The electric Abarth was born

The first electric Abarth 500 is presented. A model that anticipates the future of the scorpion brand, offering itself with a 155 HP power unit, an aggressive style and a launch version, “Scorpionissima”, in just 1,949 units at a price of 43,000 euros

Thomas Marcoli

– Turin

Rewrites the past, rethinks the present, anticipates the future. The new electric Abarth 500 is a significant moment of breaking away from tradition and moving towards low-emission mobility. It changes a lot, almost entirely compared to what up to now the Abarth brand has represented both for Fiat and for enthusiasts, who often approached the Scorpion only for its unmistakable sound. An element that disappears on the most recent interpretation, or rather adapts to a new driving dimension that does not want to be a parody of modified turbines, manifolds and exhaust systems, but rather an alternative to all of this. Always in compliance with the rule according to which performance must in any case be able to respect the common driving style and pace while remaining accessible, without exploring overly sophisticated or excessively high-performance applications. To celebrate its debut, Abarth will market its first electric 500 in the only special “Scorpionissima” trim, produced in 1949 units in just two colours: acid green and poison blue. The price is 43,000 euros and the first deliveries are expected from June 2023. An aside: the first electric Abarth in history is also the least powerful of the Abarths available today. There seems to be room for intervention to increase power and performance values, but any application times remain unknown for now.

Abarth 500 e: how it is made

Much of the electric Fiat 500 can be found on the Abarth. It’s the details that make the difference and give it that personality that will hardly make it go unnoticed on the city streets. Enlarged, slightly elongated, it is more massive to the eye and heavier on the scale (+40 kg). The launch colors enhance the round and clean shapes that do not betray the Abarth identity and do not give up that silent elegance that defined the first low-emission 500. Only 1949 units of the “Scorpionissima” will be produced, progressive which recalls the foundation year of the Turin computer. 18″ alloy wheels with the Scorpion logo crossed by a lightning bolt, precisely to underline the presence of an electric motor under the bonnet. The interiors offer the same organization as the electric 500 with rational space and state-of-the-art technological integration. The Abarth emblem stands out on the steering wheel, while the upholstery is in Alcantara.

Abarth 500 e: Technique

The suspension layout boasts McPherson architecture at the front and torsion beam architecture at the rear. The shock absorber springs are specific to this model, finally, disc brakes also at the rear unlike the electric 500. Weight distribution has been improved (57-43) for better stability and performance benefits. Especially when cornering. The lower center of gravity and the greater width have made it possible to break down the dynamic limits to which the 500 Abarth with combustion engine is often susceptible. The 42 kWh battery powers an electric motor with 155 HP and 235 Nm of maximum torque capable of providing acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in seven seconds. The maximum speed has not yet been communicated. The range should exceed 250 km, but even in this case the value is provisional and pending approval. However, the recharging characteristics are certain: up to 85 kW with direct current and 11 kW with alternating current. To support the greater stress to which the Abarth (supposedly) will be subjected, the accumulator has received modifications to better manage the thermal stress. The “Scorpionissima” version will be available with three driving modes: Tourism which reduces the maximum power to 136 HP, Scorpion Street And Scorpio track. The latter to make the most of the maximum performance.

sound generator

What has made each Abarth iconic, recognizable, but above all desirable is the sound. Although it has never been a question of high-performance cars, they have always known how to raise their voices (literally) without disfiguring even next to the much more expensive and powerful super sports cars. A fascination that in the age of the electric would have inevitably disappeared. In order not to lose what is truly Abarth heritage, the brand’s technicians have worked diligently to try to preserve that acoustic intensity dear to every Scorpion enthusiast. The result of this research is the new Sound Generator: a synthesizer built into the vehicle which reproduces (both inside and outside) the timbre of Abarth petrol engines. Intensity and rhythm follow the speed and performance of the vehicle: accelerating increases, braking decreases. Being an electronic instrument, the driver can deactivate the acoustic reproduction at any time, if he prefers to drive in the city respecting the silence of the electrification. Being a low emission car, the specific Avas sound is normally present: an audible warning at low speeds to warn pedestrians of the vehicle’s presence. When switched on and off, the electric Abarth 500 reproduces the rock sound of an electric guitar.

Future with Low Emissions

The future of Abarth is totally linked to that of Fiat (and more generally to the Stellantis group). Electrification is therefore the only way forward, but it will still be tackled step by step. The managing director of the brand Olivier Francois anticipated that the scorpion will continue to survive even when the combustion engines shut down definitively and this new 500 is a valid demonstration of this. The timing and methods of the next projects remain uncertain, but it is possible that the next electric Abarth could perhaps find application in an SUV. However, it would not be a first time because, precisely on the occasion of the presentation of the Abarth 500, the managing director showed a preview of the Abarth Pulse. It is in fact the first SUV set up by the Turin computer available, however, only for the Brazilian and South American markets. Pulse does not meet the homologation parameters suitable for its importation into Europe and any speculation in this regard would be meaningless. The electric future of Abarth is therefore still to be written and discovered.

The electric Abarth was born