Bright spark: Vivid new all-electric Abarth 500e hot hatch revealed

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The first all-electric Abarth hot-hatch is launched today – and there’s a sting in the tail from the zero-emissions car bearing the legendary scorpion badge.

For this battery-powered car is anything but quiet. 

The new Abarth 500e is not only the first electric car in the 73 year history of the Italian performance car brand, it’s also the first to create an artificial Abarth ‘roar’ using a sound generator feature which reproduces the legendary sound of the conventional Abarth petrol engine.

A rival to the retro Renault 5 EV, it is expected to cost from around £36,000 with first deliveries in June 2023.

Bright spark: This is the new Abarth 500e - the performance arm of Fiat's take on a hot electric hatchback

Bright spark: This is the new Abarth 500e – the performance arm of Fiat’s take on a hot electric hatchback

Bar Cupra’s Born – which is a racier version of the VW ID.3 – and the Skoda Enyaq iV VRs SUV, there aren’t any compact hot hatches on the market.

The new electric Abarth 500e is equipped with a powerful 42kWh battery which develops 154 horsepower (113kW). Abarth said it combines the ‘performance of the Scorpion’ with the innovation of electric mobility, accelerating from rest to 62mph in just 7 seconds.

That’s 2 seconds faster than the sibling – but less powerful – 42kWh Fiat 500e, which costs from £23,495.

It is marking the launch event with an exclusive vibrantly eye-catching, fully-equipped launch version called ‘Scorpionissima Edition’ sold online with priority given to existing Abarth owners and fans.

It is available in both hatchback and cabrio versions and in two vibrant new exterior shades called Acid Green and Poison Blue, along with exclusive 18-inch diamond-cut titanium grey alloy wheels, a fixed glass roof and rear privacy glass.

Of the artificially created engine sound, the company said: ‘The new Abarth 500e is the first and only city car that can be equipped with the Sound Generator, for those who don’t want to give up on Abarth’s signature – the unmistakable Abarth ‘roar’.

‘The Sound Generator accompanies the engine performance, faithfully reproducing the sound of an Abarth petrol engine.’

A rival to the retro Renault 5 EV, it is expected to cost from around £36,000 with first deliveries in June 2023

A rival to the retro Renault 5 EV, it is expected to cost from around £36,000 with first deliveries in June 2023

The new electric Abarth 500e is equipped with a powerful 42 kWh battery which develops 154 horse-power (113kW)

The new electric Abarth 500e is equipped with a powerful 42 kWh battery which develops 154 horse-power (113kW)

Abarth said it combines the'performance of the Scorpion' with the innovation of electric mobility, accelerating from rest to 62mph in just 7 seconds

Abarth said it combines the ‘performance of the Scorpion’ with the innovation of electric mobility, accelerating from rest to 62mph in just 7 seconds

The Abarth 500e has three driving Modes: Turismo, Scorpion Street and Scorpion Track.

Turismo mode allows for smoother acceleration by restricting power and torque (maximum power limited to 100kW instead of 113kW, torque restrained to 220Nm instead of 235Nm) for an efficient but still exciting driving experience.

Scorpion Street mode offers top performance while maximizing the regenerative braking.

Scorpion Track mode is designed for those who are looking for top performance.

One pedal driving is possible in Turismo and Scorpion Street Mode. Abarth said: ‘The car decelerates every time you lift your foot and recovers kinetic energy, which then gets converted into electricity to recharge the battery to provide a faster and even sportier driving experience.’

The 85-kW fast-charging system reaches 80 per cent in 35 minutes. It says a five minute boost is sufficient for ‘daily mileage requirements’ which it puts at around 30 miles.

It is marking the launch event with an exclusive vibrantly eye-catching, fully-equipped launch version called'Scorpionissima Edition' sold online with priority given to existing Abarth owners and fans

It is marking the launch event with an exclusive vibrantly eye-catching, fully-equipped launch version called ‘Scorpionissima Edition’ sold online with priority given to existing Abarth owners and fans

It is available in both hatchback and cabrio versions and in two vibrant new exterior shades called Acid Green and Poison Blue

It is available in both hatchback and cabrio versions and in two vibrant new exterior shades called Acid Green and Poison Blue

It creates an artificial Abarth'roar' using a sound generator feature which reproduces the legendary sound of the conventional petrol engine

It creates an artificial Abarth ‘roar’ using a sound generator feature which reproduces the legendary sound of the conventional petrol engine

The company said the new electric architecture, improved weight distribution, better torque, and a wider wheelbase, mean the new Abarth 500e is faster and more exciting than petrol predecessors in both urban and suburban driving.

It said: ‘The electric architecture performs better than petrol thanks to an improved weight distribution, better torque, and a wider wheelbase.’

It added: ‘Electric is the perfect technology to improve driving pleasure and ensure more sprint, greater balance, more stability, and better road holding.

‘For Abarth, electrification means being more fun and more competitive. It not only means looking for greener solutions, but is also synonymous with pure, distilled, and hard-core fun.’

The company said of the new Abarth 500e: ‘It offers an irreverent, playful, yet bold style, and a thrilling driving experience with the same amount of fun.’

It insisted: ‘The New Abarth 500e is the most responsive and exciting Abarth 500 ever in city driving, performing better than an Abarth 695 in responsiveness.’

