Abarth to expand line-up with array of EVs

Abarth 500e front three quarter night

Abarth recently revealed its 500e and will expand its range over the coming years

But not every new Fiat will get an Abarth performance variant, CEO Olivier Francois says

Abarth will grow its model line-up with an expanded range of electric models to follow its new 500e – but company boss Olivier François has said not every future Fiat EV will automatically gain a performance variant.

Abarth recently unveiled the 500e, a souped-up hot hatch reworking of the existing Fiat 500e, as its first electric model, with a focus on offering nimble handling and acceleration in urban areas.

Since the Abarth 124 Spider was discontinued, the firm’s line-up has consisted entirely of performance variants of the 500, but brand boss François said new models would be added as the Fiat line-up grew in the coming years.

Fiat is working on 10 new cars and will launch five globally within the next five years. Asked how many Abarth cars would come in the same period, François said “less”. He added: “All [Fiat models] can potentially have an Abarth version, but it will not make sense for all of them. We will assess each model within the team.

“In Europe, Abarth always had a lot of success when tied with the 500. It’s not a rule, but people like the little pocket rocket, racing urban cars and so on. Abarth is also a little bit more expensive, so you need models that will bear that pricing power. The 500 is like that and other models around the 500 galaxy could be like that.”

François did confirm that the brand is working on higher-performance versions of the 500e, similar to how it offers Abarth 595 and 695 reworkings of the combustion-engined 500 with differing power outputs. He said: “Everyone is already working to make this car even faster, even sportier, even louder.”

The 500e uses the same motor and battery as the Fiat version, although both have been reworked to enable the car to deliver 151bhp and 173lb ft. The motor has been tweaked to run at a higher consistent torque output, while Abarth has tuned the battery to deliver at a higher current, allowing it to draw energy more consistently.

Abarth engineers have hinted that the output of the new 500e is close to the maximum the motor and battery technology will allow for, suggesting any future higher-performance version could have to use a different motor or new battery technology.

Source: Autocar

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