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First Look: 2024 Fiat 500e

by | December 5, 2023

Fiat hopes to charge itself up as it begins the transition to an all-electric brand. It’s pulling the covers off an all-electric version of the iconic Cinquecento, better known to Americans as the 500. The first edition headed to the U.S. will be the 2024 Fiat 500e RED edition. Here’s what we know about it.

2024 Fiat 500e RED with original 500

Fiat is back! The 500 returns to the U.S. as an all-electric model, the 2024 Fiat 500e RED edition.

The Fiat brand has a rough go of it since it attempted a U.S. comeback in 2011 after a 27-year absence. It hit bottom when the little Cinquecento model was pulled out of American showrooms back in 2020. But the iconic coupe is about to stage a comeback.

There’s one notable difference this time around: the new model will be the all-electric 2024 Fiat 500e. More precisely, the 500e RED edition which, as these images reveal, matches the color scheme, both inside and out.

“Fiat is taking on BEVs in a way only the Italian brand can; combining ‘La Dolce Vita’ spirit of an icon with a mission of sustainability and zero emissions,” said Olivier Francois, CEO of the Fiat brand and the global marketing chief of its parent, Stellantis. “The 2024 500e is a modern, tech-forward take on a beloved classic, delivering a host of new safety features, while remaining fun to drive and true to its roots.”

This time, Fiat is serious

2024 FIAT (500e) RED

Fiat hit bottom when the little Cinquecento model was pulled out of American showrooms back in 2020.

Fiat previously announced plans to become an all-electric brand in Europe by 2030, with EVs accounting for half of its U.S. sales by decade’s end. It sees the debut of the new 500 line as a way to get potential buyers charged up by that transition.

This actually marks the second attempt by Fiat to offer an all-electric version of Cinquecento. But in 2014, when it rolled out the original version, former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne famously urged potential customers not to buy the 500e because the automaker lost $14,000 on every one of them.

Fiat hasn’t said whether it can get into the black with the new one but Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has said that’s a difficult challenge with all EVs right now.

A “heritage” design

The new model hews closely to the shape of the last 500 Americans saw — and in line with the Cinquecento that’s already on sale in Europe. But it’s actually a bit larger, something that the automaker hopes will help it gain traction in the States — much as is happening with the other iconic small car brand, Mini.

The new 500e is a modern, tech-forward take on a classic, delivering a host of new safety features, while remaining fun to drive and true to its roots.

Among the most obvious updates are the new LED lights, both front and rear, more aerodynamic “e-latch” door handles, and the requisite sealed grille – the latter to help improve aero as there’s no engine under the hood to feet air into.

Cheating the wind is, of course, critical to any EV in order to improve range. It’s all the more vital with a vehicle the size of the 500e since there’s so little space under the load floor where batteries can be squeezed in. One concession is the introduction of 17-inch diamond cut wheels which give the little coupe a bolder, more expressive appearance.

Classic notes and high-tech touches

The 4-seat cabin also picks up on 500 heritage cues with features such as the rounded gauge cluster, dashboard insert and two-spoke steering wheel. But there are decidedly more modern, high-tech touches, as well.

That includes a 10.24-inch center-mounted touchscreen using Stellantis’ Uconnect 5 infotainment system. The Fiat 500e RED also features a 7-inch digital cluster. The infotainment system’s voice control now can be activated simply by saying the “Hey, Fiat,” wake word, much like the familiar Amazon Alexa voice assistant. It also features wireless versions of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s a wireless smartphone charger and the system can simultaneously connect to two separate smartphones.

All seats used new recycled materials and the driver has a 6-way adjustable bucket, with 4-way controls for the front passenger. Fiat claims to have expanded storage space for all occupants.

Powertrain and charging

Along with improvements to the Cinquecento’s aerodynamics, Fiat engineers worked to cut mass, with the 500e claimed to be the lightest EV in its segment, at just 3,000 pounds. That should help enhance range, though the coupe is likely to find its biggest appeal in urban communities since it still only manages an EPA-estimated 149 miles per charge.

A single electric motor produces 118 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The Italian brand hasn’t released performance specs but that instant torque should make it reasonable peppy. Top speed is 94 mph. Power comes from a modest 42 kwh lithium-ion battery.

Fiat says it will take 4 hours 15 minutes to go from a totally drained to 100% fully charged battery. Using an 85 kW fast charger takes 35 minutes to go from 0 to 80%.

Pricing and availability – and a charity donation.

Look for the 2024 Fiat 500e RED to reach U.S. showrooms by early 2024. The Italian brand hasn’t said which other versions of the Cinquecento will reach the U.S., nor when.

The little coupe starts at $32,500 plus $1,595 in delivery fees.

“Every time a (RED) product is purchased, it triggers a donation to the Global Fund to support a range of prevention, treatment, counselling, testing, education and care services to the communities most in need,” Fiat said in a statement. The charity was founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to fight AIDS.


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