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US-Spec 2024 Fiat 500e Heading to Auction at Art Basel Miami Beach 2023

Founded in 1899, Fiat is a colossus of the automotive world – both on a standalone basis and through the lens of the Stellantis NV conglomerate that brought FCA and PSA together as the world's fourth-largest automaker. But as far as the brand is concerned in the United States of America, the Italian marque never managed to make a splash in this part of the world.
2024 Fiat 500e (Fiat B.500 MAI TROPPO) 13 photos
Photo: Fiat
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The question is, why? In the aftermath of World War II, the company returned to the US with the likes of the 500, 600, 1100, 1200, and 1300. All these cars were small by American standards of the 1950s and 1960s. The 124 and X1/9 can't be described as land yachts either. From a high point of 100,511 deliveries in 1975, sales in the United States market fell to a meager 14,113 vehicles in 1982. As a result, Fiat understandably pulled out of the US market in 1983.

After Fiat acquired a stake in Chrysler in 2009, it was pretty obvious that Fiat would try its luck once again. But alas, the Italian automaker didn't learn anything from its past experiences in North America. Small cars aren't popular in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, hence Fiat's extremely poor sales volume for calendar year 2022. How poor? Think 915 deliveries nationwide compared to 2,371 in 2021.

Fiat's website for the US reveals a single model on sale at the moment of reporting, that model being the 500X crossover. Think of it as Fiat's take on the Jeep Renegade (or the other way around). With Stellantis being so invested in the extremely lucrative North American market, it's no wonder that Fiat has yet to admit defeat. Rather than packing its bags yet again, Fiat has gone on the offensive with… wait for it… yet another small vehicle that obviously won't sell.

That vehicle is the 500e, and you shouldn't mistake this fellow for the original 500e from the 2010s. Speaking of which, remember when the late Sergio Marchionne said that Fiat lost in the ballpark of $14,000 for every 500e sold? Good times, indeed!

Fiat B\.500 MAI TROPPO
Photo: Fiat
Internally referred to as Tipo 332, the New 500 comes with electric propulsion exclusively. Because of that, it's called 500e in the United States of America. Scheduled to arrive in dealer showrooms in the first part of 2024 for the 2024 model year, the all-new 500e will first stop by Art Basel Miami Beach 2023 on December 7 for an exclusive auction. A grand total of three vehicles will be auctioned, pint-sized vehicles designed by Armani, Bvlgari, and Kartell.

Said cars are directly inspired by the 500e concepts revealed in November 2022 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Considering the names mentioned just earlier, they're certain to be auctioned for big money. Rather than laughing at whoever ends up owning these vehicles for blowing their money on flashy city cars, bear in mind that proceeds will benefit an environmentally-oriented nonprofit organization.

The environmental part should come as no surprise due to the e in 500e, which stands for – of course – electric. As to which nonprofit will benefit all proceeds from the December 7 auction, that remains to be decided after the auction.

Even though 2024 is right around the corner, Fiat didn't bother giving any specs for the 500e intended for the United States of America. Over in Italy, prospective customers are presented with a choice between hatchback, 3+1 hatchback, and convertible. Exclusively front-wheel drive, the all-electric Cinquecento for Europe offers a WLTP combined driving range of up to 330 kilometers (205 miles).
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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