The New Fiat 500, the first fully electric car from FCA, makes its debut today. The new generation of the iconic city car has a range of up to 199 miles (320 km) in the WLTP cycle and receives 85kW fast charging as standard. Production of the New Fiat 500 returns to its birthplace of Turin, Italy where the first model was first created 63 years ago. Unveiled in top specification guise – ‘La Prima’ – pre-orders begin today, priced at £29,000 OTR in the UK (including PiCG).
The New 500 takes inspiration from the generations before it. The first generation of 500 offered freedom and mobility, establishing itself as an icon. Revived in 2007, the second generation introduced style and charm to the iconic city car that went on to conquer the world. The third generation is more sustainable, connected and autonomous, adhering to increasingly stringent regulations and using its popularity to inspire change.
Three other iconic Italian companies – Giorgio Armani, Bvlgari and Kartell – have combined their excellence in style, creativity and craftsmanship to create three unique versions of the New 500.
So much substance: the best possible range, charging and driving experience
When designing the New 500 engineers started with a blank sheet of paper. They worked on every aspect of the car with the utmost attention to detail and created solutions for best possible range, charging and driving experience.
Range and charging times are two key considerations for customers. The lithium-ion batteries, with a capacity of 42kWh, give the New 500 a range of up to 199 miles (320 km) in the WLTP cycle. To optimise charging time, the New 500 is equipped with an 85kW fast charge system. It takes only five minutes to build up a sufficient energy reserve to travel 30 miles, more than the average daily commute. Using a fast charger can also power the battery to 80% in just 35 minutes. The Combo 2 socket, located on the rear right side panel of the car, has the ability to accept both AC and DC charging.
Home charging solutions are also available. The launch edition of the New 500 comes complete with an Easy Wallbox™, a home charging system that can simply be connected to a normal home outlet. ENGIE EPS developed this solution exclusively for FCA. This simple, accessible “plug-and-charge” solution can be managed easily via Bluetooth. It can stabilise energy load by charging a 500 at home with up to 3kW of charging power, without the need for professional installation.
The Easy Wallbox can be upgraded to 7.4kW, providing a full charge at home in just over six hours. The New 500 also comes with a Mode 3 cable for charging at up to 11kW from a public charge point.
The New 500 has three driving modes: Normal, Range and Sherpa, which can be selected to suit your driving style or requirements.
Sherpa mode optimises the available resources to reduce fuel consumption to a minimum, enabling it to reach the destination set on the navigation system or the nearest charging station. Just like a “Himalayan Sherpa”, who is in charge of the whole expedition and is a guide to the destination, this driving mode adjusts various parameters: maximum speed is limited to 50mph; accelerator response is managed in order to reduce energy consumption; and deactivation of both the climate control system and heated seats (the driver has the option of activating them at any time).
“Normal” mode is as close as possible to driving a vehicle with a normal combustion engine, while “Range” mode activates the “one-pedal-drive” function. By selecting this driving mode, the new 500 can be driven with the accelerator pedal alone. Releasing the accelerator causes much greater deceleration than with a normal combustion engine, almost as if the brake pedal was pushed. The brake pedal must be used to bring the car to a complete stop, however with daily use and a little experience, it is possible to drive using just the accelerator pedal.
The electric motor has an output of 87kW, providing a maximum speed of 93mph (150 km/h) (self-limited) and acceleration from zero to 62mph (100 km/h) in 9 seconds and zero to 31mph (50 km/h) in 3.1 seconds.
Level 2 autonomous driving and connectivity
The car of the future is not just an electric city car, it is the first car in its segment to offer level 2 autonomous driving, bringing all the associated benefits to urban mobility.
- Front-facing camera monitoring technology to monitor all areas of the car, both longitudinally and laterally
- Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (iACC) system brakes or accelerates in response to cars, cyclists, pedestrians
- Lane Centring keeps the vehicle in the centre of the lane when the markings are correctly identified
- Intelligent Speed Assist reads the speed limits and recommends applying them
- Urban Blind Spot uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor the blind spots and warn of any obstacles with a triangular warning light on the wing mirror
- Attention Assist provides warnings on the display, recommending that you stop and take a break when you are tired
- 360-degree sensors provide a drone-like view to avoid any obstacles when parking or performing complex manoeuvres
The New 500 is the first FCA car to be equipped with the new UConnect 5 infotainment system, the connected platform designed for the future. Developed with the idea of providing customers with a completely new user experience, UConnect 5 is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto operating systems and can be used in wireless mode.
The 500 offers seamless integration with a smartphone, offering a 10.25-inch high-definition horizontal touchscreen with a 16:9 aspect ratio that fits perfectly into the car dashboard.
