SPIED: 2020 Fiat 500 BEV Caught In Metro Detroit:

I thought that the introduction of regular production BEVs would spell the end of the limited production compliance cars for California and also in other states which sign onto the California regulations. I couldn't have been more wrong.

GM's Bolt has a dedicated production line and is sold nationwide, but lately it is proving to be the exception rather than the rule. BMW's i3 is available nationwide, but its sales have been low. BMW analyzed the situation and found that consumers tend not to buy vehicles which look like a college undergraduate's science project. In response to their findings, the next BEV from BMW will be through their Mini unit. People like some familiar styling and feel in their automotive purchases. Consumers also shy away from high price tags, so this newest electric Mini Cooper will sacrifice some range for a lower entry price. When it arrives in North America, the new electric Mini will be sold nationwide.

Other auto companies have cut way back on their BEV plans to concentrate on Europe. (The list includes Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, and VW.) Ford signed on with VW for electric vehicles and I don't know what Toyota is up to with BEVs, but they are investing in hydrogen fuel cells and plugin hybrids.

So, where does this leave FCA? Will the next generation 500 BEV cross the pond? If the Mini Cooper BEV proves to be a winner, maybe FCA will consider sending the Fiat 500 BEV our way. The fact remains that FCA will need a compliance car. Toluca, where the Fiat 500e was built, is starting to look pretty empty. We (non-insiders) don't know what is going in there. If Compass production remains in Mexico, will FCA build the PHEV version there? Will there be another compliance car from Toluca?
 

redriderbob

Mopar Guru!
Staff member
I thought that the introduction of regular production BEVs would spell the end of the limited production compliance cars for California and also in other states which sign onto the California regulations. I couldn't have been more wrong.

GM's Bolt has a dedicated production line and is sold nationwide, but lately it is proving to be the exception rather than the rule. BMW's i3 is available nationwide, but its sales have been low. BMW analyzed the situation and found that consumers tend not to buy vehicles which look like a college undergraduate's science project. In response to their findings, the next BEV from BMW will be through their Mini unit. People like some familiar styling and feel in their automotive purchases. Consumers also shy away from high price tags, so this newest electric Mini Cooper will sacrifice some range for a lower entry price. When it arrives in North America, the new electric Mini will be sold nationwide.

Other auto companies have cut way back on their BEV plans to concentrate on Europe. (The list includes Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, and VW.) Ford signed on with VW for electric vehicles and I don't know what Toyota is up to with BEVs, but they are investing in hydrogen fuel cells and plugin hybrids.

So, where does this leave FCA? Will the next generation 500 BEV cross the pond? If the Mini Cooper BEV proves to be a winner, maybe FCA will consider sending the Fiat 500 BEV our way. The fact remains that FCA will need a compliance car. Toluca, where the Fiat 500e was built, is starting to look pretty empty. We (non-insiders) don't know what is going in there. If Compass production remains in Mexico, will FCA build the PHEV version there? Will there be another compliance car from Toluca?
I pass the GM Lake Orion Assembly Plant on a weekly basis and you see how many Bolts are sitting there. Sad thing is that plant built all the Pontiac G6s and Chevrolet Malibus at one time and now just makes the Bolt.
 

Bili

Official Pilot
Staff member
@pumadog

For some reasons pictures can't be seen here. I'll upload them.

On the 2nd picture it's clear that it has a very big infotainment screen. It should be a debut for an all new Harman R1 infotainment. AFAIK for 500 BEV it should be 10.25" unit.

On the 3rd picture it looks like an independent rear suspension. FCA has some interesting patents for an independent rear suspension for BEV cars but most patents are made by Maserati(Giorgio Global) R&D team.

For width I believe it's very similar to a Fiat 120 concept car.

1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg
 

KrisW

Member
Lots of intriguing things there.. Rear suspension especially. Hard to see the instrument binnacle on these interior pics... Previous mules used the cluster from a Renegade, which led to a few sites getting ahead of themselves with "predictions" about the new cabin.

