20 January 2023

For most of its life, the Fiat 500 has always had a slightly rowdier brother thanks to in-house tuners Abarth.

These pocket rockets have always been a great laugh, with go-kart driving characteristics, aggressive styling and noisy exhausts.

Read more: Abarth 500e review

However, the Fiat on which it’s based has gone all-electric for the latest generation, and Abarth has followed suit. You could argue that this is the first electric hot hatch, with 152bhp being sent to the front wheels.

So, what’s it like up close? Join Matt Prior as he takes a look around.

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ZariaAddisyn 21 January 2023

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BlahBlah43 21 January 2023
A Fiesta ST is better in every way. A step backwards for the car industry
jason_recliner 21 January 2023
Not EVERY way. This is more efficient, smoother, quiet, lower maintenance, and has lower emissions. It also looks fresher and more appealing, subjectively.
smokey5877 21 January 2023

Erm, is the Fiesta running on hydrogen or electricity, or synthetic fuel? How can this 500 be a step backwards? The Fiesta isn't the future, in fact not even the present (for long).

bol 21 January 2023

I like it, but they haven't got the price/power ratio right yet, and I couldn't drive a car with fake engine noise. Range is alright for what it is.  

Also, if this is a hot hatch, then surely the mini SE is too?

si73 21 January 2023
Agreed, the mini must surely be the first ev hot hatch, with the honde e in it's more powerful mode coming a close second? They're certainly both premium city cars.
I really like this, sound generator and all, to me it adds to the fun aspect of the car and not taking itself too seriously plus the range/performance against the other premium city evs is definitely comparable, the issue for me is the price, the mini is cheaper, the honda is massively overpriced now compared to when launched, but then as this is a launch edition, maybe it's price range will be more mini comparable.
smokey5877 21 January 2023

I do hope that you can turn off the noise, pointless having a quiet car and making it louder. When will people get that parping and popping exhausts are for the track not for roads where people live. I enquired with Toyota about the Yaris GR four and they couldn't tell me if the artificial noise could be turned off.

catnip 22 January 2023

Unfortunately, those who buy vehicles with synthetic sounding, popping and banging exhausts are the type of people who have a deep seated need to attract attention and so will have them turned on all the time, and it will be the same with a car like this. To me it sounds awful, I was hoping that more electrification would eventually mean less of the naff excess noise on our roads, but I was wrong. As a daily driver of an electric vehicle I enjoy the relative  silence, and the faint whine of the motor, a novelty that's yet to wear off.

si73 23 January 2023
I don't think people who buy cars with pops and bangs are as you suggest, my son's i20N does just that, and he enjoys the sound his car makes, in exactly the same way he would if he ran a V8 Mustang or similar, it's not about attention seeking it's about enjoyment, plain and simple. With regards the fake sound of this abarth, isn't it going to be mandatory for EVs to make a sound so that there aren't risks to pedestrians who can't hear them coming?