FCA enthusiasts might soon have a thing to cheer for. Sources hint distantly at the Fiat brand readying for an India re-entry…
It has been quite some time since FCA declared an official end of the road for Fiat in India. The maker is currently focussing on the Jeep marque here. With Jeep having announced plans for bringing in the Jeep Compass facelift and hinting even at a seven-seater version for the same, we know that they are quite serious about the game. But that is not all. A recent scoop by Autocar India potentially hints at an imminent India re-entry for the Fiat branding.
Autocar India had recently done a live interview of FCA India bossman Partha Datta on Instagram, where the host was briefed on the various expansion plans of the carmaker. Partha Datta revealed that the Jeep Compass facelift and a compact SUV are soon coming in from the marque. The product portfolio expansion will start with the Compass facelift joining the league. The sub-four metre SUV that is in the works will have 4WD and will be unveiled sometime in 2022.
Datta further remarked that FCA is planning to bring in two ‘Iconic’ models in the future. One of these could potentially be the next gen Jeep Grand Cherokee, What could the second be then?
That was exactly what we were pondering on when a viewer showed up with a query on electrified FCA products. Answering him, Datta quoted two examples of their global electric offerings- the upcoming Jeep Wrangler Electric and the Fiat 500 EV that had recently been unveiled at Geneva. He further added that they might be bringing in these if there are ample infrastructure and enough demand for the same here!
Quoting Mr Datta himself “We’ve got an electric Wrangler coming and we just unveiled the new Fiat 500 EV in Europe; so, we have the products, and we can bring them to India if the infrastructure is in place and there is sufficient demand,”Autocar India
Does this not mean the iconic Fiat 500 EV heading to India soon? Well Well…
Fiat 500 EV
Talking about the Fiat 500 EV, or the Fiat 500e as it is called, the EV guise of FCA’s iconic hatchback is manufactured in Turin. 500e retains the iconic shape of the original 500 but with a few design tweaks to gel in with its electric persona. The overall proportions have seen a jump with the length and width going up by 2.3 inches and the wheelbase by one.
The cabin gets a post-modern feel with the large centrally mounted 10.25-inch touchscreen and the cluster of piano-like buttons. A 7-inch digital display unit replaces the instrument panel and there is the Uconnect 5 multimedia system that can connect to the internet and be accessed through the smartphone.
The Fiat 500 e comes powered by a single electric motor mated to a 42 kWh battery pack. The motor is capable of putting out as much as 118 hp, that would give the 500e a zero-to-100 time of 9 seconds. The top speed of the car tips at 150 kmph and if driven wisely the range rounds up to 320 km. There is the option for fast charging available on the car and the Fiat 500e could replenish 80% of its battery in as little as 35 minutes. Home charging would, however, take up to 14 hours for completion.
The car is currently available in the European markets and goes on sale there for 37,900 Euros. With the EV market undergoing a steady growth in India, there exist fair chances that FCA would bring down the 500e to our shores. If priced wisely, the 500e could go against the likes of Hyundai Kona and MG EZS, with both of them being electric SUVs unlike the former. We do believe that the 500e, if brought in via CBU, clinging to the 2500 units rule, would find a fair number of buyers here. Will FCA bring back Fiat and the iconic 500 to India? Fingers crossed for now…
News Source: Autocar India