Italy’s fun-focussed hot hatch is electric-only in new-gen form, and it’s coming to Australia with a relatively affordable price tag
Italian car maker Abarth has announced pricing for the all-new and fully-electric 500e.
A special edition known as the Scorpionissima at $60,500 before on-road costs will be the first to arrive in late 2023, followed by the core Turismo grade, priced at $58,900, in early 2024.
The new Abarth’s price makes this electric firecracker relatively affordable for an EV – though its price has jumped by a substantial 72 percent in the transition to full electrification.
A total of 219 units of the former will be coming to Australia initially. Both grades will be available in hatchback form only with no word yet on the popular convertible version.
Competing in the emerging electric hot hatch space, the front-drive Abarth will compete with the rear-wheel-drive Cupra Born. The just-revealed, new-gen Mini Cooper SE Electric will join the fray next year.
The Abarth’s price point means it will qualify for a state and territory incentives where they exist. These can be worth as much as $6000 off the price of a sub-$68,000 EV in Queensland.
The new electric Abarth is priced quite closely to its Fiat-branded counterpart.
Fiat’s 500e starts from $52,500 before on-road costs in EV form, while the jump to the Abarth costs another $6400 or 12 percent.
Back in early 2022 when the turbo-petrol Abarth 595 was still on sale, the Fiat version was priced from $19,550 for the manual or $23,100 for the automatic, while the scorpion-badged hatch was priced from $34,260 and $36,250 respectively.
The result was a premium of $14,710 for the manual or $13,150 for the automatic, or a percentage increase of 75 and 62 percent respectively – much more than the just-announced EV versions.
Though of course, both are significantly more expensive than their aforementioned petrol counterparts.
As per tradition, the Abarth is based on the Fiat-branded 500e with a slew of incremental upgrades to make it look and feel like a hot hatch.
Sitting on an all-new and electric-dedicated chassis, the electric hot hatch promises dynamic thrills but not necessarily huge amounts of speed, similar to its much-loved petrol-powered predecessors.
A single electric motor is placed on the front axle, producing 113kW and 235Nm of torque, enough to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 7.0 seconds, not especially quick for an electric hot hatch.
Although the full Australian specifications are yet to be released, weight is expected to be fairly low for an EV at 1410kg.
Some buyers will miss the thrum of the petrol Abarth but the brand has made much of its ‘sound generator’ feature which attempts to replicate this sound with an electric twist.
Abarth has opted for a 42.2kWh battery pack (37.8kWh usable) which provides up to 252km of range, says the Italian brand. Chasing Cars will test the real-world range at a later date.
Although not much for an EV nowadays, the brand was quick to point out the 500e’s ability to charge at up to 85kW on a DC fast charger can add around 40km (enough for the average commute) in 5 minutes.
Furthermore, this DC charging speed can see the battery recharged from 0 to 85 percent in 35 minutes. Home-style AC charging is also available and capable of speeds of up to 11kW, which should see the battery charged from flat to full in roughly four hours.
The 500e rolls on 18-inch alloy wheels which forgo the traditional smooth design of many EVs for a more aggressive look.
The interior of the 500e is unsurprisingly similar to the Fiat, with Alcantara interior trim and premium sports seats with an integrated headrest and splashes of colour throughout. Double stitching on the seats and doors also adds a more aggressive look.
Five different colours will be available at launch: Acid Green, Poison Blue, Antidote White, Venom Black and Adrenaline Red.
The full list of specifications are expected to be released closer to the arrival date in late 2023.
All prices listed are before on-road costs.
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