Abarth is writing history with the new Abarth 500e. It is the first electric Abarth ever. But also the first Abarth that, with a top speed of 155 km/h, is slower than a home-grown Fiat Panda. It reaches 164 km/h. That's a bit sad. Still, you can have a lot of fun with the Abarth 500e.
Thank goodness for that Abarth A sports car is not just about top speed. It is also about the road holding, the speed experience and driving pleasure. And in all these areas the Abarth 500e does not disappoint. Not even in terms of engine noise. Because even though the Abarth 500e drives electrically, it roars. Not with the exhaust but with a special sound generator with four speakers. The sound is indistinguishable from the real thing. Abarth calls it a tribute to the Abarth 595 and 695 with a petrol engine, but anyone who wants can also switch it off. That's nice for the neighbors if you drive away at the crack of dawn.
That the Abarth 500e is based on the also electric, but better Fiat 500e, even Andrea Bocelli sees it. But the Abarth looks more aggressive thanks to its wider front bumper with spoiler lip, dozens of small air intakes, a diffuser and sporty 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels. The interior is more spacious than the Abarths 500 with a combustion engine and is covered in Alcantara in many places, such as on the dashboard. This pleasant-to-the-touch material can also be found on the sports steering wheel with the scorpion logo and a blue 12 o'clock marking.
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The Abarth 500e has 155 hp, while its predecessors with a combustion engine produced 165 and even 180 hp. And then the 500e is also more than 300 kilos heavier due to its battery pack of 37.8 net kWh (gross: 42.2 kWh). The empty weight is 1310 kilos. That is very little for an electric car, but a remarkable amount for an Abarth. Yet there is plenty to enjoy for sports enthusiasts.
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Despite its front-wheel drive, the 500e appears to offer a lot of grip on wet roads. The favorable weight distribution of 57 percent at the front and 43 percent at the rear, the slightly longer wheelbase and the increased track widths ensure that you can position the Abarth 500e well and drive through the bend with a lot of confidence. The ventilated brake discs all around can be controlled well in combination with regenerative braking. The electric Abarth certainly does not lack sporty driving characteristics.
The range of both the closed and the open variant is a modest 265 kilometers (WLTP). If you want to make a long drive, for example to Vienna, the birthplace of the founder Carlo Abarth, who was later naturalized as an Italian, the standard 10.25-inch navigation screen shows where you can charge along the way. Feel free to enjoy yourself during the charging session two cappuccinosbecause with a charging power of 85 kW it takes about 35 minutes for the battery to reach 80 percent charge.
With the 500e, Abarth remains true to itself, because the driving pleasure and speed experience are top notch. And if you want, the car will roar loudly. But the small range quickly puts an end to the fun. We won't talk about the top speed...
You can find the full test of the Abarth in Auto Review 09/2023.
This post was last modified on September 27, 2023 5:22 am
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