Calling the new Abarth 600e a pumped-up Fiat 600e is like putting pineapple on pizza - sacrilege for some, and perfectly fine for others. While we may anger some Abarth fans and upset the hard-working engineers who put hours of hard work into this project - after all the dust has settled, this is only a Jeep Avenger. Sorry, Fiat 600e. Or, is it?
Barth has been hard at work, trying to reinvent itself as a stand-alone automaker focused on performance vehicles. It’s a different kind of performance that Abarth used to specialize in - light, nimble Fiats with unapologetically loud exhausts that could make any V8 blush. Abarth was the essence of handling, a poetry on wheels as long as you ignored the gearbox. Abarth was the definition of the automotive soul.
Times have changed, and with the advent of electric vehicles and the success of the retro-looking Fiat 500e, Abarth decided to dip its toes in the EV pool. Its first effort, the Abarth 500e came with loud colors, an interior that promised hours of performance and fun, and fake engine noises coupled with an average 156 hp electric motor. Thankfully the 600e is here to save the Abarth’s reputation.
The 600e Scorpionissima is the limited launch edition marked by the Hypnotic Purple bodywork and the acid-green scorpion sitting proudly on the wings. The 1,949 units will only be available and each will come with a certificate of authenticity - just in case someone somewhere one day decides to try and sell a fake Abarth 600e.
But what hides underneath this mad purple bodywork, is actually very important. First, we have the 240 hp powertrain coupled with a mechanical LSD - none of the fancy e-diffs, no ABS faking the action of a diff. A real-deal mechanical limited-slip differential to bring back the old-school hot-hatch feel to the EV era.
With more power comes more responsibility - in this case an advanced braking system with larger brake discs with improved heat dissipation. The tires are quite interesting. They were developed from Formula E experience, providing maximum grip without compromising on range and acoustics. They promise extra grip during cornering while ensuring improved range and reduced road noise.
The Abarth 600e is built on the modified Perfo-e-CMP platform, a result of the Stellantis Motorsport and Abarth partnership. In the only official photo, we can clearly see the lowered stance, with 20” wheels filling up the fenders with hardly any room left. Aggressive stance, new and very low front bumper plus fairly sizable rear spoiler complete the wild exterior. This time Abarth means business.
We haven’t seen the interior yet, but the company promises high-comfort seats with racing ergonomics delivering a comfortable ride even during the most extreme journeys. These seats are apparently crafted from a combination of four different foams, optimizing support for different areas of the body while emphasizing lateral support and durability. That much effort going into the seats is promising.
Apart from the Abarth 600e saving the company’s reputation as the purveyor of automotive madness, the 600e is the first one of a few more sporty EVs to come. Abarth, being part of Stellantis, shares its underpinnings with the Peugeot e-208, Citroen e-C4, Jeep Avenger, and Opel Mokka Electric to name just the most obvious ones. You can bet your lunch money that the 240 hp powertrain, upgraded brakes, suspension, and mechanical diff will make their way to the new generation of GTi, GSi, and possibly even the SRT. As such, the new Abarth is quite an important vehicle for Stellantis, and a lot rides on its real-life performance. Let's hope the Scorpionissima delivers.