Cinquecento electrified: Fiat reveals all-new 500
Turin, Italy - First reincarnated in 2007 as a modern but retro hatchback paying hommage to the 1957 original, the Fiat 500 has been reinvented once again, this time as an electric car with ‘Level 2’ semi-autonomous driving capability.
Fiat’s new fully-electric powertrain is not just an option here - it’s standard on the new 500, meaning the little Cinquecento is also taking a step upmarket, with pricing of the First Edition starting at the equivalent of R600 000 in Europe.
For that you get an 87kW electric motor that’s capable of propelling the little hatch from 0-100km/h in nine seconds, as well as a 42kWh battery that enables a claimed range of 320km between charges, on the WLTP cycle. The car also comes with an 85kW fast charge system that requires just five minutes to accumulate enough energy to travel 48km, while an 80 percent charge can apparently be achieved in 35 minutes.
This Fiat also comes to the rescue when you’re stuck with a bad case of range anxiety, with a ‘Sherpa’ mode that maximises range by adjusting throttle settings, limiting the speed to 80km/h and deactivating the climate control and seat heating.
Fiat has packed a great deal of technology into this little car, including a front-facing camera system that can monitor all areas the car, both longitudinally and laterally.
As mentioned, it can just about drive itself, thanks to Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, designed to respond to cars, cyclists and pedestrians, and a Lane Centring system that can keep the car in the centre of its lane, provided that the markings are clear enough. What’s more, 360-degree sensors give drivers a drone-like view when parking.
The new 500 is also the first FCA product to feature the company’s new UConnect 5 infotainment system that offers seamless and wireless smartphone integration. A wide range of connectivity services are available too, enabling real-time route information and advice, emergency assistance and remote control of the car from afar.