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Brand New Fiat 500

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Mike Stevens | Jan 6, 2010

MOMENTUM IS BUILDING on reports that Fiat and Chrysler are working to unveil an all-electric Fiat 500 at next week's Detroit Motor Show.

Rumours of an electrified 500 began circulating last month, and new reports this week suggest the concept will offer a driving range of over 240 kilometres from a single charge.

According to British website AutoExpress, the electric 500 will bear a battery pack with over 5000 cells, drawing additional energy from a KERS-like regenerative braking system.

The electric 500 will reportedly take 10 hours to gain a full charge from a regular home power supply, while dedicated charging stations will accomplish the task in half the time.

As with many conventional vehicles converted to electric power, drag-reducing aerodynamic updates to the 500's exterior are expected.

The report claims that while the battery park will increase the 500's kerb weight, a 0-96km/h (0-60mph) sprint should be achievable in around 10 seconds. A top speed of 145km/h is expected.

It remains to be seen whether there is any truth to these reports, but with the Detroit show less than a week away, time will tell soon enough.

In a recent presentation to the Italian Government, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed that the Fiat 500 will be offered with a 900cc turbo-charged two-cylinder petrol engine from next year.

The engine is expected to be offered as the entry-level or ultra-efficient eco-friendly version of the Fiat 500, along with the Panda and Punto.

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