning version.

But there are a few issues.  First, Fiat seems to show only a slight interest in producing the 500e.  This means that it will be sold in extremely limited numbers.  Second, it will likely be a California-only offering.  Third, pricing is not official, but most automotive types expect the 500e to be rather expensive for its class.  Fourth, the standard 500 doesn’t exactly sell well in the US, so it’s not likely that the electric version will be a hit either.  Fifth, well, let’s stop now.

Though we believe the electric version of the 500 makes for a near-perfect urban machine, and that the 500e will likely become the strongest all-around 500, there’s simply no interest from Fiat in promoting and pushing the electric 500 to the masses.  Unfortunately, it’s a so-called compliance vehicle and nothing more.

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6 responses to "Electric Fiat 500e is One Powerful Urban Machine"

  1. David Murray says:

    This is a good way to do it. Ultimately, I believe performance will be what sells EVs, not environmental issues like so many seem to think.

    1. Open-Mind says:

      Agree completely.

      EVs offer instant full acceleration, high efficiency, low maintenance, and they run on inexpensive domestic fuel. Those advantages are hard to debate, and they are independent of one’s political views.

      But do the EV makers every convey these advantages? Not that I’ve seen. Instead they show people hugging polar bears. 😉

  2. GeorgeS says:

    Only 147 ft lb of torque? The Spark has 400!

    1. Stuart22 says:

      Yes, but it’s a GM product – which, apparently for some writers, disqualifies it for even a tiny mention. Of course, that ‘tiny mention’ would have yanked the carpet out from underneath the author’s promotion of the ‘powerful’ 500e.

    2. sparky says:

      The spark has 83 ft-lb torque. Even a 305 hp mustang only has 280 ft-lb

      1. Open-Mind says:

        The 2014 Spark EV is claimed to have about 400 ft-lb of torque:

        http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/27/chevy-details-2014-spark-ev/

        It would be nice to know where in the drive-train that torque is measured, but with 0-60 in under 8 seconds, it should be pretty zippy.