The electric hot hatch will debut November 22nd.
The future of Abarth is right around the corner, as the Italian performance brand has officially teased its first-ever electric hot hatch with a debut set for November 22.
For a while now, the company has been reaching out to its fans on social media, asking them to get involved in developing the new electric Abarth 500. The vehicle will be shockingly built on the bones of the Fiat 500e, albeit the more recently revised version found in Europe rather than the half-baked effort that was sold in California, and will be "More Abarth than Ever," according to the brand.
The two teasers posted to the company's Instagram account also give us an indication of what soundtrack to expect from the EV hot hatch, which sounds a lot like the "Rock 'n Roar" soundtrack fans of the brand were asked to vote on.
Fans were also asked to help with the design, choosing between the flowing Scratch concept and the manic Shift concept. Judging by the color scheme of the teaser, it would appear the brand has chosen to go with the latter.
The Fiat 500, while visually updated, remains effectively underpinned by the same chassis it debuted with more than a decade ago. However, while America's 500e was pretty lacklustre - something then FCA boss Sergio Marchionne admitted was as a result of a compliance car and one that lost the company money - the 'New 500' EV has a fair amount of updates.
In stock form, the electric 500 has a 42 kWh lithium-ion battery and an eDrive system that produces 117 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque good for a nine-second 0-60 sprint. The car can also travel 199 miles on a charge (WLTP cycle,) which is pretty darn great for how tiny the thing is. Abarth hasn't disclosed how much power the performance version will have, but expect upwards of 180 hp to compete with the performance of the updated gasoline variants.
The plan is to give it the character that Abarth is known for, something CEO, Olivier Francois has expressed in the past. "If you want to do a real Abarth, it's not the same electric powertrain. Once it has the power and torque you want, it's no longer the same drivetrain, nor the same transmission or brakes… the whole thing has to be adapted."
Oh, and name-wise, there's a chance 595e and 695e designations are in the vehicle's future.
Unfortunately, the chance we see this new battery-powered Abarth on US shores is close to none. It's a pity because we don't have any true electric hot hatches here yet, although an electric Mini hot hatch is almost certain to arrive stateside in the next few years. Here's hoping Stellantis realizes that's just not right and turns things around.