A mild hybrid will replace the diesel.
The Fiat 500 could very well be the oldest model on the market today, given the fact it was launched ten years ago, when the Italian company decided to resurrect the legendary nameplate. While the 2016 facelift brought important updates and a refreshed design, the car’s platform is already nearing its limits. That’s why, a brand new 500 is planned for release before the end of the decade, benefiting from a new architecture and many tech upgrades.
We still haven’t seen prototypes of the next generation 500 out testing, but our colleagues from OmniAuto have prepared a trustworthy rendering of the model, based on internal preliminary details they have heard. Probably the most noticeable change is the slightly longer and wider body of the car, which should result in more room for the passengers. Simply said, the 500 is expected to finally become a true five-seat machine.
Don’t expect to see big visual improvements – Fiat wants to remain faithful to the roots of the original 500, which means the four-headlight layout at the front won’t be replaced by a more conventional setup. However, the actual headlights will be moved lower to the bumper, while the upper lamps will be used only as DLRs.
The evolutionary clothes of the new 500 will hide some quite important upgrades. The switch to a new platform will allow for new and clever electronic systems, while a 48-volt mild hybrid system will improve the 500's efficiency and will help it meet the next level emissions standards. Don’t look for a diesel option anymore, as the electrified hybrid variant will be replacing it.
Our Italian colleagues say the new 500 should be ready for a global debut sometime in 2019, so we should start seeing test prototypes on the road early next year.