Fiat 500e – Chrysler’s all-electric vehicle debuts in L.A.!!

GM has the Volt and the Spark, Ford has the Focus Electric, and now Chrysler has the Fiat 500e. The first all-electric car from the third member of the Detroit Big Three made its debut this week at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show. The diminutive electric promises to be one of the cleanest cars on North American roads, though it won’t be available to many North Americans.

The 500e powertrain

Fiat believes its new electric car effectively combines zero local emissions driving and “iconic Italian design.” The 500e is powered by a 111-hp (83 kW) electric motor and floor-mounted 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provide up to 80 miles (129 km) of range (100 miles/161 km in the city), 147 lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 85 mph (137 km/h). Fiat estimates that the 500e will boast 108 mpg-e combined, making it one of the most efficient cars on the road.

An electric minicar may never be the equivalent of a V8 sports car when it comes to driving excitement, but Fiat thinks the car will be more fun to drive than competitors.

The 500e is Chrysler Group's first road-going retail electric vehicle

The 500e uses a 111-hp electric motor

The 500e's 24 kWh battery pack charges in under four hours with a Level 2 system

The 500e uses 15-inch flush-profile wheels

“Other EVs are benign and lifeless until the accelerator is pressed,” the company explains in a press release. “In keeping with its sporty, fun-to-drive character, the Fiat 500e incorporates a “creep” feature, which launches the car smoothly and assuredly as soon as its brake pedal is released, just like a vehicle powered by an idling engine.”

The battery pack will take less than four hours to charge with a 240-volt Level 2 charger or about 24 hours with a 120-volt charger.

In addition to trading gas for battery power, Fiat made several other changes from the base 500. It designed a new chassis and suspension around the electric powertrain to improve driving dynamics. A series of aerodynamic enhancements, such as re-sculpted front and rear fascias and the rear spoiler, went through more than 140 hours of wind-tunnel testing to cut drag and eke out 5 extra miles (8 km) of range.

Fiat uses a push-button shifter

Fiat went for a 'retro-futuristic' look

Inside, Fiat designed what it calls a “retro-futuristic” look. Electric Orange highlights bring the Nero black or Steam white interior to life, while a 7-inch TFT instrument cluster and available TomTom navigation system keep the driver apprised of vehicle and road information. An all-new push-button electronic shifter sits below the instrument panel.

Like any good electric vehicle, the Fiat 500e will have an accompanying smartphone app. The app, which will be available for both Apple and Android phones, will manage charging, provide real-time vehicle status, track energy usage, find the vehicle and nearby charging stations, plan and send routes to the vehicle, and provide text-message alerts.

500e information

500e information

The 2013 500e will hit the Californian market in the second quarter of next year. Fiat has admitted to the media in the past that it really didn’t want to build the car but did so to meet California’s zero emissions vehicle mandate. So it only plans to sell the model in the Golden State upon launch and will be loath to expand that availability since it anticipates losing money on every model sold.

In addition to the 500e, Gizmag was on hand at the LA Auto Show to check out the all-new 500L. Get better acquainted with that model here.

The 500e rolls out in 2013

Source: Chrysler/Fiat

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Fiat India to Introduce Jeep Range of SUVS By 2013

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 (Photo credit: Autoviva.com)

With an aim to take its minute market share on new heights in the country, Fiat India is very much geared up to take an entry in Jeep brand in Indian car market. All set to bring in itsAmerican brand Chrysler’s owned cars and SUV brands, Fiat India has brought out the press release, yet official announcement is likely to be made in the month of December, with 2013, being the year to witness Jeep range of SUVs coming to India.

 

As the rumours suggest, initially the Jeep brands SUVs will be introduced through CBU route resulting in abrupt and heavy pricing. So it is pretty clear that until local assemblage of the Jeep range of SUVs start in India for few more years, this brand will act similar to brand-builder for the company.

The Jeep range of SUVs of Chrysler contains four SUVs that include the Patriot, the Compass, the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee. Out of these four, Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee might be the products that Fiat may think to launch in India. Both of these models host a perfect package of luxury and off-road dynamics. While Wrangler is highly praised for its off-road qualities, Grand Cherokee is one step ahead, offering exceptional off -road performance together with superior on-road capacities.

As far as technical specifications are concerned, Grand Cherokee, which will be driven in the country, will house 3 litre V6 turbo diesel engine, available in two power tunes of 188 Bhp-440 Nm and 237 Bhp-550 Nm. After the end of Tata-Fiat joint dealership and supply union, Fiat India will distribute Jeep range through its own separate dealerships.