Fiat Brazil Introduces Production Siena Tetrafuel and Prototype Electric Palio
29 June 2006
|Siena 1.4 Tetrafuel|
Fiat Automòveis, the Brazilian arm of Fiat Auto, has launched the world’s first four-fueled production vehicle, the Siena 1.4 Tetrafuel. The TetraFuel, shown earlier at the 2006 Challenge Bibendum, operates on natural gas, gasoline, pure ethanol (E100) or gasohol (20% alcohol/gasoline blends). The company also introduced a prototype electric vehicle, the electric Palio.
(Volvo brought a prototype five-fuel vehicle to the Challenge Bibendum. The Volvo Multi-Fuel is optimized for running on bioethanol E85; methane in the form of either natural gas or bio-methane; gasoline; and a 10% Hythane blend (10% hydrogen, 90% natural gas). Earlier post.)
The Siena 1.4 Tetrafuel uses a single Electronic Control Unit (ECU), developed by Magneti Marelli, to select fuels automatically depending on conditions, with natural gas being the first choice. Magneti Marelli earlier developed the SFS (Software Flexfuel Sensor) used in flex-fuel cars.
When the ECU sensors detect a situation requiring extra torque or faster acceleration, it switches from natural gas to liquid fuel automatically, switching back to natural gas when the system detects that it is the fuel most convenient for that moment. The system also reverts to liquid fuels automatically if CNG levels drop below 10 bar.
|A view of the Siena 1.4 Tetrafuel engine showing the natural gas common rail with pressure regulator.|
Fiat Powertrain modified the 1.4-liter engine with an integrated injection manifold featuring a natural gas common rail with four injectors, new cylinder heads, tubes, valves, and injectors. The Tetrafuel Siena is also fitted with strengthened rear suspension and braking to accommodate the dual compressed natural gas (CNG) cylinders (6.5 m3 storage per tank at 200 bar) fitted in the trunk.
The system also includes an electronic readout, with fuel indicators, temperature, a trip computer and error reporting. The system warns when liquid fuel levels drop below 4% of capacity, as a liquid fuel is required to cold-start the vehicle.
The new Fiat Siena 1.4 Tetrafuel hits showrooms in Brazil in July in the value of R$41,900 ($US18,900) for standard motorists and R$31,750 ($US14,300) for taxis.
Electric Palio. Fiat Automòveis and Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF) introduced the Electric Palio during the Brazil Classics Fiat Show. Other development partners include Itaipu Hidrelétrica and the Swiss company KWO.
The research prototype uses a 15 kW (20 hp) motor that develops 50 Nm (37 lb-ft) of torque, powered by a NiMH battery packint the trunk. The car has an estimated range of 120 km (75 miles) and a top speed of 105 kmh (65 mph).
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