2023 Abarth 500 EV Spied Testing With Camouflage Wheels

Stellantis announced earlier this year its bold plans to go purely electric in Europe by the end of the decade and Abarth will be one of the first brands to lose the combustion engine. Kickstarting the EV attack will be an amped-up version of the next-generation Fiat 500, sold exclusively as a zero-emissions model. Remember, the old 500 is still around with ICE and Abarth is constantly pumping out new versions to keep it relevant.

While we didn’t expect any major changes in terms of design, the prototype that caught our eye sported a lot of camouflage. Abarth took pains to cover the wheels and mirror caps while the roof-mounted spoiler at the rear was tucked under black tape. In addition to the redesigned bumper, the spicy version is expected to have a prominent “Abarth” lettering on the front where it will surely replace the large “500” logo of the standard Fiat model.

The prototype doesn’t appear to be any wider than the regular 500, but rest assured the engineers will make all sorts of mechanical changes. This should bring upgraded brakes and a stiffer suspension setup for better handling, along with a revised chassis. The most notable upgrade is to the powertrain, which will likely be based on a version equipped with a larger 42-kWh battery.

The Standard 500 offers 117 horsepower and 220 Newton-meters (162 pound-feet) of instant torque. It remains to be seen how Abarth will improve this output figure which helps the regular model accelerate to 62 mph (100 km/h) from rest in nine seconds. The Fiat has an electronic top speed limiter programmed to produce a speed of 93 mph (150 km/h).

Provided it retains the battery – which has a usable capacity of 37.3 kWh – its range will likely drop below the 199 miles (320 kilometers) achieved by the Fiat 500 according to the WLTP test cycle. Installing a larger battery would add weight, which in turn would hamper performance, so it must have been difficult to develop an Abarth derivative.

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Expect the world premiere to take place either later this year or early 2023.

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