Fiat 500 and Panda first to adopt new FCA mild-hybrid technology

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The Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda will be the first FCA models to be equipped with the group’s new hybrid technology. Pairing a new 1-liter gasoline three-cylinder with a 12V BSG e-motor and a lithium battery, the mild-hybrid 500 and Panda are expected to play a significant role in FCA’s e-Mobility strategy.

Compared with the outgoing 1.2-liter 70ps gasoline engine, the MHEV powertrain improves fuel efficiency, reducing CO2  emissions on the road by up to 30% without impeding performance.

The new FireFly three-cylinder has a peak power output of 70hp (51kW) at 6,000rpm and peak torque of 92Nm at 3,500rpm. The cylinder head has two valves per cylinder and a single camshaft with continuous variable valve timing.

Fiat’s unit includes a compact combustion chamber, high-tumble intake ducts and external Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), providing a 12:1 compression ratio for improved thermal efficiency.

The crankcase, developed in collaboration with Teksid, is made of high-pressure diecast aluminum alloy with cast-iron cylinder liners, to reduce start times and contain the weight of the engine to just 77kg.

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, and stores it in the 11Ah lithium battery. This power can be used to restart the engine in Stop&Start mode and assist acceleration at a maximum level of 3,600W.

The mild-hybrid propulsion unit is paired with a six-gear manual transmission.

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Sam joined the UKi Media & Events automotive team in 2017. Having started out as assistant editor for a number of titles including Engine + Powertrain Technology International, Automotive Testing Technology International and Professional Motorsport World, he was appointed editor of E+PTI in 2020. Sam produces content for both the magazine and website.

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