UConnect 5 combined with the telematic box module not only provides the mandatory Emergency Call feature, but also a number of innovative connectivity services:
- My Remote: checks the battery charge level from a smartphone; schedule vehicle charging during the most convenient time periods; know the exact location of the car; lock and unlock the doors and set the climate control system
- My Navigation: set the destination on the car navigator, identify the route, check the traffic and weather conditions along the route, and see speed camera and charging point locations, all directly from the app
- My Assistant: an assistance system to supplement an emergency call to talk to with assistant to ask for help in the event of breakdown
- My Theft assistance: this tracks the car so that it can be recovered if stolen
- My Wi-Fi: A true hotspot that connects up to eight electronic devices to the network at the same time (this service is only available in some markets)
- My Car: to check the condition of the car, immediately verifying various parameters from tyre pressure to service schedule
The UConnect 5 system works both inside and outside the car, allowing the driver to set the navigation route in advance, and to pre-condition the climate. Smartphones can be connected in just five seconds using wireless functionality.
The launch version also boasts the natural language interface system, with advanced speech recognition, to talk to the car to control parameters, set the climate control and choose the music.
Style and design
In terms of style, the New 500 implements future mobility in an Italian way, bringing together the considerable legacy of the two previous generations. Integrating the classic and cool style of the 500 rooted in 63 years of history, the New 500 is still an iconic city car with the same stylistic proportions and clean design. During the design phase, the Fiat Centro Stile worked on clean lines and a consistent language to define the look of the third generation: crisp, advanced and compact, while being more graceful and elegant, shaped around a more proportioned approach to the chassis. This gives a perception of increased stability and dimensional presence.
Another requirement was to give the new model a dedicated 500 logo, which appears at the centre of the front badge for the first time, in the place of the Fiat logo. The current 500 logo at the rear keeps its link with the past, albeit transformed into the dedicated all-electric version: distinguished and embellished by a light blue border, with a play of design and colour transforming the final zero into a letter “E”.
The front bumper mirrors that of the 1957 version, almost facing the road, and the dynamic feel of the profile has been accentuated. The dividing line of the first generation separated the bonnet from the circular headlights, while today that separation has been redesigned, dividing the modular elliptical headlight. The light clusters are still round and iconic but now use LED technology while the door handles sit completely flush with the bodywork.
Its form demonstrates the same creative spirit. The substance of the new platform has given the third-generation 500 an incredible presence: it is 6cm wider and 6cm longer, the wheelbase has been extended by 2cm, and the wheels are larger and further apart, giving it more determination and greater comfort, despite its length remaining under four meters.
Inside, the 500 is completely new, with clear references first generation. Centro Stile has furnished the interior by distributing the bulk efficiently to achieve simplicity, trim aesthetics and provide visual clarity. This is exemplified by the wide dashboard and the modular storage solutions between the two front seats where the gear lever was originally located. There is more leg and shoulder space for occupants, while the flat floor houses the lithium batteries without compromising the luggage compartment capacity, which remains unchanged. The result is a well thought out and cleaner interior, with fewer buttons and crisp, harmonious lines. As per Fiat 500 hybrid, some trim levels will also receive seats made using “Seaqual” yarn with plastic recovered from the sea, while others make considerable use of eco-leather.
La Dolce Vita
The New 500 is the first four-seater convertible with zero tailpipe emissions. As an icon of La Dolce Vita, another unique feature of the new city car is the Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS). This is an acoustic warning for pedestrians that is mandatory at speeds up to 12mph. The chosen sound is not a common acoustic signal, but rather the music of Amarcord by Nino Rota, in pure Dolce Vita style, an example of the most authentic Italian creativity.
The “La Prima” launch edition
The “La Prima” is a limited edition to celebrate the launch of the new 500, with its own distinct style, exclusivity, technology and connectivity.
The choice of colours was inspired by nature and its basic elements. La Prima is available in three colours:
- Mineral Grey (metallic), reminiscent of the earth;
- Ocean Green (pearlescent), which represents the sea;
- Celestial Blue (three-layer), as a homage to the sky.
The launch version also features full LED headlights, eco-leather upholstery, 17-inch diamond-cut wheels and chrome-plated inserts on the windows and side panels.
The New 500 La Prima offers the monogram soft top, and the “1 of 500” numbered plaque alongside the name of the country in which the car was purchased on the first 500 units sold.
“La Prima” is equipped with ADAS systems as standard:
- Autonomous Emergency Brake with pedestrian and cyclist detection, Intelligent Speed Assistant, Lane Control;
- High resolution rear view camera with dynamic guidelines;
- Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (iACC) and Lane Centering;
- Auto headlamp on and Auto High/Low Beam;
- Emergency Call;
The new UConnect 5 infotainment system: 7-inch TFT display, radio, 10.25-inch touch screen NAV, Digital Audio Broadcast, Wireless Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, telematic box module.
