SPIED: 2020 Fiat 500 BEV Caught In Metro Detroit:

KrisW

Member
@pumadog - yes, it seems so. Until now, there has been no evidence that an electric convertible version was being developed in parallel with the hard-top. The availability of an electric 500C is a cause for great celebration in our household, but it could be 2021 by the time we take delivery, as we'll be waiting on the RHD version.

As Italian test plates are 165 mm wide, the rear track of this car is somewhere between 1460 and 1470 mm, which is about 60-70 mm wider than the current 500. That's almost exactly the figure from earlier rumours.
 

KrisW

Member
So, back in December, I said this:
... 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:
When I wrote that, I was joking, but the Internet can always find a better fool... today I found this story, from around the time those pictures leaked:

2021 Fiat 500e Electric Car Spied With "4WD High" Button, Rotary Gear Selector

[...] Down the center console, there’s a Jaguar-style rotary gear selector with a few buttons scattered around it. The ones that caught our attention are the 4WD High and 4WD Auto, which suggests that Fiat might be developing an all-wheel-drive system or a dual-motor setup.
-- Source: 2021 Fiat 500e Electric Car Spied With "4WD High" Button, Rotary Gear Selector
 

KrisW

Member
Not my favourite way of integrating a screen, but at least it's nicely finished, and the shape does fit the general design of the cabin (that we've seen so far). What I'm really interested in is the rest of the dashboard: the little bits we've seen so far show a very high standard of materials.

@Bili - I've read in a couple of places now that this car's new architecture is "BEV-first", rather than "BEV-only", and that there will be an ICE-powered 500 coming on this design too next year, when the "new" Panda arrives. Any thoughts? (My own feeling is that it's the "platform" misunderstanding again, and FIAT has actually developed a common architecture for small cars that has BEV and ICE forks)
 
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Bili

Moderator
Staff member
@KrisW

I'm not a fan of a HVAC controls although they seems better than some recent products from PSA and VAG.

The very same HVAC controls were first seen on the Tonale used for clinics.


Platform/architecture? Yes, an interesting topic. From press release:
"The platform under construction is specific for electric cars and will see the first application with the 500 BEV. "

I don't knot what it means. BEV only platform/architecture or something else.

I know that some guys described this "new" platform as Mini Wide. I don't know more about that except that if this is true than the upcoming B-SUV models from FCA will use this platform.

New A segment cars are not in the plans except for BEV 500. If this is an ICE-BEV platform than we could see an all new ICE 500 but any other all new A segment car from FCA is not in the plans.
 

pumadog

Member
If we can trust the recent Francois interview, there won't be a new 500 ICE. The plan is to move all customers over to the 500 BEV. They won't go on offering both versions forever.
 

KrisW

Member
@pumadog That was my own belief too, but then there's persistent rumours of a new, ICE, 500 too. What François has said publicly still allows for the current model to be phased out in 12-18 months, to be replaced by a mild-hybrid ICE model on the new, bigger platform.

I'm not a fan of a HVAC controls although they seems better than some recent products from PSA and VAG.

The very same HVAC controls were first seen on the Tonale used for clinics.
That's interesting... a sign that 500 is being placed at the same level as Alfa Romeo for perceived quality. The steering-wheel is a pretty nice part too - it wouldn't look out of place in a much more expensive car.

Platform/architecture? Yes, an interesting topic. From press release:
"The platform under construction is specific for electric cars and will see the first application with the 500 BEV. "

I don't know what it means. BEV only platform/architecture or something else.
My reading of that was "we've made a new platform just for BEVs. It will be used for 500e, and then we'll use it for other BEVs". I guess 500e will be the smallest of a family of BEVs stretching into the upper B-segment, including whatever Centoventi becomes. But saying that there's a new BEV-only platform doesn't mean that they can't reuse things like suspension, steering, electronics and HVAC in an ICE architecture that covers the same size range.

I know that some guys described this "new" platform as Mini Wide. I don't know more about that except that if this is true than the upcoming B-SUV models from FCA will use this platform.
That's interesting, and needed for the Italian market to fill the big gap between Panda and 500x or Tipo Hatch - the heart of Italy's car sales is in the B-segment, not C. Actually, if I'm right about the size of 500e, it's almost in the lower B-segment on width, but stays in A because of its short length.

