If the 500 isn't coming stateside, we'll take this instead.
The 2020 Fiat 500 was just revealed in Europe as an all-electric competitor the recently-released Honda e. With 116 horsepower, 199 miles of driving range, and the adorable looks that made the last 500 so great, we imagine this new electric Fiat could have a chance to sell well in the United States. Sadly, that won't happen as the US-spec 500 has been discontinued with no plans for a successor. This leaves the 500L, 500X, and soon-to-be discontinued 124 Spider as the only models left in Fiat's US lineup.
Clearly, the Italian automaker is in a precarious situation after returning to the US market less than a decade ago. Fiat desperately needs new products to be competitive and in a recent interview with Auto Express, the company's Global President may have confirmed just such a product.
Fiat Global President Olivier Francois confirmed that the Centoventi Concept shown at last year's Geneva Motor Show has been greenlit for production and work is already begun on its development. "At Geneva last year, we showed our other EV car, our urban baby, we are still working on it - it was not just a flash in the pan," Francois said. "It's another approach to full electric. So I think we have a bright future in the full electric approach to city cars, through the 500e and through the more non-traditional approach with this minimalist, lower prince Centoventi that is very Panda-inspired."
The Centoventi may very well morph into the next-generation Fiat Panda and it will likely adopt the same EV platform used by the new 500. "When you invest in a new platform and it is a completely new EV architecture, it is not for one car, so you will see it on other cars. It will be used to make the most of the investment, and used between nameplates and brands," Francois explained. This means we could also see the Fiat EV platform used on other FCA brands in the future.
Obviously, certain concept cues like the rear-opening doors will be ditched on the production version but Fiat claims the car will have a swappable battery that can be changed out at a dealership in just five minutes. This could be an interesting solution to the current lack of accessible charging stations.
When Fiat first came to the US, we were surprised that the company didn't bring over the larger Panda instead of the 500. We aren't sure if American buyers will ever embrace a car called the Panda but if this new EV gets a different name and a driving range of over 200 miles, we could see it succeeding in the US.