Fiat has released the first few images of its 500e, the electric version of the 500 city car.

The vivid orange machine is set to debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, which starts later this month.

The car will ditch the regular 500's 1.4-liter gasoline engine for a battery-electric drivetrain.

Doing so hasn't been an easy move for Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who says that the company will lose $10,000 on each car it produces.

Like the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV we tested recently, and the Honda Fit EV, it's being built only as a 'compliance car', to meet California's regulations on electric vehicles. As a result, we'll see only limited numbers of the silent Fiat.

Still, at least it looks good.

The orange 500e in the images wears a deep body kit and front bumper as found on the sporty Abarth models, albeit using smaller wheels and taller tires--no doubt optimized for efficiency.

2014 Fiat 500E

2014 Fiat 500E

The front chin spoiler is white, which matches the interior trim. A four-button drive selector sits in the space normally occupied by a manual gear shifter, and the traditional speedometer appears to have been replaced by an electronic display.

Beyond the expected 75-kilowatt (100-horsepower) electric motor, we don't know many other details about the 500e--but we'll bring you more as soon as the car is unveiled in L.A.


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