Abarth 600e revealed as hot 237bhp EV crossover

Abarth 600e

The Abarth 600e will arrive with 237bhp

Abarth’s second EV goes after the Cupra Born with a limited-slip diff and Formula E-derived tyres

Fiat performance brand Abarth has revealed the 600e electric crossover as its most powerful car yet.

Based on the new Fiat 600e, it’s the second Abarth EV – after the Abarth 500e hot hatch – and the first SUV to bear the scorpion badge in Europe.

The striking Hypnotic Purple car pictured here is the Scorpionissima launch edition, just 1949 examples of which will be produced.

An outlandish, performance-focused makeover brings a chunky rear wing, large-diameter sports wheels and a bespoke front bumper treatment – clearly marking this out as the hotter take on the Italian EV.

Sending 237bhp through the front axle, the 600e Scorpionissima is described as “fiercely competitive and powerful” and will be the most powerful car based on Abarth parent company Stellantis’s e-CMP2 platform.

This is shared with the likes of the Jeep Avenger, Peugeot e-2008 and Citroën e-C4 – none of which have a dedicated performance version.

Abarth has yet to offer any performance figures, but we can be sure that it will comfortably outpace the Fiat on which it’s based, with a 0-62mph time in the region of 6.0sec.

Full technical specifications will be given at the car’s debut in the coming weeks, but Abarth has already confirmed that it’s fitted with a limited-slip differential and performance tyres that – as implied by images of the car drifting on a race track – hint at an overt focus on dynamic engagement.

Developed in partnership with Formula E rubber supplier Hankook, these tyres have been designed to “ensure maximum grip and guarantee excellent racing dynamics in all kinds of conditions” while “ensuring an improved range in an electric vehicle”.

The hot 600e is likely to be powered by the same 51kWh (usable) battery as the standard model, but its dramatically increased reserves will no doubt trim the range from 252 miles to nearer the 200-mile mark.

Abarth has yet to confirm a full debut date for its new model but said “stay tuned” for more details.

What’s next from Fiat?

There will be no more Fiat sports cars and nor will the brand target large or luxury car segments, boss Olivier François has confirmed.

“That is the beauty of [parent firm] Stellantis: we are a house of [14] brands,” he said. That means each brand must have a clear purpose and make money.

“For Fiat, we make money. We are simplicity. We are smaller cars. We are not sports cars. We are not luxury. We are not big cars.”

He added that Fiat won’t launch any cars longer than 4.5 metres – around the size of a Volvo XC40 – or shorter than 3.6 metres (excluding the new Topolino electric quadricycle).

These comments close the door on a successor to the Mazda MX-5-derived Fiat 124 Spider. However, when asked if Abarth could make its own bespoke sports car, François replied: “It may have a space.”

The performance brand, originally a Fiat tuning outfit, hasn’t launched an entirely bespoke model since coming under Fiat ownership in 1971.

Additional reporting by Charlie Martin and Will Rimell

Source: Autocar

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