Fiat has started the production of its new electric SUV, the 600e, at its Tychy plant in Poland. The 600e is a compact crossover that combines retro design cues with modern technology, aiming to appeal to urban drivers who value style, sustainability, and practicality. The 600e is the second electric model from Fiat, following the launch of the new 500e city car last year.
The Fiat 600e is not a direct successor to the 500X, which will remain on sale until at least 2024. Instead, it is a new addition to the Fiat range that offers more space and versatility than the Fiat 500e while retaining some of its charm and character. The 600e also revives a classic nameplate from Fiat’s history, as the original 600 was a popular rear-engined car that was produced from 1955 to 1969.
The new 600e is based on the Common Modular Platform (CMP) developed by Stellantis, the parent company of Fiat and several other brands. The CMP platform is also used by the Jeep Avenger, Peugeot e-2008, and Opel Mokka-e, among others. However, the 600e has its own distinctive look, inspired by the new 500e and featuring circular headlights, a prominent grille with a 600 badge, and a rear bumper with the Italian flag embossed on it.
The 600e will be available in four colors that represent the sun, sea, earth, and sky of Italy: orange (Arancia Sole d’Italia), green (Verde Mare d’Italia), sand (Sabbia Terra d’Italia) and blue (Azzuro Cielo d’Italia). Fiat has also announced that it will no longer sell cars painted grey as part of its new philosophy of bringing more joy and color to its customers.
The interior of the 600e is similar to both the new 500e and the Jeep Avenger, borrowing the steering wheel and climate controls from the former and the center console from the latter. The entry-level models will bear the Product Red trim, available in black, white or red exterior colors, and Fiat will offer an upgraded La Prima trim with interior upgrades and the four Italy-inspired exterior colors.
The 600e features a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as a 7-inch digital instrument cluster. There are also multiple USB ports, a wireless smartphone charger, and a six-speaker sound system. The La Prima trim adds electric seat adjustment, a massage function, and synthetic leather upholstery.
The 600e is powered by a single electric motor that produces 154 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 9 seconds and reach a top speed of 93 mph. The motor is fed by a 54 kWh battery pack that provides an estimated range of 250 miles under the WLTP testing cycle. The battery can be recharged at up to 100 kW using a DC fast charger, reaching 80% of its capacity in less than 30 minutes. Alternatively, it can be fully charged in about six hours using an 11 kW AC wallbox.
The 600e also comes with a range of advanced driver assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, and driver attention alert. The La Prima trim features Drive Assist as standard, which is a level 2 semi-autonomous driving system that can steer, accelerate, and brake the car within certain limits.
The Fiat 600e is expected to arrive in European markets by early next year, with prices starting from around $35,000. It will compete with other electric SUVs such as the Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Kona Electric and MG ZS EV. However, it will also face competition from its own siblings within the Stellantis group, such as the Jeep Avenger and Peugeot e-2008.
Fiat has not confirmed whether it will bring the 600e to other markets outside Europe, such as North America or Asia. However, given that Fiat currently sells only one model in the US market (the 500X), it seems unlikely that it will introduce another niche product there anytime soon. Fiat is also planning to launch a performance version of the 600e under its Abarth sub-brand next year, which could offer more power and sportier styling.
The Fiat 600e is an interesting addition to the growing segment of electric SUVs. It combines retro design with modern technology, offering a stylish and sustainable alternative to conventional crossovers. It also revives a classic name from Fiat’s past, hoping to attract new customers who appreciate its heritage and character. Whether it can succeed in a crowded and competitive market remains to be seen, but the 600e certainly has some unique features that set it apart from its rivals.