FIAT INTRODUCES A 60 MPG 500
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sun, Oct 31, 2010
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
LA CAR & HOT WIRE—Most of us know Fiat as the Italian car company that saved Chrysler (Fiat now owns a 20 percent share of the American automaker). More than just a cash cow, however, Fiat makes the kind of vehicles that Chrysler was lacking in—i.e, the small, fuel-efficient variety. The most popular example of this being the Fiat 500 city car, which has enjoyed brisk sales in Europe. Now comes word that Fiat has designed a twin-cylinder 875 cc 84 horsepower gasoline engine called the TwinAir, which will soon appear in Europe in the 500.
The new TwinAir uses Fiat's MultiAir technology, which improves air flow in the engine, together with supercharging for power and balancing countershafts to reduce vibration. Fiat says the engine compares favorably with modern diesels. “The TwinAir-powered 500 produced a surprisingly lively and flexible performance,” says Neil Winton of the Detroit News. “The engine sounded a bit gruff and was a shade noisier than usual, but not unpleasantly so.” Winton tested the TwinAir at Fiat’s launch near Reading, a large town about 25 miles west of London. “The widely spaced 5-gear manual gearbox showed that despite its small size, pickup was impressive even in fourth and fifth gears.” Fiat claims this tiny little engine can achieve an average fuel consumption of approximately 60 miles per U.S. gallon.
You won't be able to buy the TwinAir in the U.S. just yet. The first editions of the Fiat 500 appearing in America next year via a factory in Mexico will, however, use MultiAir technology, albeit in a 1.4 liter gasoline engine. The cars will be built in Mexico for U.S. consumption. We may have to wait a bit before the TwinAir arrives in the States.
SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: Fiat 500 TwinAir Price: TBA Engine: 875 cc, supercharged, four-valves per cylinder, two-in-line, transverse mounted engine with balancing countershafts Horsepower: 84 Torque: 107 pound-feet at 1900 rpm Transmission: 5-speed manual Drive configuration: Front-wheel drive Estimated fuel economy (pending certification): 60 miles per gallon