New A segment cars are not in the plans except for BEV 500. If this is an ICE-BEV platform than we could see an all new ICE 500 but any other all new A segment car from FCA is not in the plans.
500 is the only product that can attract a decent price in the A-segment, so that makes sense, especially as this new BEV will suddenly make the ICE model look very old.
 
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pumadog

Member
@pumadog That was my own belief too, but then there's persistent rumours of a new, ICE, 500 too. What François has said publicly still allows for the current model to be phased out in 12-18 months, to be replaced by a mild-hybrid ICE model on the new, bigger platform.
Sure?
It may take a little time to win the hearts of customers and the switchover may not be immediate. It's a complete change in mindset. We are going to accompany this change with this first MHEV offer, but the big ambition is to drive all the aficionados of the 500 towards electric one by one. This is a bold approach on our part. I don't know if other manufacturers would be willing to "risk" their best-seller as well as the most iconic model in the electric field.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Source: Interview

So a classical 500 with ICE is ruled out IMHO. But maybe a 500 Giardiniera in B segment?
 

Bili

Moderator
Staff member
Francois has many times eaten his own words.:LOL:

For me the most important question is about platform/arhitecture.

If it's a true dedicated ala skateboard BEV platform or is it a BEV/ICE platform.
That will also tell us a lot of about upcoming Alfa Romeo B SUV and Fiat's/FCA's big return to a European B segment.
 

KrisW

Member
@pumadog - my own belief is still largely with what François says in that interview: 500e will replace 500 over the next 24 months. I was just surprised that so many outlets are saying that there's now going to be an ICE sibling - maybe they simply doubt that FIAT has the ability to build a successful BEV, and so they expect the company to hedge its bets, or maybe they're confusing the BEV platform with a new, unannounced platform that will be used for B-segment vehicles.

500e production is planned at 80,000 a year, but demand for 500 was enough to get 190,000 sales last year, and it's not like FIAT was using incentives to hit that figure - I don't think I've ever seen an incentive campaign on 500 in Europe.

The only way I can see them hitting 180,000 a year by the end of 2022 is if they're going to use the Centoventi's modular battery system: selling a 200km car with the option to buy or lease another 300km if needed later is a whole lot easier than convincing buyers that 200km will be enough range, or making them pay the cost of 400km range up front. Battery is by far the biggest cost in an EV: if FIAT really has found a way of selling a BEV without pre-loading it with expensive batteries, they will make a killing.

What I've seen of 500e so far, I really like - independent rear suspension, much improved cabin, slightly wider body, still has a cabriolet option, and still looks like a Cinquecento. (Although I do miss the chrome lip above the rear numberplate)

@Bili - I'm starting to think there are two different things here: First, A BEV architecture that will be under 500e, and Centoventi; and second, a new ICE/Hybrid architecture for B-segment and small C-segment vehicles. If FCA can add a decent-selling B-segment ICE car that emits under 70g/km to the BEV sales, they'll meet their CO2 targets - that figure should be achievable with a 48V hybrid on a non-performance car (like a "Panda-plus") if they can shed some weight compared to Small-Wide.
 

Bili

Moderator
Staff member
I'm not sure if 80k per year is capacity for 500 BEV or for 500 BEV + yet unnamed BEV model. For sure they can expand capacity. They said so.

@KrisW
JMO
Having let's say BEV platform plus Mini Wide plus Small Wide v2.0 doesn't make much sense. But it's JMO.
Dedicated BEV plus various forks of Small makes more sense. Or Mini Wide plus Small Wide v2.0.

Yes, I know that merger with PSA is imminent and that some guys/gals do think that PSA platforms are the next big thing but I'm not overjoyed with PSA mechanics.

Speaking about mechanics. I'm happy to hear words from Pietro Gorlier. Earlier today he said:
"Through the Alfa Romeo language, Tonale wants to rewrite the rules of the currently growing segment, thanks to the uniqueness of the Italian style and an unparalleled driving pleasure ".
Alfa Romeo Tonale - Sarà costruita a Pomigliano dal 2021
 

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