2010 Fiat 500 BEV
Fiat 500 BEV Concept on Chrysler standard, 2010 Detroit Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
We'd be remiss if we didn't at least nod to the electric Fiat 500 displayed within the many brands on the Chrysler stand. We've written before about an earlier electric Fiat 500 conversion shown 18 months ago at the London Motor Show, but this one came with far less info.
Chrysler mounted a new display at Detroit this year. It was professional, and properly lit, as compared to last year's grim parking lot of new cars on carpet, lighted only by the fluorescent overhead lights in the aging Cobo Hall.
This year, Chrysler's display had no fewer than seven brands on display: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram (the pickup trucks formerly known as Dodge), along with a handful of Fiat, Ferrari, and Maserati models. It made for a slightly scattershot approach, but at least it looked good.
Chrysler did not, however, hold a press event. And the company was so tight-lipped about their electric Fiat 500 BEV concept, barricaded behind metal rails, that it just sat there, puzzling the handful of onlookers who paid any attention.
So all we can really tell you is that it was, ummmm, dark gray. And that it had a body kit and low-profile BBS-like mag wheels. And that Chrysler noted the car was built to investigate how an electric powertrain could be packaged in a smaller vehicle. That's it.
The standard gasoline version of the Fiat 500 will arrive in roughly a year. Ultimately, the model range will encompass a standard three-door hatchback, the convertible Cabrio with a roll-back cloth roof, and the hot-hatch Abarth performance version.