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March 13, 2020

Fiat Chrysler's First EV is the All-New Fiat 500

Fiat has chosen an iconic model as its first-ever fully electric vehicle: this is the all-new Fiat 500. Taking inspiration from the two generation of city cars before it, the 500 now adds sustainable and (partly) autonomous driving features for the new decade.

Starting with a blank sheet of paper, Fiat designers integrated the classic and cool styling of the 500 which is by itself rooted in 63 years of history. It keeps its overall length still under four meters, but thanks to a brand-new platform, it’s 60 mm wider, 60 mm longer, with a wheelbase stretched by 20 mm.

The all-electric Fiat 500 packs a 42-kWh lithium-ion battery giving it a range of about 320 kilometers. And to optimize charging time, it has an 85-kW fast charging system which adds 48 kilometers of range in just 5 minutes. The fast charger can also power the battery to 80 percent in just 35 minutes.

It also has three driving modes: Normal, Range, and get this, Sherpa. As its name implies, Sherpa mode reduces the fuel consumption to a minimum. For instance, it limits maximum speed to just 80 km/h, dulls accelerator response, and deactivates both the climate control system and heated seats.

“Normal” mode is as close as possible to driving a vehicle with a normal combustion engine, while “Range” mode activates the “one-pedal-drive” function. By selecting this driving mode, the new 500 can be driven with the accelerator pedal alone. Releasing the accelerator causes much greater deceleration than with a normal combustion engine, almost as if the brake pedal was pushed.

The electric motor in the 500 has an output of 118 horsepower providing a maximum speed of 150 km/h, and an acceleration to 100 km/h in about 9 seconds.

The Fiat 500 also packs Level 2 autonomous driving tech and with that has adaptive cruise control, speed assist, blind spot monitors, and lane centering assist.

Inside, it’s the first car from FCA to come with the new Uconnect 5 infotainment system. UConnect 5 is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto operating systems, and can be used in wireless mode. The 500 also has a 10.25-inch high-definition horizontal touchscreen with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

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