Published on June 10th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Fiat 500 ‘La Prima’ Priced To Be Premium
Still Missing In Malaysia, Fiat Might Never Come Back
Fiat has been a missing car brand in Malaysia for some years now but there have been some private car importers who have brought in and sold various version of the Fiat 500 which sells quite well in Britain which is where these used cars are sourced from.
Now we hear that there is a brand new Fiat 500 with an expanding line-up for the European market. The first to be unveiled is this “Launch Edition” New 500 “la Prima” compact hatchback. This new Fiat 500e hatchback electric city car is priced in Britain from £26,995 (RM147,000 before local taxes and delivery) after the British government’s plug-in car grant which also includes the installation of a 7.4kW easyWallbox charger.
In comparison, the selling price for the 2020 Renault Zoe start at £25,670 and the Nissan Leaf price is at around £2,000 more expensive. The BMW i3 with the 42.2 kWh version battery selling price starts at £35,180 (RM190,000 before local taxes and delivery).
So, this compact Fiat might be to expensive to arrive in Malaysia anytime soon.
PRESS RELEASE: This new Fiat cleverly combines the new “electric and sustainable” soul of the third-generation 500 with the Fiat icon’s unmistakable design and attention to detail, all typical of the best “Made in Italy” products.
With even softer and more rounded lines than the previous generation, the New 500 “la Prima” retains the renowned jaunty feel of the “Cinquino”, an icon with a unique characteristic in the global automotive industry, raising a complicit, cheerful smile when dealing with the increasing complexity – and sometimes the limitations – of driving in the city.
All in all, at a time when mobility is expected to be more sustainable, connected and autonomous, the third generation of the Fiat 500 is once again to the fore, bringing with it design and driving pleasure. It is not just a revolution, but the “reincarnation” of a spirit, one that can inspire renewal. In fact, rules and regulations are not enough for a true revolution, something iconic and beautiful is needed: the New Fiat 500. As in the post-war period, when the first generation of the Cinquino breathed life into mass mobility, the same is happening now with the New 500, channeling positivity and joie de vivre by offering a new dimension and personality to electric urban mobility.
The New Fiat 500 “la Prima” hatchback is marked out by its sophisticated panoramic glass sunroof, a veritable “window on the sky”, to flood the passenger compartment with light, improving comfort while driving and on-board wellbeing. Even more so, the rear features the classic tailgate and a new, now more pronounced spoiler, to improve aerodynamic efficiency. Three exclusive liveries inspired by the fundamental elements of nature are available to customers who select the New 500 “la Prima” hatchback: Ocean Green (pearlescent), reminiscent of the sea; Mineral Grey (metallic), for the Earth; and Celestial Blue (tricoat), for the sky. Extras as standard include full LED headlights, 17″ diamond-cut wheels, chrome-plated inserts on the side panels, and dashboard and seat upholstery in eco-leather.
The Design of the New 500 “la Prima” hatchback
The unmistakable silhouette of the car shows off the upper profile of the cabin, combining it with the characteristic tilt of the rear edge. Among the car’s icons, the roomy passenger compartment has evolved in the third generation, resulting in the development of a more pronounced spoiler. Refined specifically to improve aerodynamic efficiency and range, the car’s body is perceived as more dynamic and eye-catching.
The tailgate, with its broader curve, results in a roomier presence. Its surfaces are clean and sinuous, making the car even more elegant and sculptural. The panel above the license plate includes the characteristic chrome slat, with simple, fluid surface molding. Higher up, the new FIAT logo adds a prestigious touch of metal. Finally, the symbols and horizontal lines in the tailgate recall the headlights, highlighting the car’s width.
So much substance: the best possible range, charging and driving
Range and charging times are two key issues for customers. The lithium-ion batteries with 42 kWh capacity give the New 500 a range of up to 320 km in the WLTP cycle.
To optimize charging time, the New 500 enables DC fast charge at up to 85 kW, to recharge the battery very quickly. For example, it takes only 5 minutes to build up enough of an energy reserve to travel 50 kilometers, more than necessary for average daily use. And fast charge can also replenish the battery to 80% in just 35 minutes.
The “Combo 2” smart socket located on the rear right side panel of the car enables both AC and DC charging. We call it a ‘smart’ socket because of its programmable charging schedule and provision of feedback on the car’s charge status. Home charging solutions are also available. Both the hatchback and convertible versions of the New 500 “la Prima” include the easyWallbox, a charging system that can be connected to the mains at home.
ENGIE Eps developed this device for FCA, which will be marketed by Mopar in the main European markets to coincide with the launch of the model. It is a simple, accessible solution – with no specialist personnel required for installation – that can be managed via Bluetooth, letting you charge your 500 immediately at home with up to 2.3 kW of charging power. It also takes into account other domestic appliances being used while you charge your car. Even better, the easyWallbox is ready for a power upgrade to 7.4 kW. The model also comes with a “Mode 3” cable, for charging both at home and from the public mains, at up to 11 kW.
The New Fiat 500 has three driving modes: Normal, Range and Sherpa, which can be selected to match your driving style.
