Just this week Fiat revealed a tiny two-cylinder engine that its customers in Europe can pick for the funky 500 minicar, and which in naturally aspirated form delivers around 65 horsepower and promises a fuel economy upwards of 55 mpg.
While we know that there will be more powerful turbocharged applications of this engine, new reports suggest that there will even by a hybrid version good for up to 80 mpg.
According to the guys at AutoExpress, the likely set-up will be a mild hybrid system that pairs the new ‘TwinAir’ two-cylinder engine with a dual clutch gearbox housing an 8 horsepower electric motor. They claim that the engine will return CO2 emissions of only 70g/km, which roughly equates to the aforementioned 80 mpg fuel economy.
Being a mild hybrid, the electric motor would only assist the engine during high load and pulling away from a stand still. It would also be used to restart the engine, which would shut down during long stops such as at a traffic light to further save fuel.
No word on any releases date but it’s probably some years away from hitting European showrooms--and even further away from any U.S. launch.
To read more, head over to GreenCarReports.com for John Voelcker’s more detailed report.