With the baby-crossover the brand reopens the challenge in the B segment which – explains Gaetano Thorel – “is our home”. A model that makes the most of Stellantis’ synergies but with a very strong ‘Turin’ imprint. We start with the electric version but a hybrid will soon be available in Italy
A maxi roadshow with 127 stages and over 20 thousand km to travel: this is the initiative with which Fiat wants to introduce Italians to the new 600e, a car which – under the claim “The Italian Upgrade” – opens a new chapter in the rebirth of brand name. The new Fiat 600 – underlines Gaetano Thorel, Fiat and Abarth manager for Europe – is “a car that was born on a shared platform, but which we got our hands on in Turin: it is not a simple copy and paste” created using resources of the Stellantis group “but the result of collective work that involved 250 Italian professionals with 1 million ‘Turin’ man hours to make it a ‘Super B'”.
In Thorel’s words there is a sense of the challenge that the new baby-crossover represents for the brand (which – recalls the top manager – is at the top of global sales among those of the Stellantis group). The new 600, he adds, fits into a segment – the B – “which has been our home for decades: in Europe we sold 23 million cars before the end of the Punto and today there are 4 million potential customers”. The model – they explain at Fiat – was born “replicating the recipe of the 500, with the collaboration on the Turin-Tichy axis”, the Polish plant where the new model is also built: in reality there is also the contribution of other brands of the group starting from the Stla Small platform derived from the Cmp of the former PSA group, with a 54 kWh battery for around 400 kilometers of autonomy (which rises to around 600 in the urban cycle) and a 156 HP front electric motor.
A debut – that of the electric version – which replicates the approach already seen for other key models of the group (starting with the new generation of Peugeot 3008) which testifies to Stellantis’ acceleration on zero-emission mobility, sanctioned by the Dare Forward strategic plan 2030. To make the most of the expiring incentives, the debut of the new 600e takes place in Germany where the baby-crossover is sold with a formula without a down payment and installments of 299 euros, while in France the price drops to 259 euros but with a down payment of 2500 EUR. As for our country, with the launch of such an important model only in an electric version, Fiat – explains Thorel – confirms that it “feels a social responsibility” and that it is working to spread truly clean and sustainable mobility. But to do this “in a market like the Italian one where electric cars sold are one in twenty” we must “also be accessible”. Hence the commercial offers such as the Fiat Go-Electric, which allows the customer to choose electric ‘without worries’ since it provides, in addition to the usual end-of-contract options, the possibility of replacing the car with a new Fiat at each annual window to respond to the different needs that may arise during the life cycle of the contract. And always in the name of ‘peace of mind’ – which translates into notable production simplification and therefore strong benefits for manufacturers and consumers – the Fiat 600 is offered in practically a full optional version, confirmed by the slogan ‘You choose the colour, we let’s do the rest’.
At launch, the 600e range thus includes only two versions available: the top of the range La Prima (at 40,950 euros) and the (600e)RED with a turnkey price list of 35,950 euros which becomes 29,950 thanks to promotions and state incentives in case of scrapping. But for the Red there is also an offer with a rate of 3.99% and installments starting from 199 euros per month with Easy Wallbox included and the possibility, if necessary, to switch to a new Fiat after 12 months.
But – given the peculiarity of our market – as already seen with the ‘cousin’ Jeep Avenger, in Italy the new Fiat will also be available in early 2024 in a Mild Hybrid version with an introductory offer of 19,950 euros in case of financing and scrapping. A test of realism which will nevertheless allow thousands of polluting cars to be replaced with cars with very low emissions.
Price list aside, the 600e seems to have all it takes to win back Italian motorists. 4.17 meters long, but with superior internal space and a not huge boot (360 liters but with a regular and well-usable shape), the baby-crossover does not skimp on stylistic references to the recent past – 500e – and distant ones – the original 600 – finding a personal and pleasant compromise. The finishes are of a good standard with some ‘tasty’ solutions such as the ivory colored seats made of imitation leather and Fiat writing embroidered in blue or the ‘tablet style’ magnetic cover which hides the large compartment at the base of the dashboard from view. As for the controls, the physical ones are few – starting with the 4 buttons that control the gears – and well accessible: everything else is taken care of by the 10.3-inch central screen and the 7-inch digital dashboard, which is easy to read. On the road, the electric version confirms the qualities of a proven powertrain capable of giving a bit of satisfaction, especially when sprinting from traffic lights and in Sport mode (which uses all 156 hp). The Normal and Eco options, however, are designed for more ‘quiet’ drivers who are attentive to autonomy, in short, closer to the spirit of electric mobility. Acoustic comfort and stability are always good, while the feeling of safety is increased by the latest generation driving assistance devices, supported by Level 2 Assisted Driving systems.
At Fiat they are convinced that all the qualities of the new model need to be experienced firsthand: hence the complex organization of the roadshow which involves the activity of 5 teams who will manage the events in the area simultaneously. For each stage – given the numerous declarations of interest collected during the presale phase – there will be a double session of dedicated “one to one” appointments, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon with the customers who were waiting to see it to finalize the purchase.