In particular, Sherpa mode optimizes the available resources to make sure you reach your destination. Sherpa driving mode works on several components to reduce fuel consumption to a minimum, to make sure you can reach either the destination set on the navigation system or the nearest charging station. Just like a “Himalayan Sherpa”, who is in charge of the whole expedition and guides it to its destination, this driving mode adjusts various parameters: maximum speed, limited to 80 km/h; accelerator response, to reduce energy consumption; and deactivation of the air conditioning system and heated seats (both of which can be reactivated by the driver at any time).
“Normal” mode is as close as possible to driving a vehicle with a normal combustion engine, while “Range” mode activates the “one-pedal-drive” function. By selecting this driving mode, you can drive the new 500 with the accelerator pedal alone. The mode maximizes regenerative braking and therefore range, too. In any event, you need to push the brake pedal to bring the car to a complete stop.
The engine has an output of 87 kW, providing an automatically limited maximum speed of 150 km/h and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 9.0 seconds, with 0-50 in 3.1 seconds.
Level 2 autonomous driving and connectivity
Striking and exclusive, but high-tech and always connected, too: the New 500 “la Prima” comes with automatic emergency braking, high-resolution rear camera, automatic twilight and dazzle sensors, emergency call (ecall) and electronic parking brake, all as standard. Even more so, the New 500 includes the latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), making it the first city car fitted with Level 2 autonomous driving. Front-facing camera monitoring technology monitors all areas of the car, both longitudinally and laterally. The intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (iACC) system brakes or accelerates in response to any obstacle it encounters. Lane Centering keeps the vehicle in the center of the lane, provided its markings are correctly detected.
Intelligent Speed Assist reads detectable speed limits and recommends applying them, while Urban Blind Spot uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor blind spots and advises you if any other vehicles are approaching, with a triangular warning light on the wing mirror. Then there is Attention Assist, which provides warnings on the display, recommending that you stop and take a break when you are tired. Finally, the 360° sensors provide a drone view to avoid any obstacles when parking or performing complex maneuvers.
The Fiat 500 “la Prima” hatchback also comes with the new UConnect 5 infotainment system as standard: 7″ full TFT Display, DAB Radio, 10.25″ Touch Screen NAV, Wireless CarPlay / Android Auto, and offers connected services via the UConnect Box and the suite of UConnect Services. In particular, the third-generation 500 is the first FCA car equipped with the fifth-generation UConnect 5 infotainment system, the connected platform designed for the future, available with a 10.25″ screen.
Developed with the idea of providing customers with a straightforward and convenient user experience in mind, FCA uses the easy, intuitive and customizable Android Auto operating system. For example, you can use widgets to configure how functions and apps are displayed. Apple CarPlay is already available in wireless mode. The system is also ready to offer the same functionality for Android Auto. In short, the New 500 offers integration with your smartphone, with a high-definition touchscreen, a horizontal form factor that fits perfectly into the car’s dashboard, consistent with its lines and designed according to criteria to eliminate driver distractions.
Once connected to the UConnect Box, UConnect 5 enables the mandatory emergency call (ecall) function in approved new models, and offers customers a number of innovative connectivity services:
My Assistant: an assistance system that connects the customer with an operator to request geolocated roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown and to receive support to resolve any car-related technical issues. Also included in the My Assistant pack, customers will receive a monthly report by e-mail, in which they can check the car’s current usage and health status.
My Remote: via a mobile app on their smartphones, customers can schedule vehicle charging for the most convenient time slots, find the exact location of the car, lock and unlock the doors, turn the lights on and off, program the air conditioning system, and set driving alerts based on speed and vehicle position.
My Car: to check your car’s condition and status from your smartphone and verify battery charging level, tire pressure, mileage and servicing schedule.
My Navigation: via a mobile app on your smartphone, you can send your destination to the car’s navigation system, find a route, and check traffic conditions, weather and speed camera locations along the way. You can also view charging points located near the car, with visual locations on the map of the points that can be reached based on your current level of battery charge. Maps will always be kept up to date, over-the-air.
- My eCharge: to manage all charging sessions, whether at public charging points – which can also be booked and paid for, or via your wallbox at home.
- My Wi-Fi: a true hotspot that simultaneously connects up to eight electronic devices to the 4G network, just like at home. With My Wi-Fi, you can interact with your car using voice assistance technology from Amazon Alexa, the industry leader.
- My Alert: customers are immediately notified in the event of their car being stolen. As soon as the theft is confirmed by law enforcement, a dedicated call center will provide support to retrieve the car.
The New Fiat 500 is therefore connected from the outset: it talks to you both inside and outside the car, so you can set the route in advance and so the car is air-conditioned as soon as you get in. Once you open the car door, your smartphone will be connected in under 5 seconds and will even be charged wirelessly.
The UConnect 5 system with a 10.25″ display and integrated navigator also boasts the Natural Language interface system with advanced voice recognition, so you can talk to the car to control its settings, program the air conditioning and choose your favorite music.
Greater accessibility for a broader customer base
Just like the cabrio version, the New Fiat 500 “la Prima” hatchback will be the ideal solution for a broader customer base, for those looking to drive the car of the future, with its Italian taste and elegance. The launch edition is a veritable concentration of style and technology, directly aimed at fans of “Made by Fiat” creativity and innovation, but also at those to whom sustainability really matters.