The Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda, undisputed leaders of the city car, will be the first FCA Group models in their category to adopt the new hybrid technology. The new Fiat 500 and Panda Hybrid, available from February and March 2020 respectively, will revolutionize urban mobility once again, making the hybrid accessible to all and indeed becoming the new European benchmark for electrified urban mobility.
The new Fiat 500 and Panda Hybrid provide all the benefits of efficient, compact, lightweight and accessible hybrid driving. In short, it is the best solution for a citycar and consistent with the Fiat approach. For the last 120 years Fiat has always been a pioneer in technology and an innovator in mobility and now sustainable mobility.
2020 marks the new milestone in the history of the Fiat brand. With the launch of the new hybrid versions of the Fiat 500 and the Panda, the electrification of the brand will begin, and will continue with the start of production in Turin of the new 500. This model will be 100% electric and therefore will play a key role in the e-Mobility by FCA strategy. 2020 will see the group offer a range of products and services to give customers a complete and sustainable mobility experience.
Furthermore, for the first time in the history of the two iconic and complementary Fiat brand models, the 500 and the Panda will be available in a special unique series: the exclusive “Launch Edition”, with the debut of the new gasoline Mild Hybrid engine that combines the latest 3-cylinder FireFly 1 liter 70 HP (51 kW) engine family with a 12-volt BSG (Belt-integrated Starter Generator) electric motor and a lithium battery. Compared to the 1.2 69 HP Fire, the Mild Hybrid version improves fuel efficiency, thus reducing CO2 emissions on average by 20% and up to 30% for the Panda Cross, without foregoing performance. It also ensures a very high standard of driving comfort thanks to the BSG system, which allows for quiet, vibration-free restarting of the internal combustion engine in Stop&Start mode. Customers also benefit from all the advantages of going hybrid (the car is Euro 6D Final-compliant, for instance), which, depending on local regulations, include freedom of access and movement in city centers, cheaper parking in town centers and tax breaks.
The special series can be recognized by the “Hybrid” sign written on the rear and the exclusive “H” logo, formed by two dew drops, on the center panel. Dew – the symbol of the light of dawn and therefore of the beginning of a new era – has been used as inspiration for the new and exclusive “Dewdrop Green” exterior that fits both cars like a bespoke suit, in perfect harmony with the themes of nature and innovation.
On the inside, the seat upholstery is faithful to the sustainable philosophy of the entire project: a perfect match with both the FCA Mild Hybrid technology and the innovative spirit of the iconic Fiat Panda and Fiat 500. The Launch Edition seats are the first in the automotive sector to be partly made with SEAQUAL® YARN, the weaving of which produces a special material, certified by SEAQUAL INITIATIVE, derived from recycled plastic: 10% of which originates from the sea and 90% from land. SEAQUAL® YARN is produced by transforming plastics collected from the sea into flakes of polyethylene terephthalate. These flakes are then used in the yarn from which the fabrics are made. In the weaving phase, marine polyester is mixed with other environmentally friendly, natural, recycled or recovered fibers. This green process is completed by the application of dyes and environment-friendly finishes based on the saving of water and energy. Fiat is collaborating with SEAQUAL INITIATIVE to support ocean clean-ups to take action against marine litter. The two new Fiat 500 and Panda Hybrid Launch Edition models will therefore satisfy the customer who is just as attentive to aesthetics as to environmental issues, in terms of consumption and emissions.
The Fiat 500 and the Panda are the two complementary Fiat icons, representing urban mobility in Europe, with about 400,000 units sold throughout the year. Now, by introducing the Mild Hybrid technology, the 500 and the Panda will be making a significant contribution towards more sustainable urban driving.
The Fiat 500 and the Panda Hybrid Launch Edition can be ordered from now onwards at Fiat dealerships across Europe.
How the FCA Mild Hybrid Technology Works
The new gasoline Mild Hybrid engine, which builds on the heritage of the famous Fire engine, more than 30 million of them were produced, implements a 1-liter, 3-cylinder engine configuration with peak power output of 70 hp (51 kW) at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 92 Nm at 3,500 rpm. 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 EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation), 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 aluminum alloy with cast-iron cylinder liners, to reduce startup times and contain the weight of the engine to just 77 kg. Additionally, friction is reduced using a crank mechanism with a bore/stroke ratio of 1.24 and a connecting rod/crank device with a 10 mm 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 11 Ah, and uses it, at a maximum power of 3,600 W, to restart the engine in Stop&Start mode and to assist it during acceleration.
This technology allows the internal combustion engine to switch off, even at speeds below 30 km/h, simply by shifting into neutral (the dashboard, which displays information on the hybrid system, prompts the driver when to do so). In coasting mode, the lithium battery powers all services, ensuring the driver has full control of the vehicle.
The Mild Hybrid propulsion unit in the latest Panda and 500 Hybrid Launch Edition is combined with a novel 6-gear C514 manual transmission evolution (transverse gearbox, front-wheel drive), with contents aimed at enhancing maneuverability and improving efficiency, including new low-friction bearings and gaskets, the use of a specific high-efficiency lubricant and a never seen before 6th gear ratio that improves fuel economy in out-of-town driving. The comfort-related aspect has also been taken into consideration by optimizing the gearbox system support. Lastly, the new system involves lowering the entire power unit 45 mm so the car behaves better on the road thanks to the lower center of gravity.
The new FireFly family was developed by FCA to offer a range of downsized gasoline engines, featuring good fuel efficiency and benchmark performance in a wide range of applications. The basic structure of the new engines guarantees efficiency, modularity and a considerable degree of standardization in terms of components and manufacturing process, flexibility and potential for future developments.