But they still won’t kill the Cinquecento we know.
Italian marque Fiat have finally, finally, finally confirmed that they will indeed replace the 14-year old current Fiat 500 with a new one. And while that might signal the end of the current-generation model to the casual observer, you’d be wrong.
The current-generation Fiat 500 has been a massive success for the brand, with over 2-million of the little things made since it debuted in 2005. Even now it remains a strong and healthy contender, but Fiat needs to keep up with evolving legislation and consumer demands, and so a new model has to be ushered in.
And with the new car, they’ll be removing something that’s been a part of the Cinquecento since its inception, and played no small part in the overall 500 experience: The engine.
“A new 500, totally renewed. A new object. Totally electric. It’s kind of an urban Tesla, with beautiful style. Italianess, ‘dolce vita’ in an electric car. It’s the polar opposite of the Centoventi.” – Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA
The new 500 really will be new, from the ground up, siting on a new platform that’s been developed first for 500 before being watered down and modified for other applications.
“It’s a new platform designed for electrification. It makes the car radically different. It’s still a 500, same size, same proportions, but it’s just not the same car. The 500 of the future.” – Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA
In addition to this, Francois explained to UK rag AutoExpress that the new 500 would push upmarket, saying that “premium is the way we will go with the EV 500,” suggesting that the higher buy-in price that the electric hatch would attract would be offset to some degree by a plush, design-centric cabin.
But as “the appeal of the 500 is so strong,” Francois also clarified that the current-generation model would not be retired, but sold alongside the next-generation model for the foreseeable future to ensure that they don’t end up pricing-out 500 fans. Additionally, he did not make any mention of Abarth and whether or not the performance marque would end up fiddling with the 500, but that would certainly be an interesting prospect.