Automotive

Published on December 23rd, 2020 | by Joshua Chin

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New Fiat 500 Wins Two More European Automotive Awards

The total number of awards won by this all-new, all-electric Fiat 500 is now a laudable four.

Following on from its multi-award winning predecessor, the all-new Fiat 500 that was launched just a couple of months ago looks set to be yet another critically acclaimed Italian supermini. 

Already having been awarded with the “Best Design Concept” in the Red Dot Design Awards, as well as the “Best Design 2020” award from the German automotive magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Fiat’s first all-electric car scoops yet another two awards in recent time. These two awards are the “Green Car” accolade at the French Automobile Awards 2020, along with the “Car of the Year and Best Small Electric Car” by British-based EV website DrivingElectric. 

Unveiled earlier in the year, these radically redesigned Fiat 500s have long since moved way upmarket from cheap and cheerful people’s car origins in the 1950s, especially considering that these new all-electric A-segment hatchback costs from £19,995 (RM 110,000). Having said that, this is par for the course of all the new all-electric superminis these days.  

Powertrain-wise, the new electrified 500 is powered by a single 118 hp electric motor that is fed by a 42 kW battery pack. Despite the weedy power figures, this tiny Fiat still manages a half-century sprint in an impressive 3.1 seconds, and the full century sprint in an equally healthy 9.0 seconds. The top speed of this city car is electronically limited to 150 km/h. 

As for the EV side of things, the Fiat 500 boasts an adequate all-electric WLTP claimed range of 320 km. Charging times meanwhile are claimed to be ‘5 minutes to charge it up to drive 50 kilometres’ and 35 minutes to charge it up to 80% using the standard 85 kW rapid charger. 

Moving on to the tech within the 500, the FCA’s all-new UConnect 5 infotainment system brings with it either a 7-inch or a 10.25-inch central infotainment touchscreen depending on trim level. Level 2 autonomous driving also makes a first-in-class appearance in this Italian supermini, thanks to a full suite of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). 

For added practicality too, there is now a 3+1 variant of this tiny Fiat, with a third small passenger side door. This new body style is in addition to the normal hatchback and convertible variants that are also available. 

Sadly, this little slice of electrified la dolce vita lifestyle will probably never see the light of day locally in any official capacity, seeing that the Fiat brand is all but dead in Malaysia. Nevertheless, considering the MINI Electric has been flying out of the dealerships here, enterprising independent importers may just bring some of these over for those EV enthusiasts who just want something a little bit more Italian. 

PRESS RELEASE: A few weeks after its presentation to the international press, the New 500 continues to captivate the European public, achieving a double win – first in France, then in the UK – further improving a trophy haul that already includes “Green Car” at the Automobile Awards 2020, plus “Car of the Year and Best Small Electric Car” bestowed by DrivingElectric, to join the “Best Design 2020” award from the German magazine “Auto Motor und Sport” and “Best Design Concept” in the internationally renowned “Red Dot Design Awards”.

In France, the New 500 won “Green Car” at the Automobile Awards 2020, an acknowledgment bestowed by a jury of experts from the automotive industry, fans and end consumers, counting among its members the guest of honor, the actor and comedian Arnaud Ducret. The new model has also won an award in the UK for the first time: the prestigious “Car of the Year and Best Small Electric Car”, given by the “DrivingElectric” specialist website, where it was appreciated for its elegant design, technology, usable range of up to 320 km and the price of its entry-level Action trim.

This double win comes after the two other coveted awards it has recently received in Germany. The first was in October, when the New 500 took a “Red Dot Award 2020” – one of the most coveted prizes in the world of industrial design – in the Design Concept category. The jury consisted of 21 of the most renowned design professionals and lecturers in the world, having considered over 4,100 candidates from 52 countries this year.

It was met with the same success one month later with the title of “Best Design 2020” in its category, conferred by readers of the German magazine “Auto Motor und Sport”, who cast their votes in the ”Autonis 2020” contest. The New 500 has therefore taken one of the most prestigious acknowledgments in the world of design, beating off competitors with a conventional combustion engine, thanks to its unique and distinctive style that continues to amaze and enchant.

Four prestigious awards, confirmation that the New 500 is revolutionizing the world of electric mobility in terms of technology and design.

FCA’s first 100% electric car, it still remains a true 500. The 42-kW battery guarantees extended range, up to 320 km in the WLTP cycle, increasing to 450 km in the urban cycle, and comes with an 85-kW battery charger as standard in both the Passion and Icon versions. It only takes 5 minutes to charge it up to drive 50 kilometers, more than necessary for average daily use. The fast charger can also charge the battery to 80% in just 35 minutes. In terms of performance, the batteries are combined with an 87-kW (118-hp) electric motor, delivering an automatically limited maximum speed of 150 km/h, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.0 seconds and from 0 to 50 km/h in 3.1 seconds.

The 500 also comes with Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), making it easier, safer, simpler and more fun to drive, as well as being the first car in its segment equipped with level 2 autonomous driving. But FCA’s engineers didn’t stop there. Their aim was to humanize the technology, by implementing specific solutions tailor-made for the 500: from advanced driver-assistance features to control the car longitudinally and laterally to sensors that detect whether the driver has their hands on the steering wheel. Risk level monitoring is therefore much more accurate, meaning we could make the automatic warnings less intrusive. And there’s more: ‘Lane Centering’ keeps the New 500 in the center of the lane, whereas ‘Urban Blind Spot’ uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor blind spots and warn of any obstacles with a triangular warning light on the wing mirror. At the same time, the eleven 360° sensors provide a ‘drone view’ to avoid any obstacles when parking or performing complex maneuver: almost a bird’s eye view of any obstacles in your path.

The New 500 is also the most connected car ever. The proof is in the new fifth-generation UConnect 5 infotainment system – the connected platform created by FCA for the future, available with a 7” screen in the PASSION version and 10.25” in the ICON – with a custom interface and the advanced voice recognition system, activated hands-free with the wake word “Hey Fiat”. Connectivity features are enabled by the new UConnect Box, offering access to the New 500’s “UConnect Services”, one example of which transforms the car into a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect up to 8 devices at the same time. These connectivity services are usually reserved for higher segments, but for the first time Fiat makes them accessible on an A-segment car, with features developed specifically for the world of electric vehicles.

The New 500 is available in hatchback and cabriolet versions, plus the brand-new 3+1 variant, featuring a third small passenger side door.

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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