Launched in July 1957 as the Nuova 500, the cutest Italian car of them all has been redesigned for the 2020 model year. The Cinquecento with internal combustion engines continues to be made in Poland at the Tychy plant, but the redesigned 500e returns to Italy at the Mirafiori complex in Turin after 45 years since production of the original ended in 1975.
Why is this important, you may be asking? Well, Fiat describes the institutional debut as “the perfect opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to implementing a broad investment plan for Italy – much of which has already been launched in domestic plants.” More to the point, they’re talking about “a transformation of the Italian automotive industry with a view to a low-emissions future” through hybrids and full-electric cars.
To celebrate the Nuova 500 and the newcomer, Fiat has also launched the Virtual Casa 500 today. A virtual museum that anyone can visit from a smartphone, tablet, or personal computer, Virtual Casa 500 tells the story of the Cinquecento from the 1950s to the present day with the help of 11 distinct zones. From the spring of 2021, the fourth floor of the Pinacoteca Agnelli art museum will provide the location for a real-world exhibit.
Revealed online in March 2020, the second coming of the 500e is obviously superior to the original. However, 320 kilometers (199 miles) of driving range from 42 kWh is a bit disappointing compared to rivals. By comparison, the Peugeot e-208 is roomier and offers up to 340 kilometers (211 miles).
As for the internal combustion-engined 500 from Poland, Fiat has added a mild-hybrid option to the lineup for the 2020 model year. Unfortunately, the three-cylinder engine, 12-volt electrification, and high-efficiency manual transmission won’t get your blood boiling with excitement either.