We’ve known Fiat was working on a hot version of the new electric 500 for over a year, but only now did we get confirmation thanks to this new set of spy photos. They show what is very clearly a prototype based on the new 500 EV, but it’s covered in thick camouflage that hides the entire lower part of the vehicle – even the wheels are covered, suggesting that this is one of those rare instances when a prototype is actually wearing the production wheels, which look quite big, maybe 17- or 18-inch.
Wheels aside, we can spot additional differences between this and lesser 500 variants. The front bumper intake has a completely different shape to the non-Abarth model, it’s also lower and sportier overall, giving the front end a much more hot hatch-like appearance. The side skirts also appear to protrude more, with an element that actually seems to stick out right ahead of the rear wheel.
The rear bumper will probably be different too, although since Abarth won’t have exhaust pipe placement to play with, it will be interesting to see what the company chooses to make things sportier. Maybe they will put mini-diffusers in place of exhausts, like BMW is doing with its sportier EVs.
We also noticed the more prominent rear spoiler, which seems to stick out more, again a typical hot hatch detail, and even though the front fascia is covered, we believe it no longer says 500, and that the 500 script (there’s no actual Fiat badge on the new electric 500) has been replaced by an Abarth badge, just like it was on the gas-burning model.
And it won’t just look sporty, but also go quicker too. According to an older report, the Abarth 500 electric will shave two seconds off the current model’s sprint time, accelerating to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7 seconds instead of 9 seconds. In order to achieve this, it could have around 160-180 horsepower, although it is pure speculation at this point.
The battery pack will be the same, though, with a usable capacity of 37.3 kWh, although range will drop from the current WLTP-rated 199 miles (320 km) on one charge. We expect to see the new Abarth 500 EV be revealed in the next few months and go on sale in 2023.