June 13, 2013

YOUR NEXT CAR WILL BE A VOLT:

Fiat's tiny 500e electric car is a big hit (Peter Valdes-Depena, 6/12/13, CNN/Money)

The really surprising thing is how smartly the 500e accelerates. It takes off a bit slowly as an initial push on the "gas pedal" gets the 500e's dense mass rolling down the pavement. Once past the first few feet, the Fiat really starts to take off and speed builds up quickly. This is no timid little Barbie car. Then again, it's no Fiat 500 Abarth either but it's also not as loud and bouncy as that turbocharged hyper-performance version of the 500.

With its stable cornering and strong acceleration, the 500e is actually a lot of fun to drive. The steering also feels better than that in the regular 500, to me. And the brakes are surprisingly good, too. That's especially surprising since, except in emergencies, ordinary brakes don't even come into play until the car is going less than eight miles an hour. Before then, what slows the car is the electric motor being spun backwards. Besides slowing the car, that also generates electricity which gets stored in the battery. It's all done with impressive smoothness.

Posted by at June 13, 2013 5:10 AM
  

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