The New 500, FCA’s first fully electric car was presented in Milan. It will change the rules of the game for zero-emissions vehicles. With the second generation, launched in 2007, the Fiat 500 introduced the concept of coolness and charm to the city car, becoming an icon of Italian fashion and style that conquered the world. An ever-evolving model that has inspired artists and musicians over the past thirteen years, and has been the linchpin of more than 30 special series. To picture the future of the 500, the Fiat brand started from what made it what it is. The same was true of the first generation, which offered mobility and freedom in the 1960s. The 500 represented a sea change, and became a much-loved brand. A car that was always on the crest of the wave, and that has established itself as an icon since its debut, 63 years ago. Now, in 2020, a new era is coming, and it is time for the Fiat 500 to use all its popularity to inspire change and become part of the solution.
The path of change cannot be taken alone. We need partners with an equally positive outlook, who want to get involved in improving the state of the Earth, by sharing values and goals. Leonardo DiCaprio has embraced the New Fiat 500 project. The global megastar, who has been personally involved in protecting the Earth for more than twenty years, has offered his endorsement for the vision of the new electric city car. In the “All-In” video campaign, he invites everyone to make their own contribution, just like the Fiat brand did with the 500. As mobility is expected to be more sustainable, connected and autonomous, with increasingly stringent regulations, the third generation of the Fiat 500 is once again at the fore, bringing with it design and driving pleasure. It is not just a revolution, but the “reincarnation” of a spirit, one that can inspire renewal. In fact, rules and regulations are not enough for a true revolution, something iconic and beautiful is needed: the New Fiat 500.
Real masterpieces of Italian ingenuity to the extent of a great work of art, the three One-offs were produced with the will and commitment to make more use of sustainable, natural and recycled materials. This vision is shared by other stakeholders – Giorgio Armani, Bvlgari and Kartell, three iconic companies in the world of Made in Italy, which, together with the Fiat brand, have breathed life into a strategy where sustainability is closely intertwined with excellence in know-how, creativity and innovation. This is how the One-offs, the three unique and exclusive examples of the New Fiat 500, came to be. To create these models with Armani, Bvlgari and Kartell, we took as a starting point the values of the iconic 500, the best-known Fiat city car in the world, by those who define the third generation. Combining these values with their own has resulted in three unique models of the New 500, characterized by style, creativity and craftsmanship. This strategy aimed at improving the Planet also includes a charity auction. All the proceeds from the sale of the three unique models – the 500 Giorgio Armani, the B.500 “MAI TROPPO” by Bvlgari and the 500 Kartell – will go to one of Leonardo Di Caprio’s environmental organizations.
Range and charging times are two key issues for customers. The lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 42 kWh give the New 500 a range of up to 320 km in the WLTP cycle. When designing the New Fiat 500, the engineers started with a blank sheet of paper, so they could work on every aspect with the utmost attention to detail and choose the best solutions. To optimize charging time, the New Fiat 500 is equipped with an 85 kW fast charger system to charge the battery very quickly. For example, it takes only 5 minutes to build up a sufficient energy reserve to travel 50 kilometers, more than is needed for average daily use. And the fast charger can also charge the battery to 80% in just 35 minutes. The Combo 2 socket located on the rear right side panel of the car powers the fast charger, for both AC and DC charging. Home charging solutions are also available. The launch edition of the new 500 includes the Easy Wallbox™, a home charging system that can be connected to a normal home outlet. ENGIE EPS developed this exclusively for FCA, and it will be marketed by Mopar in Europe to coincide with the launch of the model. It is a simple, accessible “plug-and-charge” solution that can be managed easily via Bluetooth, letting you stabilize your energy load by charging your 500 immediately at home with up to 3 kW of charging power, with no need for any intervention by skilled personnel. Moreover, the Easy WallboxTM is ready for a power upgrade to 7.4 kW, providing a full charge at home in just over 6 hours. The model also comes with a Mode 3 cable for charging from the public mains.
The New 500 has three driving modes: Normal, Range and Sherpa, which can be selected to match your driving style. In particular, Sherpa mode optimizes the available resources to ensure that you will reach your destination. Sherpa driving mode works on several components to reduce fuel consumption to a minimum, precisely to ensure that you can reach either the destination set on the navigation system or the nearest charging station comfortably. Just like a “Himalayan Sherpa”, who is in charge of the whole expedition and guides it to the destination, this driving mode adjusts various parameters: maximum speed, limited to 80 km/h; accelerator response, in order to reduce energy consumption; and deactivation of the climate control system and heated seats (the driver has the option of activating them at any time). “Normal” mode is as close as possible to driving a vehicle with a normal combustion engine, while “Range” mode activates the “one-pedal-drive” function. By selecting this driving mode, you can practically drive the New 500 with the accelerator pedal alone. In fact, releasing it causes much greater deceleration than with a normal combustion engine, almost as if you had pushed the brake pedal. In any event, you need to push the brake pedal to bring the car to a complete stop. However, in daily use and with more practice, you can eventually learn to drive it using the accelerator pedal only. The engine has an output of 87 kW, providing a maximum speed of 150 km/h (self-limited) and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 9.0 seconds and 0-50 km/h in 3.1 seconds.
The car of the future is not just an electric city car, but goes one step further: it literally goes to the next level by being the first car in its segment to offer level 2 autonomous driving, bringing all the associated benefits to urban mobility. Intelligent Speed Assist reads the speed limits and recommends applying them, while Urban Blind Spot uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor the blind spots and warn of any obstacles with a triangular warning light on the wing mirror. Then there is Attention Assist, which provides warnings on the display, recommending that you stop and take a break when you are tired. Finally, the 360° sensors provide a drone view to avoid any obstacles when parking or performing complex maneuvers. Front-facing camera monitoring technology monitors all areas of the car, both longitudinally and laterally. The intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (iACC) system brakes or accelerates in response to anything: cars, cyclists, pedestrians. Lane Centering keeps the vehicle in the center of the lane when the markings are correctly identified. The third-generation 500 is the first FCA car equipped with the new UConnect 5 infotainment system, the connected platform designed for the future. In short, the New 500 offers seamless integration with your smartphone, offering a 10.25″ high-definition touchscreen, with a horizontal form factor that fits perfectly into the car dashboard, following its lines.
In terms of style, the New 500 implements future mobility in an Italian way, bringing together the considerable legacy of the two previous generations. Another requirement was to immediately give the new model a dedicated 500 logo, which appears at the center of the front badge for the first time, in the place of the Fiat logo. The current 500 logo at the rear keeps its link with the past, albeit transformed into the dedicated all-electric version: distinguished and embellished by a Light Blue border, with a play of design and color transforming the final zero into a letter “E”. The New 500 has all the elements of style, just quieter, cleaner and crisper. The front is vertical as in the 1957 version, making it less elusive, almost facing the road, and the dynamic feel of the profile has been accentuated. The dividing line of the first generation separated the bonnet from the circular headlights, while today that separation has been redesigned, dividing the modular elliptical headlight with an eyelash on the bonnet. Its form demonstrates the same creative spirit. The substance of the new platform has given the third-generation 500 an incredible presence: it is 6 cm wider and 6 cm longer, the wheelbase has been extended by 2 cm, and the wheels are larger and further apart, giving it a stronger personality and greater comfort despite its length remaining under four meters. Inside, the electric 500 is completely new and elegant, with clear references to elements of the first generation.
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