As you may know already, the all-new Fiat 500e will make its debut later this week at the 2012 LA Auto Show but it appears that the electrified hatch will only be available to the customers located in the United States. These words came from Fiat global brand boss Olivier Francois, according to Autonews.
Set to launch in the second quarter of 2013, the new Fiat 500e will cost about 35,000 dollars and will have a range of 100 miles or 160 km. Still, Fiat doesn’t expect to make profit from the 500e as it will lose between $8,000 and $10,000 on every car sold.
The main purpose of the Fiat 500e will be to promote sales of electric vehicles but also to meet regulatory demands in some of the U.S. states. The new Fiat 500e will take on cars such as the Chevrolet Spark EV, which will also make its debut at the 2012 LA Auto Show. Moreover, the Toyota iQ electric vehicle will also be a rival of the Fiat 500e.
This model is already on sale in California and just like the 500e, it will not be offered in Europe. The bad news is that electric vehicles are not quite best sellers in the United States. According to R.L. Polk market researchers, 11.9 million vehicles were sold in the U.S. in the first nine months and just 26,000 were EVs, California accounts about 10 percent of the U.S. market as 2,618 EVs were sold there.
The new 2014 Fiat 500e is expected to redefine the style of electric vehicles. It does so by making use of design elements that have been graphically enhanced as well as having those iconic proportions and utilizing Italian curves sculpted using wind tunnels. In addition, this newest offering from Fiat is also projected to bring with it the efficiency that the Cinquecento brand has been known for at least 55 years now.
Making it even more enticing is the e-Sport Package which gives it a more aggressive feel through the blacked-out look. It also gives a clue to its sporty qualities. Aerodynamics has been enhanced and made possible by using what is known as retro-futuristic styling cues which go back to the design implemented during the 1960s. During the development of the new 500e, the objective of both the design team and engineering team was to make sure that the drag was minimized while retaining the Cinquecento’s iconic style.
The "whiskers and logo" face having the bi-halogen headlamps plus the lower park lamps and fog lamps are still there. This has long been one of the main characteristics of the design language and what made the Fiat 500 immediately recognizable. Under this feature is the front two-piece fascia which has a distinct sculpted surface aimed at minimizing drag.
This part also ensures that the electric components are cooled through the airflow inlets. By having the dot-matrix patterned lower fascia, the 5003 brings to mind the futuristic concept that was present with the first Cinquecento that was released. In order to have that added detail, the brand made sure that the fascia insert would have the 500e logo and the projector-beam fog lamps.
Head of FIAT Style Roberto Giolito shared that designers will always be looking into what the future could be. Thus, for the new 500e, he added, the brand looked to the past in order to study the design themes that were popular when the Cinquecento was first released. The result is a combination of the Cinquecento silhouette that has been improved aerodynamically, Electrico Arancione accents, and dot-matrix gradient patterns, he continued.
For the 500e, Giolito said further, the brand utilized a retro-futuristic approach in order to complement the cutting-edge propulsion and the aero-emission powertrain. It is clear that the 2014 Fiat 500e has proportions that are adept for urban areas and the 500 hatchback model’s iconic Cinquecento cues. Making it better are the aerodynamic treatment and retro-futuristic design which emphasize the electric battery’s environment-friendly capability.