After announcing it would bring the electric 500e to the U.S., Fiat has finally revealed pricing and specifications for the American version. It’s not quite the value proposition as it is in Europe, but it will still deliver superb styling with some advantages in range and weight over current competitors.
As far as design and performance, the American 500e is effectively identical to the European version. It has the same single front motor making 118 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque paired with a 42-kWh battery pack.
Range is lower than for Europe, but this is certainly a result of the EPA testing procedure. As such it returns 149 miles on a charge, which is identical to the base Leaf S. It’s also better by 35 miles than the current Mini Cooper SE. The Fiat also boasts faster 85-kW DC charging than the Nissan and Mini, and unlike the Nissan, the Fiat has liquid-cooled batteries (which helps keep range and charging more consistent and is good for battery longevity). Fiat claims the 500e will charge to 80% in 35 minutes.
Suspension uses MacPherson struts up front and a torsion-beam setup for the rear. Braking duty is split between front discs and rear drums. At just 2,952 pounds, close to 200 pounds less than the Mini and more than 500 pounds less than the Nissan.
Only one version of the Fiat will be available at launch, the 500e RED, which is a special edition collaboration with the RED charity that raises money to combat AIDS. So a portion of the purchase goes to that program, like all RED products. It’s also, naturally, only available in a bright red paint scheme with matching interior accents. It comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.25-inch infotainment screen, wireless charging, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, manually adjustable seats, automatic climate control, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. A level 2 home charger or public charger credits are included, too, all at the 500e RED’s base price of $34,095 (including $1,595 destination charge). That makes it a little more than $2,000 more expensive than the base Mini Cooper SE and more than $4,000 more expensive than the Nissan Leaf S. It goes on sale in the first quarter of next year.