But will it save Fiat in the United States?
Fiat's sales have slowed in the United States and the Italian brand is in desperate need of some new products. Even the Fiat 500, the car that helped relaunch the brand in the US, will be discontinued following 2019. So far, Fiat has not announced any official plans for a replacement, although the brand did show off a car called the Centoventi Concept at the beginning of last year.
The Centoventi was an all-electric car, about the same size as the Fiat Panda. We expect this model to reach production in the near future as the next-generation Panda but not before Fiat releases the next-generation 500. We already know that the next-generation Fiat 500 will be all-electric and for the first time ever, spy shots have emerged of the new 500 in prototype form, looking just as chic as you'd expect.
All earlier test mules of the new 500 used the old body surrounding the new electric platform. This latest prototype finally gives us an idea of what the restyled model will look like. The body is still heavily camouflaged but we can still make out what should be a new split headlight and rear taillight design.
Like the current Fiat 500e, this new model will have no need for a conventional grille, so it should look more like the 1950s original model that had its engine mounted in the back. But unlike the old 500e, this new model is based on a dedicated EV platform with the batteries mounted in the floor. This should yield more passenger space, improved performance, and a longer driving range.
Fiat is expected to produce a larger wagon version called the Giardiniera and a new generation of the Panda should also be based on a longer version of this new platform. The new 500 is expected to make its debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show in March with deliveries set to begin in the summer. It remains to be seen whether or not this new 500 will be offered in the US, as the last-generation model never had much success there.