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Less than a week ago, Fiat introduced its hot little 0.9-liter, two-cylinder TwinAir engine in its spunky yet sensationally popular 500. Over in Europe, test drives of the 500 fitted with the TwinAir mill are underway and Autocar says the two-cylinder powerplant may very well be the most well-rounded engine to ever reside between the fenders of the Cinquecento. The TwinAir's combination of low-end grunt, lightweight internals and high efficiency provide the 500 with ample acceleration, a rev-happy nature and increased range.

As Autocar remarked after driving the two-cylinder Fiat 500:
The TwinAir 500 is pure fun. You're aware of the lightness and low friction of its internals, yet it has plenty of low-speed torque (and no turbo lag) to get its one tonne bulk moving.
Did Autocar seriously call a 0.9-liter engine "pure fun"? How can a two-cylinder engine sporting just 85 horsepower be a hoot to drive? Well, much in the same way that the Mazda Miata focuses on the overall driving experience rather than flat-out speed, the TwinAir-powered 500 offers abundant low-end grunt to help scoot the lightweight Fiat away from each stoplight with authority. Flat-out motoring is not the TwinAir's forte, but it can slice and dice through congested city traffic with the best of them.

The TwinAir's success is important to Fiat and the company hopes that its pint-sized mill will be a popular choice. Fiat has committed to 400,000 TwinAir's per year and, judging by Autocar's praise, the company should have no problem finding buyers for the ultra-efficient powerplant that makes the 500 "pure fun."

[Source: Autocar]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      It sound like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3uHODYJYsw

      Now for the electric version.
      • 4 Years Ago
      74lb/ft isn't actually abundant low-end grunt.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I want one!!! Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please .
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they can get it to 1000Kg, 85cv makes it pretty decent power/weight ratio.
      Helped by short-ratios gearbox, a unique engine note, it could actually be fun.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This engine should be fine for the ever-so-light-and-small Fiat 500. No estimates of city/highway miles per gallon yet? I like this car and the world needs more cars like this. Nice bug-like body design.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I've read a couple places that the combined estimate is around 57 or 58mpg in US figures.
        I don't think those were actual reports but conversions based on fiat's claims

        I think....
        • 4 Years Ago
        this is what Fiat says about the combined fuel consumptio

        Equipped with a 0.9-liter engine and manual transmission, 85HP, Fiat 500 and a top speed of 173 kmh (108 mph) and accelerates 0-100 km / h (62 mph) in 11 seconds, returning combined fuel consumption of 4.1 lt / 100km [57.4mpg and 68.9mpg equivalent U.S. UK] with C02 emissions of just 95g/km.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Somehow, I thought that the 500 weighed less than a ton?

      I hope they sell it in the USA with this engine, and I hope they sell an EV version at the same time.

      Sincerely, Neil
        • 4 Months Ago
        The original 500 weighed around half a ton, the new one a ton, according to Wiki.
        Unlike some people posting here (!) I don't consider the weight gain a total loss, as the comfort, safety and performance of the new car are incomparably better.
        • 4 Months Ago
        Neil,
        'Fraid not:
        865–980 kg (1,910–2,200 lb)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_Nuova_500
        • 4 Months Ago
        David, I agree that safety is much more important than weight. I just would hope that (especially the 900cc 2-cylinder) would weigh, say 1500-1600 pounds? The Smart and the iQ are ~1,850 pounds, and even they should be possible to be a bit lighter.

        Neil
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is this engine coming to USA?
      Is this engine coming to USA?
      Is this engine coming to USA?
      Is this engine coming to USA?
      Is this engine coming to USA?
      Is this engine coming to USA?

      That is the big question which I would like answered.
      I think it has plenty of power in this guise.
      If it actually gets high 50s combined and sells for a reasonable price then the 500 will hit the US market like a whirlwind.
      Everybody talking about, 'hey - we are getting 40mpg highway' .... and fiat like.... 'yeah... high 50s combined!'

      I know it is smaller than some of the other cars coming...
      But there is only one of me.
      Sometimes two in the car.
      Very rarely more.
      If it can carry me and a pizza or me and groceries or me and a duffel bag or book bag... and get into the 50s combined - then I am very much interested in test driving their car when they come.
        • 4 Months Ago
        I heard an interview from an FIAT official in italian language. On the question if this engine will be introduced in the US he answered: We are not sure weather we will introduce this engine in the US in the near future. He was not excluding the possibility though that it would come to the US eventually. Additionally he confirmed that FIAT intends to introduce the TwinAir engine in the US in a Hybrid version whenever this one will be on the market. Some speculation of mine: The FIAT 500 Hybrid with 100+ MPG will be introduced in the US before it will hit European Roads, just like the Fiat 500 1.4 MultiAir will be introduced in the US on an updated platform earlier than in Europe. I suspect that because of FIAT's North American battery research and production business. We will see.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ^--RIGHT THERE WITH YA!
        But i would feel foolish buying a gas car at this rate.. it'd be a tie between the upcoming Scion IQ, Hyundai Veloster, and this fiat if i were chosing to buy one though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think this would have trouble hitting high 50's combined. 50's highway sure, but 50's combined would be tough, even at 2,000 lbs. It still uses more fuel than a Prius and it barely cracks 50 combined.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's Cinquecento, not "Cinquicento".

      Cinque = five
      Cento = hundred

      alexacoon
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh PLEASE make this available in the US model, I will be waiting in line if they do!
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