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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Fiat 500 and Abarth Drag Coefficients


Fiat 500 Side View

The Fiat 500 is surprisingly aerodynamic. Through careful design and the use of the wind tunnel, the European  Fiat 500 achieved a 0.325 coefficient of drag. That's better than a bunch of slinky sports cars like the Ferrari F40, F50, Testarossa and 360, the Corvette Z06, and Dodge Viper GTS.* This is even more remarkable because the 500 is a relatively tall and stubby car compared to the more common teardrop shape given to low drag cars.

Fiat 500 and Abarth Drag Coefficients

Fiat 500 Drag Coefficient (Cd):

  • 500e - 0.311
  • 500 Pop — 0.332
  • 500 Sport — 0.362
  • 500 Lounge — 0.359
  • 500c Pop and Lounge — 0.364
  • 500 Turbo — 0.362
  • European 500 - 0.325

Fiat 500 Abarth

Fiat 500 Abarth Drag Coefficient (Cd):

  • 500 Abarth: 0.352 — with 16-in. wheels
  • 500 Abarth: 0.365 — with 17-in. wheels
  • 500c Abarth: 0.352 — with 16-in. wheels
  • 500c Abarth: 0.365 — with 17-in. wheels

The Fiat 500e is the most aerodynamic 500 (0.311). This results from an additional 140 hours of wind tunnel refinement given to the all-electric 500e to reduce noise and increase driving range. Electric cars run relatively silently, so wind noise is more noticeable, and its reduction is a priority. 

The main areas Fiat engineers concentrated on were:
  • Front fascia sealing
  • Aerodynamically optimized front fascia design
  • Flush profile 15 inch aluminum wheels
  • Streamlined exterior mirror caps
  • Under vehicle belly pans
  • Refined side sills
  • Drag reducing rear fascia design
  • Optimizing the liftgate mounted spoiler
One of the Fiat designers told me that he spent a lot of time crunched up in the trunk of the 500e during wind tunnel test adjusting the rear fascia to achieve the best results!

Fiat 500e Side View Mirror Cap

. An example of how a little change can make a difference. The mirror caps on the Fiat 500e are unique. Notice the sharp edge molded in and compare that with the mirror cap of the standard Fiat 500 shown below. This subtle change improves the aerodynamics and also wind noise. Details like this add up to a 13 percent reduction in aerodynamic drag 0.311 Cd compared to a 500 Lounge model's 0.359 Cd. 

Fiat 500 Side View Mirror Cap

You can see more of the Fiat 500e aerodynamic details here in the article linked below:

Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio

You will notice Abarths are not the most aerodynamic efficient models. This is because priority on those cars was given to increase high-speed downforce and extra cooling flow for the twin-intercooled, turbocharged engine. Wider tires, essential for high-performance driving, also increase drag.

Fiat 500 Abarth Spoiler

So the next time someone mentions your car is as aerodynamic as a phonebooth or brick, you now have the facts!

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* Some well known cars the Fiat 500 beats aerodynamically:
1987 Ferrari F40: 0.34
2004 Ferrari F430 F1: 0.34
1996 Ferrari F50: 0.372
1986 Ferrari Testarossa: 0.36
1999 Ferrari 360 Modena: 0.34
2006-13 Corvette Z06: 0.34
1996 Dodge Viper GTS:  0.35
2004 Aston Martin Vanquish: 0.35
2006 BMW Z4 M coupe: 0.35
1989 Mazda Miata: 0.38
1974 Lamborghini Countach: 0.42

Source: Wikipedia, FCA
Images: FCA and Author

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

New Electric Fiat 500 on Display in Las Vegas


Fiat 500 EV at CES 2022 Las Vegas

The new generation, all-electric Fiat 500 may be getting closer to being sold in America. A European-spec 2021 Fiat 500e will be on display at the CES 2022 technology event in Las Vegas, Nevada, being held January 5-8, 2022.

CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is considered the world’s pre-eminent technology event. First held in 1967, the yearly event has introduced thousands of electronic products to the world. Many of these items have transformed the way society operates. So it is only fitting that the new Fiat 500 is shown at the event. The 500 is the largest selling EV in the Stellantis portfolio. It is aimed at bringing electric mobility to cities and beyond.

Fiat 500 RED at CES 2022

So far, the big question for Fiat fans and EV enthusiasts of if and when the new Fiat 500 EV will make it to America has yet to be answered.  Still, it is a promising sign to see the car prominently on display.

Below is the Stellantis Press Release.

Fiat 500 3 plus 1 at CES 2022

Fiat New 500 at the CES Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show 2022

  • The Fiat New 500 is displayed in its 3+1 and New (500)RED versions in the Electrification Zone of the Stellantis stand.
  • The Italian Brand plays its role within the Group, showcasing its most iconic and high-tech model: the all-electric New 500, illustrating simple & joyful mobility for all, a new dolce vita.
  • Advanced electrification, cockpit technology, autonomy, and connectivity displays provide tangible examples of Stellantis’ transition to a sustainable tech mobility company.

The Italian icon in its two versions, New 500 3+1 and the New (500)RED, is on display in the Electrification Zone, one of the four on the Stellantis stand @ CES.

CES 2022, January 5th to 8th, is the world’s pre-eminent technology event and the ideal setting to showcase Stellantis’ capabilities today and preview the future of advanced electrification, interior cabin technology, autonomy, and connectivity.

And the Italian Brand plays its role within the Group, showcasing its most iconic and high-tech model: the FIAT flagship. The all-electric New 500 is designed for the next decade and to suit electric mobility needs in the city centers of the future.

Fiat 500 3 plus 1

The New 500 is a true milestone in the FIAT electrification process: the most iconic and popular FIAT model has become totally new, full-electric and electric alone. Around the world, the 500 is the epitome of the Italian car: beautiful, a classic design, a work of art, and inspiration. In one word: an icon.

The New 500 is entirely developed, engineered and produced in Turin, Italy, where the 500 was born and has become the company’s best-selling BEV. Besides, the New 500 is a true global icon, available in Europe, Israel, and Brazil, with its launch in Japan planned for 2022.

The small new FIAT EV has broken down the ‘conventional’ barriers to electric: range (up to 320 km WLTP, increasing to 460 km in the urban cycle alone), charging times (85-kW Fastcharge as standard), and complexity of use (“Tech it Easy”). The New 500 is the first city car with Level 2 Assisted Driving and the availability of three different bodies: hatchback, Cabrio, and 3+1. Courtesy of the new fifth-generation Uconnect Infotainment system, the New 500 is always connected. “Hey FIAT” is the advanced voice recognition system, so you can talk to the car just by using the wake words “Hey FIAT.”

Fiat 500 3 plus 1 at CES 2022

The New 500 3+1 is the most “versatile” New 500. It features a unique “magic door” to make it easier for the passengers to get in, and access everything you might need on the rear seats. 

This “magic door” fits in harmoniously with the car’s structure, with no changes to its design or dimensions, both remaining those of an agile city car. Instead, it exponentially increases the ease of use, so passengers can effortlessly get into the rear seats, and bulky items can easily be loaded. As an alternative, the central pillar – to which the front door is usually hinged – is fully integrated into the third door, which creates an enormous access space when opened.

Fiat 500 RED displayed at CES 2022

The New (500)RED is “Made for the Planet, Made for its People” and has a clear mission to protect the environment and people: it’s electric, respects the environment, and contributes to a more sustainable future. That mission is now going even further with (RED) on board. The New (500)RED is 100% electric, thus making its contribution to the fight against pollution; it is also a car with great ethical content courtesy of the partnership with (RED) – the organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver, committed to combating pandemics for over 15 years.

Together with the Jeep and Ram brands, FIAT has committed to donate at least $4 million to support the work of the Global Fund in fighting pandemics around the world in the next three years. Thanks to its presence at CES, the New (500)RED is also the ideal ambassador to convey the message to the U.S..

Discuss on the Fiat 500 Forum

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Adapted Press Release courtesy of Stellantis 

Images: Stellantis