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We've discussed Fiat's revolutionary MultiAir technology before and admit it's simply a shame that it's unavailable in the U.S. right now. As we eagerly await its arrival in several upcoming models, we'll tease you by dishing out more gushing prose about the benefits of Fiat's MultiAir technology. In particular, Fiat's 1.4-liter turbocharged MultiAir engine is so amazingly good that it shamed all of the competition for this year's "Best New Engine of 2010" award, presented as part of the International Engine of the Year awards. In fact, only one other powerplant managed to even come close to the little Fiat mill was the 4.5-liter V8 that was brought to life in Ferrari's hallowed halls.

Fiat's award-winning 1.4-liter turbocharged MultiAir powerplant churns out 170 horsepower in the Alfa Mito. As Fiat knows, power isn't everything and quite often, efficiency is even more important. The 1.4-liter engine benefits from MultiAir technology which boosts power over a conventional engine by ten percent, increases torque by 15 percent and improves fuel economy by up to ten percent, while also reducing CO2 emissions by 10 percent. In the Alfa Mito, Fiat's 1.4-liter mill manages to return nearly 40 miles per gallon, while offering performance on par with a V6 engine. Fiat trounced the competition this time around and was deservedly awarded the "Best New Engine of 2010" title, which makes us giddy as we await Fiat's MultiAir debut in the U.S.

[Source: UKIPMedia]


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  • 12 Comments
      lasertekk
      • 5 Years Ago
      Congrats, a fitting sequel to their common rail development back in the 90's. However, I understand there are plans to use this in lower range models. Does such a sophisticated set-up belong in a really cheaply priced car, as opposed to more expensive models?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes Multiair's so-called Fully Variable Valve Action, FVVA, is great technological progress. It leads to eliminating the most egregious losses of the Otto cycle engine, so called "pumping losses, by eliminating the throttle and is a truly wonderful development.

      It is also a very elegant engineering exercise, to abandon efforts like many auto makers have been attempting for decades, for high power solenoid cam-less operation, for a still computer controlled, but now hydraulic powered and actuated operation. It doesn't lead to swallowed valves and destroyed engines on valve lifting failures, that has been a constant concern wiht other cam-less efforts. So it is intrinsically "failsafe".

      Even more it is going a substantial way to having the Otto cycle comparatively light engine, go a long way toward matching the fuel economy of the relatively heavy, Diesel cycle engines. But while we can applaud Fiat power train for its CRD MultiJet Diesel fuel metering , and now it Otto Multiair air metering, Fiat Power Train is pioneering in marrying both technologies together, into both Diesel and Otto engines.

      The synergistic benefits that are in the offing are even more staggering. MultiAir and MultiJet together with a few Software and control tweaks, fully enables semi-diesel Otto HCCI operation. On Diesel it facilitates PCCI so called "perfect pre-mixed compression" ignition.

      In a single stroke, this technological advance would improve fuel economy by 15-40% across the board. It will lead to the scrapping of many heavy diesel engines and their replacement with new Diesel engines that weigh half or a third as much, no longer needing to be strengthened to withstand pre-ignition or diesel clatter, with concomittant better fuel economy and much cleaner toxic emissions.

      Toxic Emissions so much cleaner that they might even match Otto cycle Zero Emission Vehicle levels, now routinely produced in the USA. And now with MultiAir made even cheaper and easier to obtain.

      This technology will have gone a long way toward rejuvenating and perfecting both the Otto and Diesel cycle prime movers, while offering the propect of removing automotive exhaust from either engine as a source of concern to Mankind.


        • 5 Years Ago
        Multiair reduces pumping losses, it does not eliminate them.
        The 'area under the curve' for the valve lift is reduced, controlling load (open throttle)

        Multair shows promise, but is far from proven. BMW's Valvetronic has almost a decade of usage, that is proven.
        Toyota's Valvematic has been out for a while.
        Nissan's VVEL is the newest...

        Multiair still lacks direct injection and variable exhaust valve timing. (and roller followers for exhaust valves)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Changing valve timing doesn't eliminate pumping losses. I know FIAT will tell you it does. I know BMW (Valvetronic) will tell you it does. But it doesn't. As long as you have to restrict the amount of air in the chamber to match the lower fuel at cruise, then you will still have pumping losses from that restriction.

        The way to fix these pumping losses is to allow leaner fuel mixes, so like a Diesel you can just use the normal amount of air and less fuel at cruise. This is HCCI as you say, and MultiAir doesn't have it. Yet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @why not the LS2LS7?

        You are right, multiair does not eliminate pumping loses.


        They could however eliminate them, if they use multiair with direct injection. You can leave the inlet valve open longer (after BDC, until you have the amount of air that you need), and then close it and inject the fuel.

        Am I wrong?

        However, numbers are numbers, if it improves over other techs. then congratulations to Fiat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just drove exactly de same Mito lastly in Italy and must say it's a wonderful motor. Vast torque, smooth operation, powerfull acceleration in any condition (be it 0-60 or 60-90 mph). and... ridiculously high fuel economy! We ran at around 43 milles/gallon for 70-75 mph cruising...
      • 5 Years Ago
      2010 is only half over. How did they decide that no engine from the fall will be better? Maybe this award goes on model years?
        • 5 Years Ago
        What is the likelihood of a super efficient wankel that doesn't burn oil?
        or
        Honda 6 stroke engine (direct injection of water)?
        or
        variable compression ratio
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess that Chrysler is going to benefit from this new engine as well?
        • 5 Years Ago
        That was my first thought. If they stay together Chrysler may make it yet. We (the US government) had to make the deal pretty sweet for Fiat to take Chrysler in the first place.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yep PT cruiser, Its already in air, will go multi air soon :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Fiat’s MultiAir gives traditional internal combustion a breath of fresh air via an entirely new set of valvetrain strategies,” was the verdict of respected technical journalist, Dennis Simanaitis of Road & Track, one of the judges for the "best engine of the year 2010".

      The MultiAir system is so good that even using it the "wrong way" (control over the Ingoing Air), it makes the engine better than any conventional.

      At http://www.pattakon.com/pattakonHydro.htm the "right way" (control over the Outgoing Air) is presented. Quote from this link:

      The "Ingoing Air Control" (MultiAir) has some inbuilt disadvantages.
      After the intake valve closing, the piston continues to move towards the BDC. The charge (air or mixture) inside the cylinder undergoes an expansion. The expansion causes the charge temperature to drop increasing the heat absorption from the hotter walls (cylinder, piston crown, cylinder head, intake and exhaust valves). After the BDC the piston compresses a hotter charge and restores less mechanical energy than the mechanical energy consumed to expand the charge.
      That is, pure mechanical energy (yellow) from the crankshaft-flywheel is consumed inside the cylinder, with only result the increase of the charge temperature. The lighter the load, the bigger this "mechanical energy loss" and the higher the temperature of the cycle. The lighter the load, the more "expensive" the mechanical energy consumed, because it was generated at low BSFC.
      The early closing of the intake valve leaves more time to the charge turbulence and swirl to fade before the combustion. The slower the combustion, the less efficient and the less clean the operation of the engine.

      Manousos Pattakos