It’s the good old Fiat 500 with an electric twist and hip looks

Ask every non-car nut out there what automobile spells Italy best, and you’re likely in for an overwhelming percentage of answers saying that’d be the Fiat 500. Of course, Italy’s crème de la crème has more to do with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini these days, but don’t be quick to judge until you’ve got a glimpse at Garage Italia’s 500 Jolly Icon-E. Where E stands for electric.

What is the Garage Italia 500 Jolly Icon-E?

Fiat 500 Jolly Icon-E by Garage Italia
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The Fiat 500 Jolly Icon-E is Milan-based Garage Italia’s latest project. It aims to bring back and reinvent an icon - namely the Fiat 500 - with a twist of electricity and restomod looks with the aim to "celebrate the car culture." Essentially, this could be a potential way of breeding life into other vintage/classic cars and turning them into all-electric automobiles that retain the design that made them famous in the first place.

Fiat 500 Jolly Icon-E by Garage Italia
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Since we’re here, you can consider the Fiat 500 Icon-E Fiat 500 like the equivalent of similar projects from carmakers such as Jaguar and the E-Type Zero program that sees the legendary sports car earn its electric stripes.

Garage Italia Icon-E Design

Coming back to the topic at hand, though, Garage Italia is also performing a series of changes that touch on the visual side of things. Vector in the fact that the Fiat 500 is an ageing car that’s based on a platform developed more than one decade ago, and you’re pretty much looking at a very desirable piece of machinery that gives us flashbacks of the Fiat 500 Spiaggina, developed with Fiat and Pininfarina and shown in 2018.

Fiat 500 Jolly Icon-E by Garage Italia
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Right, you’ll want to know more details. So here they are. The roof and door sections are dead and gone, but you won’t have to worry about losing torsional rigidity. Garage Italia tells us it used a safety cell to strengthen the build and keep the chassis from twisting too much. Oh, and the outer body panels, front bumper, and rear bumper are handmade. The front and rear lights keep their vintage shape, but the former now hide LED technology.

On the inside, it’s out with the analog instrument panel and in with a five-inch screen with a custom graphic interface. The handmade trend continues in the cabin with the basketweave-style seats and rear bench, and as you’ll be able to see in the photo gallery, the doors have been replaced by a rope system of sorts. The vintage tires as like the icing on an already fancy cake and have been provided by Michelin’s Vintage line, one of Garage Italia’s partners for the project.

Fiat 500 Jolly Icon-E by Garage Italia
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Fiat 500 Jolly Icon-E by Garage Italia
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Mind you, though; Garage Italia is tight-lipped when it comes to specifics on the 500 Jolly Icon-E. In that sense, we’re only told that the combustion engine is replaced by an electric motor developed with the Newtron Group and that’s about it. What we do know for sure, however, is this: the electric motor is married to the original gearbox. The car’s batteries (again, no word on capacity but maximum range sits just under 120 km or 75 miles at a top speed of 85 km/h or 53 mph) can be recharged through a Type 2 plug positioned under the front badge. A full charge can last as much as four to eight hours.

Fiat 500 Jolly Icon-E by Garage Italia
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Fiat 500 Jolly Icon-E by Garage Italia
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We don’t know about you, but we’d love to see more similar projects take off even from a carmaker’s own backyard. Because let’s face it - electric cars are a sure shot for the future and fitting an electric motor inside a restored classic can only mean it gets to live longer without that many reliability worries to hunt the owner.

Further reading

2014 Fiat 500 Abarth High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth.

2018 Fiat 500 Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Fiat 500.

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