Fiat boss Olivier François recently said an electric Abarth 500 is a logical extension of the new EV Fiat 500, which suggests he’s on the same wavelength as us.

In our road test of the 500, we noted how its small dimensions and pointy chassis give it potential for a performance version without compromising its positioning as a city runabout.

The electric 500 is also a demonstration of what’s possible for the brand when it does things properly rather than rehashing old platforms.

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The irony there is that a lot of the future investment in Fiat will come as a result of the formation of Stellantis, but the 500’s bespoke platform predates that tie-in, which prompts the question of what will happen to it now that access to PSA-developed technology has made it effectively redundant.

I really hope they will find a use for the 500 architecture. A revived Peugeot 108 and Citroën C1 as entry-level EVs, perhaps?

With executives who have a vision and the necessary budget from Stellantis, Fiat has its best chance in years to become a big player outside of Italy, and the 500 shows the way forward: solid fundamentals, but with a bit more playfulness and retro style than we tend to see from the Volkswagen Group brands.

If performance derivatives are the by-product, that’s the cherry on the cake.