Fiat Chrysler (FCA) is launching its first fully-electric vehicle designed from the ground-up on an all-new platform: a new Fiat 500, priced from £19,995 and built at the FCA Mirafiori plant Turin.
When designing the Group’s first electric car from the ground up, the FCA engineers created a new structure around the electric motor, integrating new control, safety and entertainment technologies. The result is a car that has the best dynamic performance in its class, agile and fun to drive, comfortable, quiet and always connected. Engineers looked to the ease of use of a smartphone, in order to bring the same concept to the automotive industry.
That was the starting point for the New 500’s technology ‘ecosystem’, aimed at assisting customers in the various on-board and off-board ways they use a car, and at making it easy-to-use and intuitive. The goal was to transfer to the New 500 all the automation systems that make our life easier and more enjoyable: from a Wi-Fi hotspot to the Alexa voice assistant.
The latest infotainment system, a connected platform created by FCA for the future, is available with a 7-inch screen in the PASSION version and 10.25-inch in the ICON, a custom interface can be created on the New 500 and it even uses an advanced voice recognition system, activated hands-free with the phrase ‘Hey Fiat’. Connectivity features are enabled by the new UConnect Box, offering access to the New 500’s UConnect Services, one example of which can transform the car into a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect up to eight devices at the same time.
These connectivity services are usually reserved for higher segments, but for the first time Fiat makes them accessible on an A-segment car, with features developed specifically for electric cars. The Fiat mobile app in connection with UConnect allows for a raft of features never before seen on a city car. For example, ‘Dynamic Range Mapping’, shows on the map the area that can be driven, calculating the maximum possible distance based on remaining range and other parameters. Not only does the app allow viewing of the charging points located nearby, it also displays a graphic indication on the map of those that can be reached based on your current battery charge level. The maps are always kept up to date, using over-the-air updates.
The ‘My Car’ service can check the battery charge level of New 500 remotely from the app. ‘My Remote’ enables customers to schedule vehicle charging for the most convenient time slots; locate the nearest public charging stations and pay directly from their smartphone providing access to a network of 200,000 charging points throughout Europe; find the car’s exact location; lock and unlock the doors; turn the lights on and off; and program the air conditioning system. The systems of the New 500 can be continuously developed and updated over-the-air.
Full line-up includes three trim levels offering up to 199 miles of range (WLTP). Two battery options – 24kWh and 42kWh, with 85kW fast-charging are available from middle of the range. Specification highlights through the range include level 2 autonomous driving, 10.25-inch touchscreen, 360-degree parking sensors, wearable key and passive entry.
The city car will arrive in UK dealers in early 2021 in both hatchback and cabrio bodystyles, with two battery options and the longest range of any electric city car on sale today,