It’s been ages but the Italians have finally revealed the all-new third-generation Fiat 500 and it’s an electric, ahem, four-seater convertible…
You have the Gregorian, Julian, Chinese, Mayan, Islamic and Bahai calendars, and then you have the Fiat 500. They’re all pretty decent measures of our time on earth but the little Cinquecento takes the cake. First they made this thing for about forever, or at least between ’57 and ’75. Then it came around again, manufactured in Poland and Mexico for the last three thousand years, between 2007 and 2020. Now the planets are aligning once more, and an all-new Fiat 500 is ready to embark on towards the next glacial period.
At launch the third-generation Fiat 500 is an all-electric car with a range of up to 320km and 85kW fast charging capability as standard. The Italians claim this is the first city car with Level 2 autonomous capability, and the first zero-emissions four-seater convertible to go on sale yet. This isn’t true at all because there were plenty such things in the early 1900s – remember the Waverley Runabout? Of course you do, and who can forget the 1901 AEVC Break…
As is the norm currently with electric cars, even compacts, this Fiat 500 won’t be cheap – in Europe orders are starting to come in with prices for the fully loaded model at around AED140,000. The second-generation 500 will stay in production at least for the time being, and it will continue to cater to buyers who prefer internal combustion engines until the third-gen line-up spreads out a little.
For now the new Fiat 500 puts down 117 horsepower through a single electric motor, which allows zero to 100km/h in nine seconds and a limited top speed of 150km/h to preserve range. The lithium-ion batteries can provide 50km of range with five minutes of fast-charging if you’re in a rush, and you can juice up 80 percent of the battery in 35 minutes according to the manufacturer.
With a camera up front, the Fiat’s smart cruise control can brake or accelerate for pedestrians and cyclists, and the lane keeping assists and speed assist can read road signs and keep things neat and tidy for you. Inside the car there is a 10.25-inch touchscreen featuring the latest-generation infotainment system from the Fiat Chrysler group.
As for the styling, well there it is in the photos – The new third-generation Fiat 500 looks like a Fiat 500, with a big 500 logo on the nose and a big 500 logo on the tailgate. They also put an E back there. Compared to the second-gen, the new car 60mm longer and 60mm wider, but the wheelbase has only increased by 20mm so the rear seats will still be a medieval torture device. Anyway folks, that’s the new Fiat 500, and we’ll see you next millennium.