Currently reading: Abarth 600e revealed as hot 237bhp EV crossover
Abarth’s second EV goes after the Cupra Born with a limited-slip diff and Formula E-derived tyres

Fiat performance brand Abarth has revealed the 600e electric crossover as its most powerful car yet.

Based on the new Fiat 600e, it's the second Abarth EV – after the Abarth 500e hot hatch – and the first SUV to bear the scorpion badge in Europe.

The striking Hypnotic Purple car pictured here is the Scorpionissima launch edition, just 1949 examples of which will be produced.

An outlandish, performance-focused makeover brings a chunky rear wing, large-diameter sports wheels and a bespoke front bumper treatment - clearly marking this out as the hotter take on the Italian EV.

Sending 237bhp through the front axle, the 600e Scorpionissima is described as “fiercely competitive and powerful” and will be the most powerful car based on Abarth parent company Stellantis’s e-CMP2 platform.

This is shared with the likes of the Jeep Avenger, Peugeot e-2008 and Citroën e-C4 - none of which have a dedicated performance version.

Abarth has yet to offer any performance figures, but we can be sure that it will comfortably outpace the Fiat on which it's based, with a 0-62mph time in the region of 6.0sec.

Full technical specifications will be given at the car’s debut in the coming weeks, but Abarth has already confirmed that it's fitted with a limited-slip differential and performance tyres that – as implied by images of the car drifting on a race track – hint at an overt focus on dynamic engagement.

Developed in partnership with Formula E rubber supplier Hankook, these tyres have been designed to "ensure maximum grip and guarantee excellent racing dynamics in all kinds of conditions” while “ensuring an improved range in an electric vehicle”.

The hot 600e is likely to be powered by the same 51kWh (usable) battery as the standard model, but its dramatically increased reserves will no doubt trim the range from 252 miles to nearer the 200-mile mark.

Abarth has yet to confirm a full debut date for its new model but said “stay tuned” for more details.

What's next from Fiat?

There will be no more Fiat sports cars and nor will the brand target large or luxury car segments, boss Olivier François has confirmed.

“That is the beauty of [parent firm] Stellantis: we are a house of [14] brands,” he said. That means each brand must have a clear purpose and make money.

“For Fiat, we make money. We are simplicity. We are smaller cars. We are not sports cars. We are not luxury. We are not big cars.”

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He added that Fiat won’t launch any cars longer than 4.5 metres – around the size of a Volvo XC40 – or shorter than 3.6 metres (excluding the new Topolino electric quadricycle).

These comments close the door on a successor to the Mazda MX-5-derived Fiat 124 Spider. However, when asked if Abarth could make its own bespoke sports car, François replied: “It may have a space.”

The performance brand, originally a Fiat tuning outfit, hasn’t launched an entirely bespoke model since coming under Fiat ownership in 1971.

Additional reporting by Charlie Martin and Will Rimell

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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bol 9 February 2024

The feel and handling are going to have to do a lot of work here aren't they? It's looking pretty under powered compared to the Smart and Volvo. I just wish a manufacturer would combine the power of the EX30/#1 with the handling of a proper driver's car. 

FastRenaultFan 8 February 2024
That looks great. Hopefully Abarth can build a succeser to the 124 if Fiat will not be building one. Abarth should be its own brand like Cupra is with Seat/VW.
catnip 21 August 2023

"It is even possible that the 600e will follow its smaller sibling by having a speaker underneath it, producing a faux engine note to accompany acceleration and make it more appealing to petrolheads".

I'd consider myself a lifelong petrolhead, but these artificial engine noises are just naff. If I was aged 14 they might appeal to me, but has anyone ever asked the adult car buying public if they want this sort of thing?  Embrace the future and just enjoy the alternative advantages a performance electric vehicle can offer such as the smooth, instant, quiet power delivery.

Anton motorhead 22 August 2023
Agree Catnip. Drop the idea of making combustion engine noises in an EV. We neither need nor want it. Sad to read there will never again be a Fiat sportscar. As a young man I was drooling over the 850 spider, the 124 coupe and not least the unobtainable and fashionable Dino Spider. I could not hope to afford one of them, but at least I could become a member of the sporty family by having the sweet 127
catnip 22 August 2023

I had a 128 four door for a number of years, an unremarkable car to the casual observer, but to drive it had that extra 'fizz' that Fiat engineered into their cars in those days to make them so enjoyable to drive.

Anton motorhead 22 August 2023
Oh yes, the 128 was far sportier than its boxy looks suggested. Narrow tyres allowed for squeals in every corner if you so wished without jepoardising fellow drivers, and the engine loved revs. I never drove one with a rev counter, but the engine always sounded up to the game no matter how hard you drove it. A lot of fun at sensible speeds. The 600e will never provide the same amount of thrills, but it sure does look sweet. A little bit more range and faster charging please. Are you listening Stellantis?
MrJ 22 August 2023

Agree completely about noise generators.

My view is that such devices just add weight and complexity to keep simpletons excited.

As for the car, I'll put the 600e on my list when the range goes up.

At present the car can only be a townie's runabout.