Smart recently got a lot of attention with the introduction of its electric model. It is the third generation of the brand’s EV and is the cheapest on sale in the United States. Many have said it is a perfect fit for Smart and a way to revive flagging sales. Fiat finds itself in a different position.
Despite a rocky advertising launch (thanks Jennifer Lopez) it has taken off more than anyone thought. That’s more of a tribute to the car’s excellence than anything. At the Los Angeles International Auto Show later this month, Fiat will be releasing the 500E. This is the car that Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said Fiat didn’t really want to build.
Thanks to the environmentalists in California, it is a requirement to build a zero emissions vehicle though. This has led manufacturers to hastily cobble together low volume EV variants almost exclusively for the California market. Toyota has the RAV4 EV, Honda the Fit EV and Chevrolet the Spark EV. Now Fiat/Chrysler will have it’s entry.
The first images have been released and we can see some of minor changes take shape. On the exterior the bright orange gets a new aerodynamics package that includes different wheels. Perhaps the most recognizable change is the front facia, which has been lowered and painted in white. The interior gets an EV specific gauge cluster and a push button gear selector system. The real important things-such as range and cost-haven’t been released yet. We assume we’ll have to wait until the beginning of the show. Following Fiat’s celebrity centered strategy, the 500E will make it’s first appearance this weekend at the American Music Awards.