2024 Fiat Topolino electric car revealed

New Fiat Topolino electric quadricycle can be driven from the age of 16, and should offer up to 46 miles of range...

Fiat Topolino front static

On sale 2024 Price from £9000 (est)

Remember beach buggies? With no doors, and only a rudimentary roof, if any at all, they were a hit among fun-loving sun worshippers wherever the sea met the sand. And now they’re back. Well, kind of. It’s easy to imagine the new Fiat Topolino on a beachfront promenade, with its occupants catching a few rays. And while the buggies of old left stinky petrol fumes behind them, the Topolino doesn’t; it’s based on the electric car underpinnings of the tiny Citroën Ami (below).

Technically classed as quadricycles, the Ami and Topolino are limited to 28mph, and that means 16-year-old AM (50cc moped) licence holders can drive them; you don’t need a full car licence. Fiat is yet to confirm details about the Topolino’s battery or electric motor, but it’s likely to share the Ami’s 8bhp electric motor and 5.5kWh battery and match the Ami’s 46 miles.

While we haven’t driven the Topolino, we know the Ami to be quick and nimble enough to be at home in city centres, where 20mph limits are common, but the low top speed leaves you feeling like a nuisance wherever the speed limit is 30mph or higher.

Citroen Ami front right tracking

Bear in mind, though, that the Ami’s top speed gradually decreases when the remaining range dips below 15 miles, and it drops to 10mph when you have only 10 miles left. It’s better suited, then, to someone who makes very short journeys around a congested city than to a rural commuter.

The Topolino, though, could fit in with an altogether breezier lifestyle. Fresh air fanatics might appreciate its minimalist bodywork, with ropes in place of doors and a roll-back canvas roof. And some, no doubt, will fall for its cutesy retro looks (Topolino being the nickname leant to the first Fiat 500, of 1936). 

Wherever you take it, though, the Topolino is no cheap toy. Prices are expected to start from around £9,000 – a fair bit higher than the £8,095 starting price of the Ami, which is the Topolino’s only true rival. Then again, a Smart EQ Fortwo has no more seats and costs from £20,975, even after discounts.

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