Radical reinvention of Fiat’s icon will use a dedicated EV platform and will be an “urban Tesla”
Fiat has confirmed it will launch a next-generation 500 city car in 2020 which will see the brand take its icon all-electric and with a luxury focus. It will be revealed in production form exactly 12 months from now at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show.
The current-generation 500 has been a staple of the Fiat range for well over a decade with over two million produced since introduction in 2005, and is still a hugely popular seller for the brand. However, Fiat has to move with the times, and is plotting a bold reinvention of the car.
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There will be no internal combustion variant of the next car – it will be entirely electric, and will be redesigned to appeal to an increasingly upmarket customer base for the 500.
“Premium is the way we will go with the EV 500”, explained head of Fiat and FCA chief marketing officer Olivier Francois.
“A new 500, totally renewed. A new object. Totally electric. It’s kind of an urban Tesla, with beautiful style. Italianess, dolce vita in an electric car. It’s the polar opposite of Centoventi.”
Fiat’s big surprise at the Geneva Motor Show was the reveal of the Centoventi concept, previewing a next-generation Panda with affordable, low-range electric powertrain options.
Francois could not clarify if the two vehicles would use the same platform, but did confirm that the next-gen all-electric 500 will use a brand new dedicated electric architecture currently under development by FCA.
“It’s a new platform designed for electrification. It makes the car radically different. It’s still a 500, same size same proportions, but it’s just not the same car. The 500 of the future”.
Francois hinted that with the 500 EV more upmarket position compared to the current car would be reflected in the asking price, but did not name a figure. However, pointing to the appeal of expensive limited edition versions of the current car, he added “the appeal of the 500 is so strong we may not lose customers” with an expensive all-electric version.
An Abarth version is not part of the plan at present, but could potentially appear further into the 500 EV’s lifespan.
Francois confirmed that the new 500 EV would not be the end of the line for the current generation 500 though, which will continue on after the launch of the new electric model, offering buyers a more affordable route into 500 ownership with a selection of petrol engines.
Get all the latest from the 2019 Geneva Motor Show here…