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Fiat 500 big and little sisters revealed

600e and Topolino on the cards, aimed at making urban EV motoring more affordable

7 Jul 2023

FIAT’s latest offering, the 600e, pays homage to the 600 from the 1950, offering family-friendly practicality while retaining the bubble-like appearance of its stablemate 500. It arrives this week as the Italian car company shows its city-sized “SUV”, the Topolino.


The 600e is positioned as a city and outdoor car, with guard flares and what appears be decent ground clearance, offering up to 600km of range for city use (WLTP urban cycle) or 400km of mixed driving (WLTP combined cycle).


In terms of size, the 600e measures up at 4.17 metres in length against the 500e’s 3.63 metres, but visually it retains a similar shape and lines, effectively inflated to small SUV dimensions.


Five seats and 360 litres of boot space makes the 600e a small, yet practical runabout, with Fiat citing the original 600 model’s reputation as a compact family car.


Inside, the 600e features a cleanly designed interior with 10.25-inch infotainment screen and 7.0-inch digital display, as well as a choice of up to eight different colours for ambient light and radio ambience; 64 combinations in total.


An entry-level ‘RED’ model, aimed at young customers wanting an ethical and eco-friendly option, features unique logos and recycled fabric seats – based around the organisation that was founded in 2006 to fight AIDS.


Fiat’s latest safety tech will feature in the 600e, offering Level 2 assisted driving with features like adaptive cruise, intelligent speed assist, blind-spot detection, and autonomous emergency braking (AEB).


A 114kW motor, powered by 54kWh lithium-ion battery, propels the 600e to triple digits in nine seconds, and a 100kW fast charging system allows 80 per cent charge in half an hour.


Despite the ‘e’ in the model name, Fiat has confirmed it is working on a hybrid option that will be offered from mid-next year.


Urban baby mouse


The Italian marque also revealed its dinky Topolino (Italian for ‘baby mouse’), a short-range urban EV measuring in at just 2.53 metres in length – closer in size and stature to that of the original Fiat 500 model.


Both open and closed body options will be available – think bubble-like Meyers Manx with a roof – and it will offer space for two occupants plus 63 litres of luggage.


A small 5.4kWh battery will take four hours to fully charge and, with a range of just 75km, it will be very much an extra-urban or small town coffee-getter.


The Gen-Z positioned Topilino, akin to a four-wheeled moped, is speed-limited to just 45km/h and, interestingly, Fiat says it can be driven from the age of 14 and up – presumably in select markets in Europe.


Fiat based the Topolino on fellow Stellantis model, the Citreon Ami One, but gave it a uniquely seaside Italian twist with optional extras like a shower, perfect for keen young beachgoers.


Fiat says the Topolino will also be offered for “an affordable monthly amount of money”, likening the figure to what would usually be spent on subscription paper-per-view TV or monthly public transport costs.


The first Fiat 600e units are expected to arrive in Italy by September this year and, although not confirmed yet, we expect to see it Down Under in the future.


We are speculating the pint-sized Topolino will not make its way to our shores - however based on the cute-factor it offers alone, we hope we are wrong.

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