An electric Fiat 500 city car will launch in 2020, alongside an estate version of the 500, badged 500 Giardiniera, Fiat has confirmed.
The plans are part of Fiat's strategy to focus on its 500 and Panda model line-ups, creating a niche for itself with predominantly electrified city cars, which are growing in popularity thanks to stricter emission regulations in cities worldwide.
Ahead of the electric Fiat 500 arriving, a mild-hybrid variant will launch next year.
The aim is to consolidate the brand’s dominance of the city car segment - the 500 and Panda hold a third of this market - while developing technologies that allow these models to satisfy emission regulations.
This focus also means other, less successful Fiat models will be axed. These include the Punto - axed after a 13-year production run - and while unconfirmed, the Tipo.
Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne said: "The Fiat 500 green concept extends beyond just the 500. We plan to leverage the iconic status and technology of the 500, extending the line-up to introduce a small car with best in-class interior roominess and unmistakable design, the Fiat 500 Giardiniera."
He added that Fiat "is very well-placed to exploit battery-electric city car opportunities in jurisdictions where access for internal combustion vehicles will be increasingly restricted". FCA reckons that it will be able to exploit the premium prices paid for the 500 to enable it to profitably offer both electric and mild hybrid versions. The 500 typically sells for prices 20 percent above the segment average, said Marchionne.
"We are also planning to build on our proven success with the Fiat Panda. Since its introduction in 1980, the Panda has managed to evolve while staying true to its iconic image of the real 'no fuss' city car. We believe we can continue to leverage its strong heritage with affordable eco-friendly combustion engines."