The Sound Generator
When it comes to the Abarth 500e, it is clear that the manufacturers had a challenging task on their hands. Not only did they have to create a successful all-electric hot hatchback, something that hasn’t been done quite right before, but they also had to figure out what to do with the distinct noise that Abarth is known for. And their solution? They faked it.
The Abarth 500e comes equipped with a sound generator, or as Abarth likes to call it, a couple of speakers. While electric vehicles have been making noises for various reasons in the past, whether for compliance with legislation or to enhance the driving experience, this is the first time a manufacturer has actively attempted to mimic the sound of a combustion engine. Credit should be given for the complexity of the system, as it involves more than just pumping some noise through speakers.
The Noisy Effects
Interestingly, there are actually two separate sound generators in the Abarth 500e. One is located inside the cabin, while the other is positioned underneath the rear bumper and emits noise externally. Together, these speakers aim to create a sporty sound, even if it lacks authenticity.
Unfortunately, there are a few issues with this approach. Firstly, the noise generated by the rear speaker remains consistent regardless of the speed at which you’re driving. This can become quite bothersome, especially on long motorway drives or even on a quiet back road. The constant drone can be annoying and makes you crave a way to turn it off.
No Button to Turn it Off
And this is where the frustration sets in. You would expect to find a big button on the dashboard labeled ‘off,’ giving you the freedom to choose whether to enjoy the artificial engine noise or not. However, the reality is disappointing. To turn off the sound generator, you have to come to a complete stop and put the car into park. It is an unnecessary inconvenience, and one that could have easily been avoided with a simple button.
Overall, the Abarth 500e’s sound generator is an interesting concept that adds a touch of excitement to the driving experience. However, the lack of control over the noise, combined with the inconvenience of turning it off, can be frustrating. While it may not be the perfect solution, it is a step in the right direction for an industry that is constantly evolving.
Abarth 500e review the noisy EV
Cabin and Interior Details
The cabin of the Abarth 500e is something to marvel at. It shares the same architecture as the regular 500e, but it comes with numerous specific details that truly showcase the Abarth brand. For instance, elements like the steering wheel, dashboard, and seats are covered in Alcantara, which adds a touch of luxury to the interior. The blue and yellow stitching further enlivens the dark interior, injecting some personality into the overall design. Additionally, the top-spec Turismo model features a standard glass roof, making the car feel like a miniature luxury handbag. If you’ve experienced other Italian products by Abarth, such as Maserati supercars, you’ll recognize the 10.25-inch touchscreen display. While it may not be class-leading, it perfectly complements this type of car. And if you’re into connectivity, you can easily connect your phone through CarPlay or Android Auto. There’s even a little storage tray with wireless charging, if you fancy that, and it comes with a cute little silhouette of the Terin, just like the Fiat.
Electric Vehicle Platform
One of the standout features of the Abarth 500e is its bespoke EV platform. Underneath the floor, you’ll find the same compact 42 kWh battery pack that powers the Abarth 500e. This platform not only ensures a smooth and comfortable ride but also contributes to the car’s impressive performance. With instantaneous torque delivery, the Abarth 500e zips around effortlessly, providing an exhilarating driving experience.
Noisiness: Love It or Hate It?
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room: the Abarth 500e’s noise. Some people absolutely love it, considering it to be part of the charm and character of the car. However, I must confess that I am not a fan. The noisy exhaust note is simply not my cup of tea. Thankfully, there is a solution. By removing the handbrake, you can focus on the other attributes of the Abarth 500e without being distracted by the noise. This small adjustment can greatly enhance your overall driving experience.
Performance and Power
The Abarth 500e is powered by a 2 K battery pack connected to a single motor that sits on the front axle. With a modest 150 R horsepower, it may not seem too impressive compared to its petrol-powered counterparts. However, it does offer a respectable 235 newm of torque. While these figures may be lower than its petrol-powered counterparts, the instant availability of power makes a significant difference. In fact, the Abarth 500e can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in approximately 7 seconds, which is just half a second slower than the previous model. However, between 25 and 37 mph, it’s actually 1 second quicker, showcasing its impressive performance during day-to-day driving.
