Abarth’s take on diminutive 500e is a great round-town entertainer but there’s a price to pay for its bare-faced cheek.

Well known for its hard-hitting limited edition models, Abarth has entered the electric age with the 500e Scorpionissima, available in jaw-dropping Acid Green or Poison Blue. This model is limited to 1949 units worldwide and is offered with a digital certificate of authenticity from the Mirafiori assembly plant in Turin. Those who miss out can still take an emissions-free Abarth adventure with the 500e Turismo, available in more traditional colours and at a slightly lower price point.

If you think our Acid-infused Scorpionissima looks punchy, you ought to hear the Abarth sound generator in action. It introduces a seriously gruff soundtrack that really resonates and will definitely turn heads if the eyeball assault fails. Drive mode choice is instrumental to the experience with regen-rich Scorpion Street a good default set-up and Track well suited for aggressive driving (probably with the generator employed until its novelty value wears off). In Track mode, the Abarth shows impressive sporting character and credentials although the excitement can be short-lived as battery capacity is no greater than that of the standard electric Fiat and range is significantly less.

The car feels nippy rather than genuinely quick, hitting 100km/h in 7.0 seconds and topping out at 150km/h. Head-turning potential is terrific thanks to the Acid Green paintwork, impressive diamond-cut alloys and characterful front end with distinctive LEDs. Closer inspection reveals where your money is going. Standard equipment includes a panoramic glass roof, premium (heated) sports seats in alcantara, a leather and alcantara sports steering wheel, JBL sound system, and a raft of Abarth decals and scorpion logos. The cabin, while small, is a very inviting and comfortable space and the 10.25in touchscreen and 7.0in digital instrument display look larger in this compact environment and offer very good functionality. Every conceivable modern safety system is present and correct but refreshingly unobtrusive.

Compromises? There are a few, notably a bouncy ride at most speeds, a predictably modest load space (185L), and reduced range (expect 200-ish kilometres in the real world). Then there’s the premium pricing, with Scorpionissima treatment adding $2000 to Abarth’s already steep $75k asking price. But little competes with this tiny terrier when it comes to urban agility, ease of deployment, sense of fun and genuine Italian flair.

ABARTH 500e Scorpionissima

ENGINE Single electric motor

BATTERY 42kWh li-ion

OUTPUT 113kW / 235Nm

TRANSMISSION Single-speed auto

DRIVETRAIN Front-wheel drive

LENGTH 3.67m

WEIGHT 1335kg

WHEELS 18-inch alloy

TYRES 205/40 (f, r)

0-100km/h 7.0 secs

RANGE up to 253km

PRICE from $76,990



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