I hope they preserve the concentric design for the main cluster, after that I don't mind if there's a bigger screen, but a long landscape display the shape of the one shown in Centoventi (the so-called "Lingotto" shape ) would look better in the than the boring "iPad glued to the dashboard".

It's only eight weeks to Geneva... We'll find out then.
 

pumadog

Active member
A couple of new pictures wouldn't hurt. :D It's not easy to find the balance between retro feel and ever-growing infotainment screens. And how long will they wait with the Giardinetta (5-door) version?

No clue why my pictures didn't show, I could see them after uploading.
 

Bili

Official Pilot
Staff member
@pumadog

No news about Giardiniera. What an ugly name I must say. Besides it's connected to a 500 wagon. :sick:

@KrisW

Are you sure they will present it at Geneva Motor Show? I mean it's still very likely but I'm not 100% sure in such outcome.
 

KrisW

Member
@Bili - there was a pretty clear promise made at 3'23" here:

My feeling is that they'll announce the car (with sample models on the stand) at Geneva, and then do an on-sale launch on July 4. As validation production has started in Turin, the design is now final.
 

KrisW

Member
If there's uncertainty at Geneva, I think it'll be about the pricing and available battery size(s) of this 500e. FIAT can quite easily give a press briefing, show the production car and let people sit in it without revealing the exact specifications of the whole model-range, but it would be better to say "starting at €X,000 for this much battery-range".

I know there's also rumors of a special launch event in July, but there's really nothing much of a surprise that would justify delaying the announcement of this car until July, even if July is the earliest that customers could buy it: Everyone knows that it'll look like the 500; it'll be more-or-less the same size or maybe be a little bigger; and it'll be electric.
 

DodgeFL

Member
Consider that EV comprise 2-3% on North America sales I gotta wonder who will be buying all the EV's going into production ?
 

Bili

Official Pilot
Staff member
If there's uncertainty at Geneva, I think it'll be about the pricing and available battery size(s) of this 500e. FIAT can quite easily give a press briefing, show the production car and let people sit in it without revealing the exact specifications of the whole model-range, but it would be better to say "starting at €X,000 for this much battery-range".

I know there's also rumors of a special launch event in July, but there's really nothing much of a surprise that would justify delaying the announcement of this car until July, even if July is the earliest that customers could buy it: Everyone knows that it'll look like the 500; it'll be more-or-less the same size or maybe be a little bigger; and it'll be electric.
Unveiling in Geneva. Price list shortly after. Order book and first drives on July 4th. Start of deliveries in September.
 

pumadog

Active member
New spy shots. Looks wider, doesn't it?

3246
3247

The door seems shorter than the current one and this could indicate two different solutions: the elongated wheelbase to favour the habitability and the possible presence of an additional upwind door for the access to the rear area, as we have hypothesized in the QNovità 2020 dossier available in annex with Quattroruote of January.
 

Bili

Official Pilot
Staff member
Of course it's wider. That's expected. If it has dedicated BEV platform it will offer more interior room than a ICE Fiat 500. BEV platforms are usually more space efficient.

In the meantime some mules are seen running at around 190 km/h (120 mph) on Autostrada.

And new logo:
image.png.88ac686c1cdda15ece8d8181545829ec.png
 

Freshforged

Active member
I'd be very interested in a new 500e if one were offered in my area. Be more interested in a compact electric urban truck to eventually replace the used Ranger I picked up last summer.
 

KrisW

Member
Picture 12 in that sequence shows that there is a "C" variant too (note the oval window opening, and the hinge-line for the rear hatch below it:


And I thought this was funny:

... that's the transmission selector from the company's largest vehicle (it's from a RAM pickup) in a mule for their smallest one ;)

However, don't be surprised if the less intelligent end of the blogosphere starts saying the 500e will be 4WD, with a locking center-diff :rolleyes:
 
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