Abarth 600e front 3/4 action shot

Electric Fiat 600e crossover gets Abarth performance treatment

First pics of go-faster 600e with 237bhp and 'racing soul'

Abarth is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a new, high-performance version of the pure-electric Fiat 600e compact SUV.

Like the Abarth 500e that launched a little over a year ago, the new model takes Fiat’s existing electric car and gives it a sporty makeover, as well as a power hike.

As a result, the 600e’s electric motor will churn out 237bhp — a significant increase on the 154bhp you get from a standard Fiat 600e.

Earlier this year the company confirmed the car was in the works, with 1,949 units to be produced in honour of the brand’s foundation on March 31, 1949. However, the company had previously only released a stylised image of the car during its test phase. This is the first time we’ve seen shots of the completed vehicle on the road.

Although Abarth has not released many details of the new model, the company has confirmed the increase in power will be complemented with a mechanical limited-slip differential, which distributes torque to each driven wheel to provide improved traction around corners, as well as special tyres derived from electric race series Formula E.

The Abarth’s bodywork has been developed, too, with aggressive grilles and changes to the standard car’s headlights. Like the 500e, the car will also get Abarth wording on the nose, as well as the famous scorpion logo.

Abarth 600e rear 3/4 action view

Glossy arches surround the more aggressively styled 20in alloy wheels, complete with yellow scorpion logos in the centres, while the scorpion on the flanks is supplemented with a lightning bolt to signify the car’s electric powertrain.

At the rear, there’s a wide grille across the full width of the bumper, and a diffuser below that channels airflow, while a prominent spoiler graces the top of the tailgate.

And Abarth has painted the car in a vivid Hypnotic Purple colour, which is expected to be offered to customers alongside some slightly more conventional hues.

The car will also come with sound generator technology similar to the somewhat divisive system found on the 500e hatchback. This, Abarth says, will give the car an “unmistakable Abarth sound,” but there’s no word on whether that sound will be the same as that of the 500e, which’s Will Dron said “makes you want to jam Biros into your ears” when at a steady cruise. Hopefully it can be switched off more easily in the 600e.

But Abarth has been a little more specific about the car’s interior design, which is said to express “the racing soul” of the new model.

Abarth 600e interior

The overall mood is quite dark, as befits a racing car cockpit, but the dashboard fascia is endowed with an Abarth graphic, while coloured stitching is dotted around the cabin. The driver and passengers sit on bespoke seats with “racing inspiration” and a sportily styled steering wheel with leather and Alcantara inserts.

Abarth has also fitted a “tunnel pad cover” between the seats for extra storage space in the cabin, while there’s ambient lighting designed to “emphasise the enigmatic interior”. Abarth’s words, not ours…

At the same time, the company has retained the 600e’s big touchscreen, which will come with satellite navigation as standard, and will include some “performance information”, as well as the ability to turn the sound generator on or off.

Abarth says it has revealed the car slightly early to celebrate its 75th anniversary today, describing the unmasking as a special gift to its community. The brand has a cult following after spending three quarters of a century upgrading, tuning and racing high-performance versions of Fiat products.

The Abarth story started in racing, and after just three years on the circuit, the company began its lasting relationship with Fiat. The first Fiat-derived car was the futuristic-looking Abarth 1500 Biposto, which was built with Fiat components, before the brand famously began modifying the tiny 500 city car.

To this day, the Italian firm is perhaps best known for its performance Fiat 500 models, including the petrol-powered 595 and 695 models, as well as its first electric car: the Abarth 500e.

However, the new 600e is not the first foray into modifying larger Fiat products, as Abarth has previously raced the old 600 models of the 1960s.

The new Abarth 600e, however, is not expected to launch until the summer, when Abarth will reveal the full specification and price details.

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