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Fiat 500 goes down to 2-cylinders

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16th March, 2012

The Fiat 500 Twin air, which is now on sale in Australia, is Fiat's local leader for low emissions and fuel economy as it has just two-cylinders. The TwinAir engine is in both the tiny Fiat 500 and its open top variant, the 500C.

Installing a two-cylinder engine in a Fiat 500 might seem like paying homage to the original 9.6 kW model of 1957, but the decision to place the 62.5 kW engine that has made its Australian debut recently is not a sentimental one. The TwinAir engine offers a means of 'downsizing' while reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

This powertrain is expected to appeal to a variety of customers. Those who believe they care about the environment will find the TwinAir’s low CO2 figure appealing. And it may find favour with reasonably well-off trend setters. It is for these reason that Fiat Australia has taken the decision to switch its entire Fiat 500 range over to the TwinAir engine.

Weighing just 85 kg, this tiny engine has the lowest emissions of any quantity production petrol engine. However, its 62.5 kW makes the Fiat 500 TwinAir competitive. And with its 145 Nm of torque at a low 1,900 rpm, it has an element of responsiveness too.

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Compared with Fiat’s 1.2-litre petrol engine in the Fiat 500, the TwinAir delivers more power yet combines this with a reduction in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.

The 62.5 kW 500 TwinAir has the lowest CO2 emissions of any production petrol engine at 90 g/km along with a decent 3.9 l/100 km for the Dualogic robotised gearbox version. The five-speed manual records 92 g/km and 4.0 l/100 km.

These results have been achieved thanks to a combination of factors. Combining MultiAir with a turbocharger helps to optimise performance at low revs while reductions in weight and size help boost performance and responsiveness. In addition, the timing chain cuts engine running costs because it is maintenance-free. Finally, a balancing countershaft reduces vibrations to give the smoothness and refinement similar to a four-cylinder engine.

This technology comes in a Fiat 500 that is already established on the motoring landscape, although many consider the Fiat 500 to be overpriced by a large margin.

Standard equipment includes ABS anti-lock brakes and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and seven airbags. The Fiat 500 is five-star rated by EuroNCAP (like many competitors).

To mark the local launch, Fiat has given the 500 and 500C TwinAir its own, distinctive appearance and equipment package. Based on the luxuriously equipped ‘Sport’ equipment package, the 500 TwinAir has 16 inch matt black wheels, metallic effect dashboard, sports seats, Piano Black roof and rear roof spoiler, and satin finish chrome finish door mirrors, door handles and boot lid trim. The 500C TwinAir also features its own ‘TwinAir’ badging.

The Fiat 500 TwinAir manual is priced* at $22,990* and $24,990* with the Dualogic gearbox. The open top Fiat 500C TwinAir opens at $25,990* and the self shifting Dualogic gearbox version is $27,990*.

NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.


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