The “La Prima” full-option convertible is the only electric four-seater convertible. It comes complete with the above specifications as standard, as well as the 85kW fast charge capability and an interior with eco-leather dashboard and seats.
In the UK, the price of the New 500 “La Prima” Convertible including Easy WallboxTM, is £29,000 OTR (including PiCG).
The three one-offs presented today have been created in partnership with Giorgio Armani, Bvlgari and Kartell. Created with a common desire to increase sustainability and make a change, the project celebrates the arrival of the first fully electric FCA car from the outset.
The 500 has always been an Italian icon and is the best-selling FCA car globally. Fiat has selected the very best in Italian excellence for the New 500 project – Armani, Bvlgari and Kartell. Bringing together their values has brought to life three very special one-off creations, marked out in particular by their style, creativity and craftsmanship, based on the use of natural, recycled and regenerated materials.
500 Giorgio Armani
Only Giorgio Armani, the undisputed king of Italian elegance, could interpret the style of New 500 with timeless tailoring and sustainability at its core. Using laser technology, Armani shaped the metal covering of the car’s bodywork with exclusive micro-chevron engraving, bringing it as close as possible to the texture of fabric. The result is further enhanced by an Armani grey-green “silk effect” colour. Even more so, the paint used for the exterior is innovative “top coat airlite”, made up of titanium oxide, which absorbs pollutants.
In addition, the “GA” logo is a strong feature of the wheel design and is also featured on the fabric of the soft top, while the amber-coloured windows raise the car’s level of sophistication.
The neutral and elegant nuances continue in the interior: the seats are upholstered in certified full-grain natural leather, sourced from Poltrona Frau, in a “greyge” colour with micro-chevron wool piping, embellished with details inspired by the craftsmanship of leather goods.
The natural materials are also emphasised by the sculptured dashboard insert, covered with reconstituted open-pore wood and embellished with thin layers of aluminium, inspired by the elegance and modernity of the Armani/Casa line.
Bvlgari’s B.500 is an homage to craftsmanship and beauty. 500 has always played a role in La Dolce Vita, an Italian icon born out of the love for beauty and art. The new interpreter of these values is Bvlgari, an emblem of Italian excellence, innovating over the years by rewriting the rules of jewellery and launching new trends that have become icons of contemporary design.
The creation features a golden pearlescent paint, an iconic shade at Bvlgari inspired by the chromatic variegation of Roman sunsets. The “saffron” paint emphasises the character of the car as a “jewel”, based on the inclusion of gold powder, recovered from the scraps of the brand’s jewellery production. In addition to the “saffron” paint, the B.500 has side sills and front mouldings processed using a glazing technique; specifically designed wheels in the form of a star, the historical symbol of Bvlgari, along with black lacquer with gold trim and a side “jewel” badge in polished gold, with a diamond-paved B.500 logo.
The philosophy of re-use continues in the interiors, with a dashboard fascia made even more elegant by its upholstery with heritage Bvlgari silk scarves from the collections of the past. The seats are in teal embroidered leather, gold details and scarf inserts. The true jewel of the interior is three semi-precious stones – amethyst, topaz and citrine – set in a removable brooch, made by the master goldsmiths at Bvlgari and placed in the centre of the steering wheel.
Creativity and innovation are the elements of inspiration for the 500 Kartell, from the iconic brand of Italian industrial design, which constantly experiments and researches new aesthetic and functional values for plastics. In recent years, Kartell has been involved in developing increasingly sustainable plastics.
The exterior features a “monoblock colour” concept where the different types of materials – metal, glass, rubber, plastic and fabric – are interpreted in the same colour: Kartell blue, derived from Yves Klein blue, an iconic hue of the brand. The surfaces of the bodywork are mirror-effect Kartell blue, obtained with an environmentally friendly chrome paint. The two brands’ logos stand out from the bodywork thanks to treatment with a sandblasted polycarbonate, to convey a sense of depth.
The most symbolic elements of the exterior are the components made of recycled polycarbonate from end-of-life parabolic projectors, used in the front grille, wheels and mirror caps. These objects feature a unique design inspired by the pattern of Kartell’s Kabuki lamp, created and developed as a motif to lead the new car’s identity, with unique details that recall the texture of the lamp and become special elements of the car. The Kabuki pattern can be found throughout the interior, with a polycarbonate cover on the dashboard insert and on the seats.
The contrast between the Kartell blue of the exterior and the brightness of the interior is striking, providing a clear and light environment and combining warm and cool tones. The tactile plastics used in the interior are 100% recycled polypropylene, just like the chairs from the latest Kartell collection. The fabrics take on a natural, cosy look created using fully recycled polyester.