Fiat 500 hybrid will enter production in 2026

Fiat 500e used for representation only.

Fiat will introduce an all-new 500 hybrid in 2026 called the Ibrida. This new hatch will be the latest iteration of the brand’s bestselling petrol car, and will replace the outgoing Fiat 500 petrol 18 years after its debut.

  1. Fiat 500 Ibrida will sit on 500e's platform
  2. Gets a 1.0-litre mild-hybrid three-cylinder petrol

The new Fiat 500 Ibrida will be built at the Mirafiori plant in Italy, rather than Tychy in Poland; the factory in Italy produces the current-gen Fiat 500e EV hatchback. The 500 Ibrida will be powered by the same Firefly 1.0-litre mild-hybrid three-cylinder petrol engine as the existing 500 and Fiat Panda. However, it's anticipated to switch from the current petrol 500's platform, which dates back to the 2003 Panda, onto the 500e's bespoke architecture.

The move to retrofit an EV with an internal combustion powertrain is unprecedented in Europe. Several reports in March suggested that the bold measure was born out of two key challenges. First was the need to ramp up production rates at Mirafiori amid slow sales of the 500e and its Abarth 500e hot hatch sibling. Fiat reduced shifts at the plant in February and reserved the option of completely pausing production if sales didn't pick up.

Second was the challenge of keeping the popular petrol 500 on sale, as the existing model falls foul of new cybersecurity standards introduced by the European Union. Making it compliant with these would involve an expensive rehomologation effort.

The petrol 500 remains a lynchpin for Fiat; of the 1,73,187 new 500s sold across Europe last year (including Abarth models), 1,08,943 were petrol-engined.

The move to develop the 500 Ibrida also paves the way for a second generation of the Abarth 595 hot hatch, although Fiat's performance-focused sibling brand has yet to confirm any such plans.

Fiat 500: the India angle

While the Fiat brand does not exist in India anymore, the outgoing 500 hatchback was sold in India with a 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel engine. Later on, Fiat also introduced the Abarth 595 in India for a limited period.

Also see:

Fiat shows five retro-styled concepts

Stellantis could bring back Fiat brand to India

India not a profitable market, but a very strategic one: Stellantis APAC head

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