4. Tons of Torque
The car is juiced by a 24 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that’s mounted under the floor so it essentially takes up no interior space. This arrangement also helps keep the 500e’s center of gravity low, resulting in surprising on-road manners. Now that’s clever packaging.
Drawing from that reserve and turning it into useful work is a permanent-magnet electric motor that drives the front wheels. It puts out a rather puny 111 horsepower, but that’s 10 more than the malnourished internal-combustion Cinquecento can muster (excluding the spunky Turbo and Abarth models, of course). What’s more impressive is the electric’s 147 lb-ft of instant-action torque. Nail the accelerator and the car pulls ahead strongly from a standstill. Overall the vehicle isn’t that quick but it feels a lot fleeter than it actually is.