Abarth 500e evaluation – Automotive Weblog

Abarth 500e review

Is the Abarth 500e a correct electrical pocket rocket? We get behind the wheel to seek out out…

In the event you’ve ever pushed or heard one of many Abarth-tuned Fiat 500s through the years, you’ll know that they’re vehicles that bombard the senses.

Not solely do they give the impression of being suitably sporty, they drive like go-karts and the aggressive exhaust notice is like no different small automobile on the street.

Abarth 500e review

Supplied as a hatch or convertible (extra like a cabio), the Abarth 500e is the model’s first totally electrical automobile.

Priced from £34,195 and based mostly on the Fiat 500e metropolis automobile, the Abarth model actually appears the half.

Up entrance there’s a deeper entrance bumper, there are greater aspect skirts and wider wheel arches down the aspect, whereas a big roof spoiler and meaty bumpers adorn the rear.

Abarth 500e review

Because of a wider observe and decrease sports activities suspension, the Abarth 500e’s stance is extra athletic too.

Then to prime it off, there’s a alternative of 5 colors, every with cool names – Antidote White, Venom Black, Adrenaline Crimson, Acid Inexperienced and Poison Blue (the latter two are particularly vibrant), plus a smattering of scorpion badging.

Inside there’s a brand new flat-bottomed three-spoke steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara, plus sports activities seats. You additionally get the identical (a lot improved) 10.25-inch touchscreen from the flagship 500e as commonplace (that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), plus a 7.0-inch digital driver’s show.

Abarth 500e review

I examined the top-of-the-range Turismo mannequin in each hatch and soft-top physique types. The driving place is (fortunately) decrease than the Fiat 500e, whereas the body-hugging seats are comfy and supportive.

Beneath the Abarth’s pumped-up bodywork you’ll discover the identical 42.2kWh battery that powers the usual Fiat 500e, although it’s now paired with a extra highly effective 152bhp electrical motor driving the entrance wheels.

Nonetheless, the primary shock is that it’s swift relatively than blisteringly quick off the road, not like another EVs. With a 0-62mph time of seven.0 seconds, it’s solely a fraction faster than a petroleum Abarth 595, although on the spot torque makes it really feel quicker as a result of it’s additionally a second quicker from 25-37mph.

Abarth 500e review

The draw back of this energy increase is that the Abarth’s takes a success in comparison with the Fiat 500e, which on paper can handle as much as 199 miles on a full cost.

For the report, the hatch has a 164-mile vary, whereas the cabrio is as much as 157 miles. In different phrases, the Abarth 500e may be very a lot in city territory, together with different EV rivals together with the MINI Electrical, Honda e and Mazda MX-30.

Similar to the Fiat 500e, the Abarth can cost at as much as 85kW, which means you may prime up 80% in 35 minutes, or in different phrases, you may add round 25 miles of vary in 5 minutes.

Abarth 500e review

Don’t get me improper, I just like the Fiat 500e, however for me its weakest level is that it’s not fairly as agile because it appears when pushed, so how does the Abarth stack up on the street?

Effectively, it actually goes a protracted method to type that difficulty. As an illustration, there’s sharper steering, which makes the automobile flip in additional keenly.

The journey is on the agency aspect, however don’t fear, it’s not anyplace close to as dangerous as Abarth 595/695s of outdated that used to crash over potholes.

Abarth 500e review

For probably the most half, the Abarth 500e feels composed, there’s loads of grip, and physique lean is saved in test on more difficult roads.

The brakes are efficient, if barely aggressive at instances (unusually for cheap EV, it has discs all spherical). Go for it on quicker, twisty roads and also you’ll have the arrogance to push on.

You can too select from three drive modes – Turismo, Scorpion Avenue and Scorpion Observe. The primary is extra comfort-orientated, limiting energy and delivering extra regenerative braking through one-pedal driving round city. Scorpion Avenue retains the regen however provides full energy, whereas Observe is all about efficiency.

Abarth 500e review

Personally, I discovered the regenerative braking a tad too fierce. What’s extra, the settings solely change with the drive mode, so there are not any paddles behind the steering wheel to regulate the regen, which all the time work higher.

Total, the Abarth 500e is settled and predictable, however I’d cease wanting calling it thrilling.

For now, my benchmark city sizzling hatch stays the road-going go-kart that’s the MINI Electrical.

Abarth 500e review

Nonetheless, there’s one space the place the Abarth 500e beats its rivals palms down. Its celebration piece is a sound generator which reproduces the exhaust notice of a petrol-powered Abarth.

Greater than 6,000 hours was spent analysing and creating the proper sound, and the tip outcome actually provides to the enjoyable aesthetic of the automobile.

Sadly, the novelty wears off on longer runs and it’s extra enjoyable to modify off the drone (which seems like an engine caught in third gear) and benefit from the refinement that solely an EV can provide.

Abarth 500e - Gareth Herincx

Irritatingly, you may solely disengage it through the fiddly digital driver’s show – and the automobile must be stationary. Apparently, Abarth is already wanting into methods to make the method simpler.

From a practicality viewpoint, the Abarth 500e is a combined bag. Unbelievable although the entrance seats are, they’re bulkier than the Fiat’s and eat additional into the already tight rear house. All however the smallest youngsters would wrestle to take a seat within the again.

Baggage capability is restricted too. There’s simply 185 litres with the rear seats up, or 550 litres with them folded down. And on a private notice, I discovered I couldn’t relaxation my left foot comfortably.

Abarth 500e review

There’s just about no distinction between the hatch and convertible on the street, regardless of the latter being a tad heavier (25kg).

The slick electrical hood mechanism will be opened and closed on the transfer, and aside from a slight lack of cabin refinement, it’s a lot the identical because the hatchback.

Verdict: The Abarth 500e is an entertaining EV debut from Fiat’s sporty sister model. There’s positively nonetheless house for a warmer model, however for now this swift city runabout provides a enjoyable mix of excellent appears, driver engagement and on a regular basis consolation.

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