The Hyundai Veloster will soon no longer be the only asymmetrical ‘three-door’ car on sale, with the unveiling of the 2021 Fiat 500e 3+1.
Based on the reborn, all-electric Fiat 500e hatch unveiled earlier this year, the 3+1 adds a small, rear-hinged door on the passenger side, to allow easier entry into the rear seats.
The lack of a B-pillar means, like other vehicles with ‘suicide doors’ like the BMW i3 and Mazda MX-30, the rear door can only be opened if the front door is open, to prevent rear passengers opening it by mistake while the vehicle is in motion.
Fiat claims, despite a 30kg increase in weight, the additional door has had “no effect on the car’s handling or [energy] consumption”, thanks in part to unchanged external dimensions compared to the standard hatch, measuring in at 3632mm long, 1683mm wide and 1527mm tall, with a 2322mm wheelbase.
Like its hatch and convertible siblings, the 500e 3+1 will launch in well-specified, flagship ‘la Prima’ trim. Available in a choice of three exterior colours (Rose Gold, Glacier Blue or Onyx Black), standard equipment includes LED headlights, 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels, chrome trim, ‘eco-leather’ interior trim, ‘FIAT’ seat embossing, six-way electrically-adjustable front seats, 360-degree camera, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 10.25-inch Uconnect 5 infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
A full suite of active safety technologies is standard-fit, including adaptive cruise control, lane-centring assist, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist recognition, blind-spot monitoring and traffic-sign recognition.
Powering the 500e 3+1 ‘la Prima’ is the same front-mounted 87kW electric motor as mid-spec ‘Passion’ and high-spec ‘Icon’ variants of the standard range, paired to a 42kWh lithium-ion battery pack for a 320km range on the WLTP cycle and a 9.0-second dash from zero to 100km/h.
85kW DC fast-charging capability enables a zero to 80 per cent charge in just 35 minutes, or up to 50 kilometres in as little as five minutes.
Alongside the unveiling of the 3+1, Fiat has also detailed a more affordable, entry-level variant of the 500e hatch and cabrio, dubbed ‘Action’.
Priced from £19,995 (AUD$36,500) in the UK, it features a smaller 23.8kWh battery pack, enabling a WLTP-certified driving range of 180km – on par with the similarly-sized Renault Twingo Z.E's 190km claim – increasing to 240km on the lower-speed, WLTP ‘City’ cycle.
The lithium-ion pack feeds energy to a 70kW motor on the front axle, good for a 9.5-second 0-100km/h sprint time and a 135km/h top speed.
Connecting to a 50kW fast-charger can add 50 kilometres of range in less than 10 minutes. 11kW AC charging via a home wall-box is also on offer.
The 2021 Fiat 500e 3+1 is slated to go on sale in Europe in early 2021, alongside its hatch and convertible range-mates.
Will we see the 500e 3+1 in Australia?
Given neither of the two-door 500e body styles have been confirmed for an Australian launch (and FCA's local arm has so far declined to comment on any potential), it’s unlikely the 3+1 will make its way Down Under.