Fiat was wise not to make the all-new 500e that different to the regular 500 (which it will keep in production in parallel), a model that has been a remarkable success story for over a decade. It looks more or less the same, just a bit more modern and posh, which is why I would totally like to see Fiat also make a spiced up Abarth version of it.
If you’ve ever driven an Abarth 500, then you’ll know what a hoot it is. It completely transforms the normal 500’s driving experience which, let’s face it, is more about taking it easy than taking corners at high speed. When I read through the specs of the new 500e, they make it sound as if it will be reasonably fun and nippy, but with a naught to 100 km/h time of 9 seconds, it’s certainly no performance car.
That’s why I think there is reason for Fiat to consider creating a more fun-oriented Abarth version of this new 500e. And the formula it has to apply is exactly the same one used for the gasoline-burning Abarth 500: lower it, stiffen it, give it more power and spruce up its exterior with sporty bits and decals.
It wouldn’t need that much more power, maybe enough to drop its sprint time to under 7 seconds - probably somewhere around 180 - 200 horsepower would get the job done. Combine this extra oomph with the stiffer suspension, sharper steering and better brakes, and you’d get a car that is even more fun than the regular 500e (which Fiat already says is a lot of fun to drive, not that it’s been independently verified yet).
Gallery: 2020 Fiat 500e EV
Sure, the extra power would reduce the car's WLTP range (currently rated at 320 km or 199 miles), but since it wouldn't be the top selling model, just a specialized version for keen drivers, I think it would still make sense and justify its existence.
There need to be more performance oriented EVs on the market, in order to increase their popularity. Right now, they’re addressed at those who don’t want a vehicle with tailpipe emissions, and even though there are many super fast EVs already on the market, few of them are actually marketed as sporty propositions.
It is currently way too early to even realistically speculate upon the possible creation of an Abarth 500e, but I’ve tried to imagine what something like that might look like with the rendering used as the opening shot for this article. I know I’d certainly love to see it created, but, then again, I want more sporty EVs generally speaking; am I alone in my desire for this all-electric Abarth to happen?