The Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda will be the first FCA models to adopt the group’s new hybrid technology. The 500 and Panda will be available with a new gasoline mild hybrid engine that combines the latest 3-cylinder FireFly 1.0-liter engine family with a 12-volt BSG electric motor and a lithium-ion battery that delivers 70hp (51kW).
Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda Hybrid Launch Edition
Compared to the outgoing 1.2-liter 69hp gasoline engine, the mild hybrid version improves fuel efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions on the road by up to 30% without impeding performance. It also ensures a very high standard of driving comfort thanks to the BSG system, allowing for a quiet, vibration-free restart of the internal combustion engine in Stop&Start mode.
The new 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder engine has a peak power output of 70hp (51kW) at 6,000rpm and peak torque of 92N·m at 3,500rpm. The cylinder head has two valves per cylinder and a single camshaft with continuous variable valve timing (the timing is chain-driven).
The structure includes a compact combustion chamber, high-tumble intake ducts and external Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), providing a remarkably high compression ratio (12:1), which translates into better thermal efficiency.
The crankcase, developed in collaboration with Teksid, is made of high-pressure die-cast aluminium alloy with cast-iron cylinder liners, to reduce start-up times and contain the weight of the engine to just 77kg. Additionally, friction is reduced using a crank mechanism with a bore/stroke ratio of 1.24 and a connecting rod/crank device with a 10mm offset to maximize efficiency.
The BSG system is mounted directly on the engine and is operated by the belt that also drives the auxiliaries. The system recovers energy during braking and deceleration, stores it in a lithium battery with a capacity of 11Ah, and uses it, at a maximum power of 3,600W, to restart the engine in Stop&Start mode and to assist it during acceleration.
This technology allows the internal combustion engine to switch off by shifting into neutral, even at speeds below 18 mph. The dashboard, which displays information on the hybrid system, prompts the driver when to shift.
The mild hybrid propulsion unit used in the Panda and 500 receives a 6-gear manual transmission (transverse gearbox, front-wheel drive), aimed at improving fuel economy in out-of-town driving, thanks to new low-friction bearings and gaskets and the use of a specific high-efficiency lubricant. The new system also involves lowering the entire power unit 45mm so the car behaves better on the road thanks to the lower centre of gravity.
The launch of the new mild hybrid versions of the Fiat 500 and the Panda marks the beginning of an electrification initiative that will continue with the start of production of the new 500 in its spiritual home of Turin. This model will be 100% electric and will therefore play a key role in the FCA e-Mobility strategy.
The Fiat 500 and the Panda are two Fiat icons, representing urban mobility in Europe, with around 400,000 units sold throughout the year. The 500 Mild Hybrid and the Panda Mild Hybrid Launch Editions can be ordered from January at Fiat retailers across Europe. The first customer deliveries will arrive in the first quarter of 2020.