One of the advantages of electric vehicles is the immediate torque delivery, and the Abarth 500e doesn’t disappoint in this regard. With no need to wait for turbochargers to kick in, the car feels incredibly responsive on the road. Despite its weight of 1410 kg, which makes it the heaviest Abarth yet, the low positioning of the battery pack in the chassis allows for better handling compared to its predecessor. While the old Abarth was built on the aging Panda platform, this new model boasts improved steering, braking, and throttle calibration. It’s actually quite enjoyable to drive, particularly when you pick up speed.
Range and Charging
The Abarth 500e comes with a conservative 42 KW battery, which limits its range compared to some other electric vehicles on the market. On a full charge, you can expect to travel around 150 miles, which may not be ideal for longer journeys or high-speed driving. However, in its natural habitat, whether that be cities or villages, you can stretch the range to approximately 200 miles. This range is where the Abarth 500e truly excels, as it is designed for short, urban trips where frequent charging opportunities are available.
Design and Styling
Just take a moment to admire the Abarth 500e’s appearance. With its iconic design and compact size, it certainly stands out on the road. The sleek curves, aggressive stance, and attention to detail make it a head-turner. While some may argue that the Abarth 500e lacks the full-on sportiness of its petrol-powered siblings, its electric nature adds a unique charm and modernity to its overall look.
In , the Abarth 500e may not be the most powerful electric vehicle on the market, but it offers an enjoyable driving experience, instant power delivery, and a design that turns heads. Its limited range may be a drawback for long journeys, but within the city limits, the Abarth 500e truly shines. For those seeking a fun and eco-friendly ride for everyday urban adventures, the Abarth 500e is worth considering.
The Aesthetic Appeal
The Abarth 500e is undeniably a head-turner. Its vibrant yellow color, even under the glaring sunlight, is nothing short of fantastic. From the moment you lay your eyes on it, you can’t help but be captivated by its striking aesthetics. While the standard 500e already boasts a fantastic design, Abarth has taken it a step further, transforming it into something that appears to be a collaboration with an Italian sports car brand.
One cannot help but appreciate the incredible attention to detail that Abarth has put into the 500e. The Turismo model, with its stunning 18-inch wheels, exudes a sense of sophistication. The new badge, featuring a lightning bolt running through it, along with the embossed Abarth logo at the bottom, adds a touch of elegance. Every element comes together to create a truly mesmerizing sight.
The Abarth 500e pays homage to its predecessor, the original Fiat 500e, which was manufactured between 2013 and 2019 in limited quantities. Although it’s peculiar that the original car was exclusively sold in the United States, it forms an essential part of the Abarth 500e’s heritage. The white accents on the front and rear bumpers serve as a nod to the classic Fiat 500e, adding a nostalgic touch to this modern marvel.
A Noisy Companion
Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room the noise. Unlike its contemporary electric counterparts, the Abarth 500e is not a quiet vehicle. In fact, it’s unapologetically loud. When you accelerate, the unmistakable growl of the engine fills the air. Some might find this perplexing, as conventional wisdom dictates that electric vehicles are meant to operate silently. However, Abarth has deliberately chosen to deviate from this norm, offering a unique driving experience that appeals to those who crave a more traditional sound.
In , the Abarth 500e is an electrifying little car with a unique personality. Its cabin is a testament to Abarth’s attention to detail and luxury, while its bespoke EV platform ensures an exhilarating and smooth ride. While the noise may divide opinions, a small modification can easily solve this issue. Overall, the Abarth 500e is a delightful EV that deserves your attention if you’re looking for a compact car with a hint of luxury and a lot of character.
In , the Abarth 500e is a visually stunning electric vehicle with impeccable detailing and a nostalgic touch. Its design captures the essence of Italian sports car aesthetics, while paying homage to its predecessor. Despite being an electric vehicle, the Abarth 500e boldly defies conventions with its unapologetically loud engine noise. Whether you find this perplexing or invigorating, there’s no denying that the Abarth 500e stands out from the crowd.