Despite it being purely a compliance EV and sold in limited numbers, the Fiat 500e was selected by Road & Track as the winner of the magazine's "Best Electric Car of 2013" award.
Aside from the compliance aspect, we think the 500e is worthy of this accolade, as its one of only a few reasonably priced electrics out there with a focus on performance (the Chevy Spark EV immediately comes to mind, too).
As for Road & Track's selection of the 500e, here's what the magazine's editors say:
- Fiat 500e makes Road & Track's "Best Cars" list
- Delivers "big fun," Road & Track editors say
- Best-in-class single-charge range of 87 miles, with typical city range of 100+ miles and EPA city/highway fuel-economy rating of 116 MPGe
- Unsurpassed frugality with EPA-estimated annual fuel-equivalent cost of $500
- Superior handling and unique "blended braking" braking system
November 14, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Road & Track has named the 2014 Fiat 500e "Best Electric" in the publication's first-ever "Best Cars" list.
Chrysler Group "must like having big fun on the clock, because this thing will chirp its tires and lay elevens all day," R&T editors said today.
The breakthrough electric vehicle (EV) is indeed fun, also delivering class-leading efficiency with unparalleled style.
"It is deeply satisfying that Road & Track editors are so taken with the 500e," said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand for North America, Chrysler Group. "The combination of modern Italian style, sporty feel and a zero-emissions powertrain makes the 500e a truly unique proposition in the marketplace."
Road & Track's "The Best of Everything" feature hits newsstands Nov. 19.
The award is the latest in a recent string of honors accorded the 500e, having been named best electric vehicle by Spanish-language automotive radio show, Ruedas ESPN, and "top electric vehicle" in the Northwest Automotive Press Association's "Drive Revolution" green car competition.
Inspired by the celebrated Fiat 500 hatchback, the 500e was engineered by Chrysler Group – the global hub of electrification activity for Chrysler Group and Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A.
Its liquid-cooled/heated battery-electric powertrain produces 111-horsepower (83-kW) and boasts a best-in-class range rating of 87 miles on a single charge – which takes less than four hours using a Level 2 energy source (220 volts).
Typically, the 2014 Fiat 500e will deliver more than 100 miles of range in city driving.
Engineered as a no-compromise EV, it features a unique "blended" braking strategy that affords the coasting experience associated with conventionally powered vehicles, along with the benefits regenerative braking brings to battery recharging.
Rather Evenly Matched...the Spark EV is the only Real Competitor Out There to the Fiat 500e - Sadly, Both Are Compliance EVs
In most cases, the Fiat 500e uses 100% of its regenerative braking capability all the way down to 8 mph. This maximizes the vehicle's efficiency, while enabling longer brake life.
A unique lower-body structure provides packaging and protection for the 2014 Fiat 500e's 24-kWh battery, while providing a 10 percent improvement in bending stiffness.
In a significant boost to handling, the battery's position redistributes the 500e's front-to-rear weight ratio. It is 57:43, compared with 64:36 for the conventionally powered Cinquecento.
The result is a tighter and stiffer feel and better control at higher speeds – all of which contribute to added driver confidence.
The 2014 Fiat 500e pushes its iconic Italian design forward with a shape sculpted in the wind tunnel. The car achieves a 0.311 coeffient of drag (Cd), which is 13 percent better than the Fiat 500 Lounge's 0.359.
The 500e's dot-matrix exterior styling theme is reprised inside, where retro-futuristic design fuses with unique EV technology elements such as a uniquely designed electronic shifter with easy-to-use push-button transmission mode selection.
This schematic provides most of the electric 500's vital details.
The 500e's cutting-edge 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) instrument cluster displays full-color picture graphics to illustrate vehicle functions, charge levels and trip information. In addition, an EV-specific TomTom Navigation unit enables the driver to view the vehicle's charge schedule, range, and power-flow gauges, and can even locate nearby charging stations, showing real-time availability.
The Fiat Access smartphone app (compatible with iPhone and Android) further enhances the ownership experience, offering three years of connected services to manage charging via remote, track a driver's energy use, locate the vehicle and nearby charging stations, while providing provides text-message and email alerts.