Electric Fiat 500 could be given petrol engine

The electric Fiat 500 could be retrofitted with a petrol engine, according to reports.

Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera first reported that Fiat sent a letter to its suppliers asking if they could fulfil an increase in production levels at its plant in Mirafiori, Italy, to 175,000 cars per year. 

Trade publication Automotive News Europe (ANE) cited suppliers that claim this increase of almost 100,000 cars (compared with the 77,260 built at Mirafiori in 2023) would almost entirely comprise petrol-engined 500s.

The unprecedented prospect of retrofitting an electric car with a combustion engine reportedly comes because of forthcoming new cybersecurity requirements in the EU.

Their introduction would prevent the existing petrol-engined 500 – which has been built in Tychy, Poland, since its 2007 launch – from remaining on sale without being rehomologated at substantial cost.

Fiat 500c front tracking

The same rules will soon bring an end to sales of the Porsche Macan and 718 Boxster/Cayman in the EU.

Although the UK’s automotive industry typically follows EU precedent, those cars will remain on sale here, suggesting that the Tychy 500 could too get a stay of execution.

ANE reported that Fiat has yet to sign off on converting the 500 EV to petrol power. It’s possible that it could decide to update the Tychy 500 yet again, as it did with the related Fiat Panda, which was granted a stay of execution until at least 2027.

However, ANE added that the 500 EV’s platform is an evolution of that from the Alfa Romeo Mito and the car is built on the old Mito production line, suggesting everything is already in place for a petrol conversion.

The petrol 500 is a crucial model for Fiat. According to figures from market analyst Jato Dynamics, 173,187 Fiat and Abarth 500 models were sold across Europe last year, of which 108,943 were petrols.

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