Fiat recently took an opportunity to present their award-winning new TwinAir concept to the Irish motoring press. The company boldly claims that it is set to transform how drivers view petrol power’s potential.
The people at Fiat Auto Ireland back their claim up with another - that the technologically advanced, low consumption, 875cc, two-cylinder engine is the cleanest mass-produced petrol engine in the world. And to prove that frugality need not spoil your fun, thay say that at the same time the TwinAir manages to offer rev-happy fun and significantly more power and torque than larger capacity four cylinder units.
The 85 bhp version of the engine makes its Irish debut in 2011 under the bonnet of Fiat’s iconic 500. Installing a two-cylinder engine in a Fiat 500 might seem like paying homage to the original 13 bhp model of 1957, but this decision is not primarily a sentimental one.
Fiat say that their 500 appeals to people who are already switched on to the idea of downsizing and not necessarily for economic or practicality reasons. The benefits of TwinAir, both in terms of environmental impact and driver fun, will strike a chord with those who have a clear affinity with the Fiat 500.
However, Fiat say that this excellent powertrain is also expected to appeal to a much broader variety of customers including many who may not have considered Fiat before. It cites examples such as those who care about the environment finding the TwinAir’s low CO2 figure appealing. And it should also find favour with trend setters, drivers interested in innovation and new technologies. They also say that it should appeal to customers who enjoy dynamic and fun driving. Consequently, Fiat believe that across Europe more than 20 percent of future Fiat 500 sales are forecast to be TwinAir versions.
Compared with Fiat’s current best-selling 1.2-litre petrol engine in the Fiat 500, the TwinAir delivers almost 25 per cent more power yet combines this with a 15 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.
There’s an extensive list of standard equipment including the all-important safety suite of ABS anti-lock brakes (which is mandatory ) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD ), which along with seven airbags, have helped the Fiat 500 become EuroNCAP crash safety five-star rated.
As well as offering a unique proposition of power with low CO2 emissions, the high-tech Fiat 500 TwinAir is competitively priced, costing from €14,295 in Pop specification.
The TwinAir engine will be available across the Fiat 500 and Fiat 500C ranges in all trim levels including limited edition Matt Black and by Diesel models. And in the near future this 85 bhp engine will be joined by normally aspirated 65 bhp and turbocharged 105 bhp versions of the two-cylinder family.