PLANET Earth is going through a very delicate period. One unique in its history. To keep pace with the change in social needs, Fiat is embracing a green future, and developing a pure electric Fiat 500.
The new 500 is set to change the rules for zero emission vehicles, with Fiat partnering with Leonardo Di Caprio, Giorgio Armani, Bvlgari and Kartell to be part of the project to design and engineer the future of an icon.
Starting with a blank sheet of paper, engineers have thought about pretty much everything. The lithium-ion batteries have a capacity of 42kWh giving the 500 a range of up to 320km in the WLTP cycle.
To optimise charging time, it’s equipped with an 85kW fast charger system to charge the battery very quickly. For example, it takes only 5 minutes to build up a sufficient energy reserve to travel 50km, more than is needed for average daily use.
The fast charger (Combo2 socket) can also charge the battery to 80 per cent in just 35 minutes. Home charging solutions are also available, and the launch edition of the new 500 will even come with one.
Easy Wallbox, a home charging system that can be connected to a normal home outlet, will come as part of the package, and was developed exclusively for FCA by ENGIE EPS.
It is a simple, accessible “plug-and-charge” solution that can be managed easily via Bluetooth, letting you stabilise your energy load by charging your 500 immediately at home with up to 3kW of charging power.
Moreover, the Easy Wallbox is ready for a power upgrade to 7.4kW, providing a full charge at home in just over 6 hours. The model also comes with a Mode 3 cable for charging from the public mains.
The new 500 has three driving modes, Normal, Range and Sherpa, which can be selected to match your driving style. The engine has an output of 87kW, providing a maximum speed of 150km/h and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 9.0 seconds.
The car of the future is not just an electric city car, but goes one step further. It literally goes to the next level by being the first car in its segment to offer level 2 autonomous driving, bringing all the associated benefits to urban mobility.
Front-facing camera monitoring technology monitors all areas of the car, both longitudinally and laterally. The intelligent adaptive cruise control system brakes or accelerates in response to anything; cars, cyclists, even pedestrians.
Lane centering keeps the vehicle in the centre of the lane when the markings are correctly identified. It’s also the first vehicle to be fitted with the new UConnect 5 infotainment system, the connected platform designed for the future.
Developed with the idea of providing customers with a completely new user experience, the easy, intuitive and incredibly customisable Android Auto based operating system uses widgets to configure functions and apps, and includes wireless Apple CarPlay.
It features a 10.25-inch high-definition touchscreen, with a horizontal form factor that fits perfectly into the car dashboard, following its lines. The UConnect 5 package also combines with Telematic Box and Emergency Call for its connectivity services.
It includes My Assistant, My Remote, My Car, My Navigation, My Wi-Fi and My Theft Assistance. The launch version also boasts advanced voice recognition, so you can talk to the car to control parameters, set the climate control and choose your favourite music.
On the outside, the new 500 features a more vertical front, similar to its original 1957 version, while the dividing line that separated the front end from the headlights has been redesigned, dividing the modular elliptical headlights with an ‘eyelash’ on the bonnet.
The slightly more elliptical, still-iconic headlights offer a more appealing look, while the door handles are completely flush. New design elements continue back inside, with a wider, more slender dashboard and modular storage between the two front seats.
There is more space behind the shoulders and for the legs, while the flat bottom can house the lithium batteries without compromising the luggage compartment capacity, which remains unchanged.
The result is a well thought out, cleaner environment, with fewer buttons and crisp, harmonious lines that are all about sustainability. As for the hybrid Fiat 500, including the electric version, some trim levels also have seats made using “Seaqual” yarn.
It’s derived from plastic recovered from the sea. Other variants also use eco-leather rather than real leather. Australian availability, pricing, and specifications are not yet known, and will be announced soon.