Iconic Italian car maker has previewed a four-door version of its tiny 500 Electric city car.
The new Fiat 500 3+1 is third body variant released by the storied Turin manufacturer and has a small backwards-opening door to give more access into the compact second row.
Located on the passenger side, the door opens only once the front door has been unlocked.
The measurements are the same as the three-door version (the car is 3.61 metres long) and the internal spaciousness does not change.
The right central pillar has been eliminated and is now integrated into the small rear door, adding just 30 kilograms to the weight of the small electric car.
Driving range and performance are therefore unchanged compared to other 500 Electric stablemates: the 500 3+1 has a 118 horsepower electric motor powered by a 42 kWh battery (for the moment a smaller 23.8 kWh promised battery is not available) which allows it to travel up to 460 km in the city or a maximum of 320 km per the mixed European WLTP cycle.
To recharge 80% range using a fast charger takes 35 minutes, says Fiat, while five minutes are enough to recharge enough energy to travel 50 km. Top speed is software-limited to 150 km/hr, while 0-100 km/hr is accomplished in nine seconds flat.
The decision to create a swing door draws inspiration from the past: the first 500 from 1957 had the doors hinged at the rear. (And so too does the BMW i3).
In addition to this, the absence of the central pillar allows easier access to the second row of seats to easily position the seats, to load bulky items or, simply, to get on board more easily.
The extra door is designed to be unlocked only after the front door has been opened, so as to ensure maximum safety in the event of the presence of children and to prevent rear passengers from opening it unintentionally.
The 500 3+1 will also be initially offered in the special launch series, the Prima, to be then also made available in the Passion and Icon versions, the two most complete versions of the range.
The 500 3+1 Prima is available in the three shades Rose Gold, Onyx Black and Glacier Blue combined with two-tone 17 ”diamond wheels and chrome inserts on the side and on the side window frames.
Full LED headlights and eco-leather upholstery for the dashboard, steering wheel and seats are standard, the latter six-way adjustable. Other features include the 360-degree parking sensors with “drone view”, a digital instrument panel, the 10.25″ Uconnect 5 infotainment with Dab radio, wireless compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Uconnect Box for online services, satellite navigator and inductive charger for smartphones.
To complete the set-up there is an electrochromic internal rearview mirror, floor mats, a pebble wearable key and the 85 kW charging system with 11 kW Mode 3 cable. Finally, there is no shortage of all the ADAS available in the range, from adaptive cruise control with trajectory maintenance to automatic emergency braking.
The new 500 3+1 can already be ordered in Europe with prices starting from €31,900 for the base-level Passion variant ($A52,859 converted), €33,400 ($A55,344 converted) for the Icon and €37,900 ($A62,801) for the range-topping Prima.
We reached out to Fiat Australia and a spokesperson said the company is not in a position to speak on a possible future release – word is that a UK release is also not confirmed.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.