Fiat's award-winning new TwinAir concept is set to transform how drivers view fuel consumption. Fiat's 875cc two-cylinder engine is the cleanest quantity production petrol engine in the world. Yet it still manages to combine a rev-happy fun appeal with significantly more power than larger capacity four-cylinder units.
The 85hp version of the engine makes its debut in the UK this month under the hood of Fiat's 500. Installing a two-cylinder engine in a 500 might seem like paying homage to the original 13hp model of 1957, but this decision is not sentimental.
The TwinAir engine offers an attractive means of downsizing while substantially reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, but without sacrificing power or driver enjoyment.
Combined with the Fiat 500's many other attributes, this remarkable powertrain is expected to appeal to a wide variety of customers including many who may not have considered Fiat before.
Weighing just 187 lb, this ground-breaking engine has the lowest emissions of any quantity production petrol engine. However its 85hp makes the Fiat 500 TwinAir among the most powerful mainstream A segment vehicles on sale. And with its 196.6 lb-ft of torque at a relatively low 1900rpm, it's a responsive and fun-to-drive engine too. This combination of cleanliness and power even compares favorably with many rivals' diesel engines.
This technology comes in a Fiat 500 that is already firmly established. It features all the assets that have made this car such a hit. There's a choice of manual five-speed gearboxes alongside the Dualogic robotized manual. This allows drivers who want automatic shifting to prompt changes simply by pushing or pulling the gear lever.
There's an extensive list of standard equipment including ABS anti-lock brakes and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, which along with seven airbags, have helped the Fiat 500 become EuroNCAP crash safety five-star rated.
The high-tech Fiat 500 TwinAir is extremely competitively priced, costing from ?10,665 ($17074). The TwinAir engine will be available across the Fiat 500 and Fiat 500C ranges in all trim levels including limited edition models. And in the near future this 85hp engine will be joined by normally aspirated 65bhp and turbocharged 105hp versions of the two-cylinder family. All will be produced at Fiat Powertrain Technologies' (FPT) Bielsko-Biala plant in Poland.