2023 Abarth 500e Electric Hot Hatch unveiled, due for release in Australia next year

2023 Abarth 500e Electric Hot Hatch unveiled, due for release in Australia next year

Fiat’s performance sub-brand Abarth has unveiled its first electric car with a sporty look and a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of seven seconds.

tea 2023 Abarth 500e was unveiled as the first electric car from Fiat’s Abarth Performance division ahead of its Australian launch in late 2023.

The 500e, unveiled after a series of leaked photos and teasers, is the high-performance version of Fiat’s new 500 electric car – and will replace Abarth’s petrol-powered 595 and 695 models once they are phased out over the next two years.

The Abarth 500e – available in hatchback and cabriolet form in Europe – is due to appear in Australian showrooms in late 2023, shortly after the Fiat 500e arrives around mid-year.

These figures compare to an acceleration time of 6.7 seconds for the petrol-powered flagship Abarth 695, which uses a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 132kW/250Nm.

While the 500e is less powerful and slower than its petrol predecessor on the benchmark sprint, Abarth claims it’s a second quicker from 20 to 40 km/h and from 40 to 60 km/h – a difference of around 40 to 50 Percent.

The electric Abarth is said to be one second quicker than the petrol 695 at sister brand Alfa Romeo’s handling track in Balocco, Italy.

Abarth doesn’t specify a range, but the Hot Hatch’s more powerful electric motor and performance-oriented tires mean it may not meet the standard Fiat 500e’s 320km claim, achieved on the European WLTP test cycle.

DC fast charging of up to 85kW is available, said to be able to add 40km of lab-tested range in five minutes or a zero to 80 percent charge in 35 minutes.

Three driving modes are available: Turismo (which reduces power to 100 kW/220 Nm for “smoother acceleration and lower power”), Scorpion Street (which activates maximum power but leaves single-pedal driving mode activated) and Scorpion Track ( for “top performance”).

Instead of a petrol engine, the Abarth 500e is equipped with a “sound generator” that is said to be “faithful”. [reproduce] the sound of an Abarth petrol engine” – while the sound played when the car is switched on and off is intended to simulate a strumming of a guitar.

The styling of the electric Abarth is a sportier evolution of the standard Fiat 500e, with a new front bumper with body-colored honeycomb inserts, new side skirts, 18-inch alloy wheels, larger brake discs, a new rear bumper and Abarth badging.

The launch edition of the Scorpionissima offers Acid Green or Poison Blue exterior paint finishes, as well as Abarth side graphics, 18-inch diamond-cut alloys and on the tailgate a fixed glass roof and rear privacy screen.

Interior highlights of the launch edition include front sport seats with Alcantara upholstery, an Alcantara-trimmed dashboard, leather and Alcantara steering wheel, and contrast stitching throughout

It also offers a 10.25-inch touchscreen with performance pages for important driving data, a 7.0-inch instrument display with Abarth graphics, steel sports pedals, Abarth engraved treadplates and gray accents.

Standard features of the Scorpionissima include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated manual seats, keyless entry and start, automatic climate control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, wireless phone charger, a 360-degree camera and a JBL premium sound system.

There are also six airbags and a range of advanced safety technologies, including autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition and cruise control (non-adaptive).

tea 2023 Abarth 500e is due in Australia late next year. Pricing and local specifications will be confirmed shortly before launch.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017 when he launched his own website Redline. He worked for Drive in 2018 before joining CarAdvice in 2019 and becoming a regular journalist on the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role in Alex’s life, from leafing through car magazines at a young age to growing up surrounded by performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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