Just because FIAT has decided to stop selling its iconic 500 city car in North America, doesn’t mean that we aren’t still catching glimpses of what lies ahead for the European market, here in Metro Detroit. Our spy photographers a couple of weeks ago, caught a camouflaged Fiat 500 electric prototype doing some testing on the weekend around the Chrysler Headquarters and Technology Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) developed the 500e to satisfy lawmakers in California, the car never made it to the global marketplace. It was said that the company lost around $20,000 on each of the 500e models it built, so we understand why it was never pushed out globally. However, as the next-generation of the 500 city car is getting ready to make its debut, FCA is hard at work to launch an all-new version of the electric 500, for Europe.
FCA recently invested €700 million (or about $788 million USD) into updating its Mirafiori, Italy plant to launch the new 500 electric. The plant will be capable of producing 80,000 units a year, enough to get FCA (or its new Groupe PSA-merged titled company) a firm grasp on the increasingly high regulations by European governments on emissions.
Recently, the 500 had a huge sales record of a year, last year in the European market. While the Fiat 500 or “Cinquecento” as it is called in Italy, ended production in the North American market, it remained the best-selling vehicle for the brand in the region. According to FCA, the new 500 BEV (battery-electric vehicle) will start in the second quarter of 2020 and has room to expand at a later date.
2020 Fiat 500 BEV Prototype Image Gallery: