Following the premiere of the Abarth 500e, Fiat CEO Olivier Francois promised that the Scorpion brand’s lineup is set to grow with more EVs in the future. However, only some of the upcoming Fiat models will get an Abarth-badged sibling. The CEO also revealed that more powerful variants of the Abarth 500e are already under development.
When asked about Abarth’s future range, Francois said: “All Fiat models can potentially have an Abarth version, but it will not make sense for all of them” adding that his team will assess each model and decide whether it makes a good fit for the Scorpion brand.
For years, Abarth’s range has been limited to spicy versions of the ICE-powered 500, which will be discontinued by the end of next year, and now the new 500e. Fiat on the other hand is working on 10 new models, with five of them expected within the next five years. Those will likely include the Panda successor, a Punto-sized supermini, and a few crossovers.
Explaining how they will choose which Fiat models will make it in the Abarth lineup, Olivier Francois said: “In Europe, Abarth always had a lot of success when tied with the 500. It’s not a rule, but people like the little pocket rocket, racing urban cars, and so on. Abarth is also a little bit more expensive, so you need models that will bear that pricing power. The 500 is like that and other models around the 500 galaxy could be like that”.
Judging from the CEO’s comments, it is safe to assume that the next-gen 500X will get the Abarth treatment as long as it is available in EV-only form. Another fitting option would be the upcoming supermini, given that Abarth has expertise in hot hatches. In contrast, budget Fiat models will be probably left without an inevitably steeply-priced performance variant.
Spicier Abarth 500e Variants Are Coming
Francois also confirmed that Abarth is working on new variants of the 500e with increased power output, similar to the strategy followed by the ICE-powered 595 and 695 models in the past. More specifically, the CEO said: “Everyone is already working to make this car even faster, even sportier, even louder”.
The Abarth 500e comes fitted with a single electric motor and a 42 kWh battery just like the Fiat 500e, but the powertrain has been tuned to produce 153 hp (113,7 kW / 155 PS) and 235 Nm (173 lb-ft) of torque. While this is enough to make it faster than the ICE-powered models under certain conditions, Abarth fans are longing for more power and better performance credentials than the advertised 7 seconds for the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint.
As reported by Autocar, Abarth engineers hinted that this power output is close to the limits of this powertrain. This means that the upcoming hot hatches could benefit from new electric motor/battery tech, possibly utilizing Stellantis’ parts bin. In any case, Abarth’s future will likely be filled with special editions, as the Italian brand has no reason to change this successful recipe.