Rumors that Fiat was working on a hot Abarth version of the new 500e have surfaced several times since the all-new electric model was unveiled and they were eventually officially confirmed. Now we have photos of a possible prototype that may look unassuming, but it is actually believed to be an actual real test vehicle, even though aside from the Alfa Romeo Mito rims, it looks bone stock.
However, according to Walter Vayr who posted these photos on Facebook, it had one telltale piece of paper in its right rear side window indicating that it was a “332 BEV Abarth M 001.” This seems to point to the fact that this is the real deal, and since it is designated 001, it is speculated that it could actually be the first prototype of the upcoming hot electric 500.
Gallery: Abarth 500E Spy Photos
We’re pretty sure this is a real prototype and that Fiat is working on such a model because it was confirmed in March of last year by Abarth boss Olivier François, who even went as far as to say work on the hot EV was almost done. François explained that the variant was a bit trickier to develop than initially expected, but that it was going to feature retuned suspension, bigger brakes.
He didn’t directly mention power and performance, but the older report hinted that the model could have enough power to sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) in about 7 seconds and on to a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). In order for it to achieve that sprint time, it would need around 160 - 170 horsepower, based on our estimation.
When we drove the 500e a while back, we were impressed by how much of a step up it was over its predecessor in all areas - it is quicker, roomier, better built, higher tech and, most importantly, it does not renounce the older model’s fun-loving character. We also expect this Abarth 500e to feature an exterior makeover similar to this rendering we made when rumors first popped up. No word yet on when the new Abarth 500e will be revealed, though, but it will probably be sometime next year.