Fiat Reverses Course, Puts Gas Engine Back into the 500

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The rumors were true–Fiat has confirmed the latest 500 will get a combustion engine after all. Despite being launched strictly as an electric city car with no word about an ICE variant, the diminutive hatchback will get gasoline power. Parent company Stellantis has announced a hybrid 500 will be made at the Mirafiori factory in Italy from Q1 2026.

To be fair, the 500 technically never lost its combustion engine considering Fiat still sells the previous-generation model outside the United States as a hybrid. In North America, the pint-sized car is strictly an EV affair. It’s too soon to say whether the ICE model will make its way to the US where it would definitely be cheaper than the pricy EV. As a refresher, the 2024 500e costs a whopping $34,095 before options.

It’s obvious that the EV market’s cooldown is forcing automakers to alter their plans and stick with conventional powertrains to sell cars. Many assumed electric vehicles would replace ICE models sooner or later, but with EV incentives being gradually reduced and even eliminated in some cases, people are reconsidering their options.

With the new 500 getting a gas engine, it’ll be interesting to see whether the high-performance Abarth 500e will also be joined by a hybrid model. As with the Fiat-badged, previous-generation model, Abarth still sells the sporty 500 with a conventional engine.

Several years ago, Fiat announced it would go purely electric by the end of the decade. However, it’s unclear whether that’s still happening. Other brands have also pushed back their EV-only ambitions beyond 2030, with the most recent example being Ford of Europe.

In related news, Stellantis also intends to build a hybrid version of the Jeep Compass at the Melfi plant in Italy. No further details were released but we’re hoping it’ll be based on the third-generation model. The current crossover has been around since 2016, so it’s getting a bit long in the tooth.

Speaking of old cars sticking around, the Italian automaker isn’t ruling out selling the Panda until 2029, at which point it will have been 18 years old. It would peacefully coexist with the next-gen model slated to debut on July 11 to mark 125 years of Fiat.

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