Next Abarth 500 will be an electric hot hatch

Electric Abarth 500 will be the first EV from Fiat’s performance sub brand

Abarth 500 electric
  • Electric Abarth 500 will be based on the 500 EV
  • Likely to get more power and sporty styling 
  • Could arrive next year

Abarth has revealed that its next-generation 500 model will be an all-electric hot hatch. The new model will be based on the Fiat 500 electric city car, and will be the first EV from Fiat’s performance sub brand. Details are still scarce, but the newcomer  could be revealed as early as next year, as the brand begins its transition to a fully-electric line-up. 

To set it apart from the regular 500 EV, the electric Abarth 500 will get more power, sportier handling and a racier design inside and out. When it arrives, it will have few direct rivals, but could be a smaller and more affordable alternative to EVs such as the MINI Electric and Cupra Born

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022

The new electric Abarth 500 is likely to carry over all of the sporty design touches from the current model. This was hinted at by Fiat CEO Oliver Francois who told our sister publication Auto Express “The looks are the same. We need to be a little bit more extrovert. Abarth is always a little bit over the top, with spoilers and wheels.”

Our exclusive preview image shows what the Abarthl could look like. Expect an array of more aggressive styling tweaks throughout, including redesigned front and rear bumpers, a larger rear spoiler and alloy wheels, along with a range of contrasting side stripes and paint options. Inside, changes are likely to include Abarth branded sports seats, aluminium pedals and a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel. 

Details of its powertrain are yet to be revealed, but we’d expect it to get a substantial power hike over the 500 electric. In standard form, the 500 EV is powered by a 116bhp electric motor fed by a 42kWh battery, giving it a 0-62mph time of nine seconds and a top speed of 93mph. 

To match the current Abarth 595 range, the electric Abarth will need a power boost of at least 50bhp over the standard model. However, like the existing petrol-engined model, which is available in different power outputs across the base 595, Turismo, Competizione, esseesse, F595 and 695 models, we expect the EV could get a variety of powertrain options.

As the electric Abarth 500 will focus on performance rather than range, it’s likely this model won’t be able to match the 199-mile range offered by the 500 EV. The brand could also give the model a synthetic engine sound, or it could enhance the noise of the electric motor. 

Since production of the Abarth 124 Spider ended a few years ago, the sub brand’s range has been limited to the 595 hatch and 595C, plus the limited-run 695 models. The arrival of the electric Abarth 500 would spell the end of the petrol powered models for the company, which also plans to release a second fully-electric, Fiat-based Abarth model by 2025,. 

Looking for a hot hatchback? Read our list of the best models to buy in 2022.

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