Fiat is updating its 500L range for 2014 with two new turbocharged 120 hp (88 kW) engine options—the 1.6 MultiJet II turbodiesel and the 1.4 T-Jet gasoline—and a dual fuel LPG/gasoline variant of the 1.4 T-Jet.
120 HP 1.6 MultiJet II. The adoption of a small variable geometry turbocharger developed by Honeywell enables high torque delivery at low rpm— 320 N·m (236 lb-ft) at 1,750 rpm—and maximum running flexibility. A third-generation Common Rail injection system uses new injectors to manage up to eight injections per cycle. This enables actuating increasingly advanced strategies focused on optimizing the combustion— such as the Injection Rate Shaping (IRS) system which involves two consecutive injections so close together in time as to generate a continuous and modulated fuel supply into the cylinders.
This method improves the combustion process to the benefit of quieter operation and particulate and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Furthermore, the new injection system is even simpler and more reliable because the injectors have a simpler structure with 40% fewer components.
Combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox, the 120 HP 1.6 MultiJet II engine offers a range of features to save fuel and cut emissions. These include a smart alternator that recovers energy while coasting and stores it in the battery; engine cooling circuit optimization that reduces the warm-up time; and a variable displacement oil pump that adjusts the oil pressure in the most appropriate way, reducing the power consumed by the pump. A Start&Stop system is included, while the engine and transmission use low viscosity lubricant oil to minimize friction.
The exhaust gas treatment system implements close-coupled DPF technology which efficiently integrates the oxidizing catalytic converter and the particulate filter (CCDPF). The component is compact to reduce exhaust counter-pressure with beneficial effects in terms of fuel reduction and CO2 emissions. The particulate trap is arranged close to the turbocharger outlet to provide hotter gas temperatures on average near the particulate filter. This reduces the amount of diesel fuel needed for regeneration.
The integration of the two components reduces the weight of the exhaust system and improves global efficiency. The CCDPF is combined with an advanced exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, in which all sub-components are grouped in a single very small sized element (EGR module).
New 120 HP 1.4 T-Jet. On the new 1.4 T-Jet engine, the FIRE (Fully Integrated Robotized Engine) (earlier post) combines with a low-inertia turbocharger to deliver maximum power of 120 hp at 5,000 rpm with 215 N·m of torque (159 lb-ft) at 2,500 rpm. This is aided by the low inertia of the turbocharger. The Fiat 500L with new 1.4 T-Jet records a top speed of 189 km/h (117 mph) and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.2 seconds.
Combined with a six-speed gearbox, the 120 HP 1.4 T-Jet is already compliant with the Euro 6 emissions standard, with recorded consumption and emissions values in the combined cycle of 6.9 l/100 km (34 mpg US) and 159 g/km of CO2 respectively. The scheduled servicing interval is 30,000 km (18,641 miles).
The accelerator control is 'drive-by-wire', without any manual connection so that the driver can obtain the desired response from the engine, relaxed or sporting, always with maximum energy efficiency.
120 HP 1.4 Turbo Petrol LPG. Fiat will also soon introduce a dual-fuel (LPG/Gasoline) version of the 500L and Fiat 500L Trekking. The dual fuel model is Euro 6-compliant. Performance is similar to the gasoline version, with maximum power of 120 HP at 5,000 rpm, a top speed of 189 km/h; acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.6 seconds; combined consumption of 8.9 l/100 km (26.4 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 144 g/km. This dual fuel version features a much lower operating cost due to the use of a fuel far cheaper than gasoline or diesel.
Unlike an aftermarket conversion, the 120 HP 1.4 LPG Turbo engine has been redesigned for integration with the LPG system by using specific materials and components and applying dedicated technology. In detail, this engine has valves and valve seats with configurations and materials specially designed for LPG operation. It is equipped with a special intake system and all the additional electrical wiring already built-in.
Fiat developed a brand-new single control unit able to manage both types of fuel. The Fiat 500L Turbo LPG always starts up on gasoline and switches automatically to LPG when optimal conditions are achieved (engine water temperature, minimum engine rpm threshold). It is possible to switch from one fuel to another while driving by pressing a special button built into the dashboard on the central tunnel. If the driver finishes the LPG inside the tank, switching to gasoline operation is automatic.
The toroid LPG tank has a 38-liter (10 gallons US) capacity and is located in a compartment within the luggage compartment without taking any space away from luggage. With LPG, the car can travel in areas where gasoline and diesel vehicles are forbidden, and in more general terms, on days when environmental traffic restrictions are in force. Furthermore, there are reductions on the Provincial Transcription Tax (IPT) and on road tax payment in some Italian provinces. Compared with gasoline and diesel fuel, LPG cuts particulate emissions to zero and slashes the emission of other pollutant substances (up to 15% less carbon dioxide, up to 20% less carbon monoxide and up to 60% less unburnt hydrocarbons). Finally, the distribution network is also widespread throughout Europe, with more than 10,000 points of sale.