It is 1 second (50 per cent) faster acceleration from 12.5mph to 25mph than its petrol-powered counterpart. It is also faster on hairpin bends, where from 25mph to 37mph it can reach the target speed in just 1.5 seconds—much faster than its petrol version, which lags behind by 15 meters, reaching 37mph a second later.

The three-spoke racing-inspired steering wheel has high-quality leather with Alcantara inserts and a Scorpion logo

The three-spoke racing-inspired steering wheel has high-quality leather with Alcantara inserts and a Scorpion logo 

The 85-kW fast-charging system reaches 80% in 35 minutes. It says a five minute boost is sufficient for'daily mileage requirements' which it puts at around 30 miles

The 85-kW fast-charging system reaches 80% in 35 minutes. It says a five minute boost is sufficient for ‘daily mileage requirements’ which it puts at around 30 miles

Starting from 37mph, it reaches a speed of 62mph when its petrol counterpart is still driving at 56.4mph'with a difference of approximately 1 second', says Abarth

Starting from 37mph, it reaches a speed of 62mph when its petrol counterpart is still driving at 56.4mph ‘with a difference of approximately 1 second’, says Abarth

The car-maker noted: ‘On the open road, the full electric new Abarth 500e performs overtaking manoeuvres faster than its petrol version.’

Starting from 37mph, it reaches a speed of 62mph (100 km/h) when its petrol counterpart is still driving at 56.4mph (91 km/h) ‘with a difference of approximately 1 second.’, says Abarth.

On the Misto Alfa Balocco track in Italy, the new electric Abarth 500e beats the petrol Abarth 695 by over a second.

The company says: ‘The more responsive electric motor, a longer wheelbase, improved support due to widened track widths, and the better balance between the axles offer great handling and driving dynamics, providing the new Abarth 500e with a quicker response, better corner entry, and a higher cornering and exit speed.’

Blinged-up trim includes a dedicated front sporty bumper alloy wheels and brakes, full LED front lighting, a new electrified Scorpion logo, and rear diffusers.

An advanced 360° drone view sensor system and ultra-high-definition rear camera shows obstacles and the car's trajectory on the 10.25-inch screen when parking

An advanced 360° drone view sensor system and ultra-high-definition rear camera shows obstacles and the car’s trajectory on the 10.25-inch screen when parking

The Abarth 500e is 2 seconds faster to 62mph than the sibling but less powerful 42kWh Fiat 500e which costs from £23,495

The Abarth 500e is 2 seconds faster to 62mph than the sibling but less powerful 42kWh Fiat 500e which costs from £23,495

The company said it sought advice on the new car by consulting directly the community fan-base of more than 160,000'Abarthists' across the world

The company said it sought advice on the new car by consulting directly the community fan-base of more than 160,000 ‘Abarthists’ across the world

The cabrio version has an integrated sporty spoiler and the hatchback version is equipped with rear privacy glass.

There are also sporty racetrack-inspired steel pedals and a kick plate with an engraved logo, a new titanium Grey dashboard ring, steel door sill plates with an Abarth lettering relief.

Sporty seats feature an embossed scorpion in Alcantara, and integrated headrest with a lasered acid-green Scorpion and sporty double stitching.

The three-spoke racing-inspired steering wheel has high-quality leather with Alcantara inserts and a Scorpion logo.

There is also heated front seats and windshield, height adjustable driver seat, and 50/50 split folding rear seats.

The electric Abarth is equipped as standard with 10.25-inch touchscreen with integrated navigation system and high-tech display, an all-digital 7-inch driver cluster, and a powerful JBL premium audio system. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is also available.

An advanced 360° drone view sensor system and ultra-high-definition rear camera shows obstacles and the car’s trajectory on the 10.25-inch screen when parking.

Advanced ADAS driver safety systems include: traffic sign recognition; autonomous ABS braking with pedestrian and cyclist recognition; intelligent speed and lane keeping assist; drowsy driver detection; cruise control; blind spot warning; and emergency call.

On the Misto Alfa Balocco race track in Italy, the new electric Abarth 500e beats the petrol Abarth 695 by over a second

On the Misto Alfa Balocco race track in Italy, the new electric Abarth 500e beats the petrol Abarth 695 by over a second

The car-maker noted:'On the open road, the full electric new Abarth 500e performs overtaking manoeuvres faster than its petrol version'

The car-maker noted: ‘On the open road, the full electric new Abarth 500e performs overtaking manoeuvres faster than its petrol version’

The company said it sought advice on the new car by consulting directly the community fan-base of more than 160,000 ‘Abarthists’ across the world.

Fiat and Abarth chief executive Olivier Francois (who is also global chief marketing officer of parent-company Stellantis) said: ‘Today we are celebrating a milestone in Abarth’s history.

We are simultaneously presenting the first electric Abarth in Europe, based on the new 500e, and also launching the brand in Brazil with the introduction of the New Abarth Pulse’.

Electric power fulfilled the performance ethos of the firm’s founder Carlo Abarth, he said: ‘Abarth has been always synonymous with performance, competition, thrill, and an attitude that has been electrifying people since 1949.

‘Today the Scorpion renews the challenge with a revolutionary model that takes performance to unprecedented levels, in line with the essence of Carlo Abarth’s life and his mantra: ‘Go faster than yesterday. Win more’.

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