Is this special edition new FIAT 500 the most eco-conscious car on the planet?
As you might have seen on these pages previously, the FIAT 500 has recently gone fully-electric, offering a range of 199 miles from just one charge while attempting to consign the old petrol-powered 500 to history, though it is still available for the time being.
That change in direction has already made the 500e something of a clean, green champ.
But now Stellantis - FIAT’s parent company - has entered into a new collaboration with (RED), a global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030.
And who founded (RED) back in 2006? None other than charity campaigner Bono, of U2 fame, alongside American activist Bobby Shriver. If that doesn’t give the new FIAT some serious environmental credentials, we’re not sure what will.
Stellantis - which also owns Alfa Romeo, Peugeot and Citroen - has promised to pledge $4 million to the charity over the next three years. So if you end up leasing a (500)RED when they arrive in Britain, you’ll be making a small contribution to that cause.
As you can see, the colour on offer is… red, with lashings of it both inside and out, as well as featuring on the logos. The seats are made using ‘Seaqual’ yarn, derived from plastics recovered from the oceans. And you can choose to have a red driver’s seat, while the other three passenger seats are finished in black, if you want to! Another unique touch is a red anodized aluminium accelerator pedal.
The new (500)RED comes in two body variants - hatchback and convertible with a black soft top. You also get two battery options - a 70kW, 95hp, e-motor with a range of up to 120 miles, or an 87kW, 118hp, unit with a range of up to 199 miles.
If you’re not quite ready to take the all-electric leap, worry not - there’s a fuel-saving 1.0 litre mild-hybrid version too, which comes with a 7-inch touchscreen radio and either 15-inch or 16-inch alloy wheels.
There’s also a larger (500X)RED, based on the Cross version of the 500, and which is available as either a hatchback and ‘Dolcevita’ soft top. There’s no electric version yet, just two petrol engines – 120hp 1.0-litre and 150hp 1.3-litre Firefly models.
Bono says: “This partnership with FIAT, Jeep and RAM is a powerful shot in the arm for (RED)’s fight against pandemics and the complacency that fuels them. It’s hard to believe that 15 years on from its founding we are now fighting another virus, but it’s even harder to see the virus of injustice that marked the AIDS pandemic is alive and well during COVID. Less than 5 percent of people in Africa are fully vaccinated, while vaccines are plentiful in Europe and America. We have to do more and fast to support the hundreds of millions of people who don’t yet have access to the vaccines, therapeutics or sufficient PPE. Because unless this pandemic is defeated everywhere, no one will be safe anywhere.
“This is a real moment for the charity. We have one of the most iconic car companies in the world saying they want to help drive COVID-19 off the face of the planet, and with the new (500)RED they won’t even need petrol to do it. FIAT wants to be as green as they can while they’re going (RED) and that’s a reason to punch the air.”
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