The enthusiasm of Abarth to embrace electrification can not be faulted. Where so many makers appear determined only to extol battery-powered worthiness, Abarth is seemingly determined to focus on the entertainment potential of EVs. A laudable aim, given how dreary things have been thus far. This new 600e aims to pick up exactly where the 500e started off, ramping up the excitement of the EV hot hatch, now with five doors and more power. Like it? Abarth is undoubtedly proud: “Ready, exciting, muscular, and aggressive, its first picture instantly reveals the “evil” essence of the Abarth 600e’. Punchy.
As announced with the testing pics, this 600e will get 240hp, a chunky uptick from the 500’s 153hp; Abarth reckons that makes this car ‘fiercely competitive and powerful.’ The oddly doctored image suggests this new car could be four-wheel drive, though the mention of a mechanical limited-slip diff - hardware that 'guarantees excellent driving stability, improved handling, and traction’ - would imply just a driven front axle. The most fun hatches are FWD anyway, and that sort of power certainly has the potential to entertain.
Those front wheels are 20 inches in diameter (so this Abarth may not be quite as compact as first thought), with tyres from Hankook for ‘maximum grip and excellent racing dynamics in all kinds of conditions.’ The colour, seen here for the first time, is called Hypnotic Purple. Abarth has also confirmed that, as with the 500e, the 600e will launch with a Scorpionissima limited edition. Again, there will be 1,949 units available.
There’s plenty more to be divulged, of course, and we’re told to ‘stay tuned’ for that. But this seems like an auspicious start for Abarth’s Mini rival, brimming with all the attitude and power that has made its hot hatches so popular over the past decade and a half. More news as we have it.