MILAN -- Fiat's new 500 full-electric car will join the growing number of battery-powered minicars targeting customers in Europe's cities seeking emissions-free mobility.
The three-door model, called the New 500, retains the retro styling of the current internal combustion engine 500, which was Europe's second best-selling minicar last year after Fiat's Panda.
Fiat defied fears over Italy's coronavirus outbreak to showcase the New 500 on Wednesday, as it strives to catch up with rivals in low-emissions driving while heading into a merger with Peugeot maker PSA Group.
The New 500's unveiling was initially planned for the now-canceled Geneva auto show. The presentation on Wednesday was held at an event in Milan, a rarity as large gatherings have been discouraged by authorities in most of northern Italy, which has seen Europe's worst virus outbreak.
"We are here to show that FCA is close to Milan and to Italy," Olivier Francois, head of the Fiat brand and Fiat Chrysler Automobile's chief marketing officer, told a restricted audience of journalists at Milan's design museum, where chairs were placed a meter apart to comply with local authority health requirements.