2014 Fiat 500e
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Ward's Auto has named the Fiat 500e electric vehicle's motor to its annual 10 Best Engines list for 2014. The 500e is the first Fiat ever awarded on the annual list and is only the second electric motor to do so, following the Nissan Leaf's appearance on the 2011 list.

The publication praised the 111-horsepower motor and liquid-cooled battery, which provides 87 miles on a single charge (and closer to 100 miles in city driving) and allowed the Fiat to top 80 miles per hour "easily." The car was also praised for its weight distribution and handling. Sister company Chrysler was also feted for the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 that powers the Ram 1500.

The Fiat continues to get praise for an environmentally friendly powertrain that doesn't sacrifice performance, even though the car is available only in California and Fiat has long claimed that it's losing a bunch of money on each car sold. Last month, the 500e won Road & Track's 2013 award for best electric car. R&T called the 500e "a no-compromise EV" and praised its handling and regenerative braking system in addition to its quickness. Check out Chrysler's press release on the Fiat 500e award from Ward's below, and read Autoblog's review of the little beast here.
Show full PR text
Chrysler Group's 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, 500e Battery-Electric Drive System Among Ward's 10 Best Engines for 2014

All-new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 delivers best-in-class highway fuel economy in award-winning 2014 Ram 1500 pickup and Jeep Grand Cherokee
First and only clean diesel in full-size light-duty pickup truck
Contributes to Grand Cherokee's best-in-class driving range (730+ miles)
Battery-electric drive system in Fiat 500e A-segment hatchback delivers best-in-class range (87 miles)
Lone representative of electric-vehicle technology among 2014 Ward's 10 Best Engines
Fourth consecutive year Chrysler Group represented among Ward's 10 Best Engines
EcoDiesel and 500e battery-electric drive bring to 14 the number of Chrysler Group engine/propulsion system introductions from model-year 2012 to the present
December 12, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Two Chrysler Group entries – the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 and the Fiat 500e battery-electric drive system – are among Ward's 10 Best Engines for 2014, WardsAuto.com announced today.

Each stands out on the prestigious list. The 500e's lively system is the lone representative of electric vehicle (EV) technology, while the refined EcoDiesel V-6 is the first and only clean diesel in a full-size light-duty pickup.

"We are very gratified with this year's Chrysler Group selections because they demonstrate the depth of our engineering talent and shine a spotlight on the wide range of Chrysler Group products," says Bob Lee, Chrysler Group Vice President and Head of Engine and Electrified Propulsion Engineering.

Chrysler Group engineers adapted the EcoDiesel for the NAFTA market following the engine's debut in Europe. Meanwhile, the all-electric system that powers the Fiat 500e A-segment hatchback was engineered from the ground up at Chrysler Group's headquarters, home to global electrified propulsion development for Chrysler Group and its Italy-based alliance partner, Fiat S.p.A.

3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6

The all-new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 generates 240 hp at 3,600 rpm and 420 lb.-ft. (570 Nm) of torque at 2,000 rpm. Also available in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, WardsAuto judges tested the engine in a 2014 Ram 1500 – the NAFTA market's first and only light-duty pickup powered by clean diesel technology.

"Quiet, strong and as smooth as the diesels we've been testing in luxury cars, the Ram 3.0L V-6 works in perfect harmony with Chrysler's standard 8-speed transmission to deliver an unbeatable combination of power and efficiency," says Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of WardsAuto World magazine. "Thanks to advanced emissions-control technology, its exhaust is ultra-clean, making this engine available in all 50 states. If you're planning serious work or play, the Ram EcoDiesel really makes sense."

Chrysler Group engineers adapted the engine – manufactured by Fiat-owned V.M. Motori – to meet the NAFTA region's stringent emissions and on-board diagnostic regulations. The new EcoDiesel V-6 is Tier 2/Bin 5 compliant.

The EcoDiesel's fuel pump is upgraded to accommodate the engine's 2,000-bar (29,000-psi) high-pressure common-rail injection system.
The engine also benefits from Fiat's MultiJet 2 technology, which enables Injection Rate-Shaping – fuel injection that is modulated to mitigate noise and improve low-speed throttle response, while reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

The system's high-dispersion nozzles and advanced-technology servovalve can accommodate up to eight fuel-injection events per cylinder cycle.

The EcoDiesel V-6 contributed to the 2014 Ram 1500's victory in the latest Motor Trend Truck of the Year competition. Its fuel-economy rating is not yet final, but it will be best-in-class – a distinction currently accorded the Pentastar-powered 2013 Ram 1500 which gets 25 mpg in highway driving.

The new diesel engine also enables the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the most awarded SUV in history, to achieve best-in-class 30-mpg performance on the highway.

500e Battery-Electric Drive System

The 2014 Fiat 500e's liquid-cooled/heated battery-electric drive system produces 111 horsepower, 147 lb.-ft (200 Nm) of torque and boasts best-in-class range of 87 miles on a single charge – which takes less than four hours using a Level 2 energy source (240 volts).

Typically, the 500e will deliver more than 100 miles of range in city driving. Such performance is enabled, in part, by a distinctive "blended" braking strategy that combines the coasting experience associated with conventionally powered vehicles, with the power-saving benefits of regenerative braking.

Customers will spend an estimated $500 a year to power the car, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. But frugality is only part of the 500e's story, as WardsAuto editors discovered.

"If the 500e can go fast enough to draw a speeding ticket (it did), then it should be taken seriously by Ward's 10 Best Engines judges (it was)," says Tom Murphy, executive editor of WardsAuto World magazine. "This 83-kW electric motor makes the lightweight 500e zippy around town and on the highway, easily topping 80 mph. As one of our editors said, it goes like hell."

The position of its 24-kWh battery redistributes the car's front-to-rear weight ratio – 57:43, compared with 64:36 for the conventionally powered Fiat 500. As a result, the car benefits from improved handling.

Chrysler Group's EV engineers focused their efforts on making the advanced technology seem familiar. Accordingly, the Fiat 500e – recently named Best Electric Car by Road and Track Magazine – has a "creep" feature that delivers smooth, measured acceleration when the brake pedal is released, as happens with a conventional internal-combustion engine at idle.

In addition, there is no "ECO button," as found in competitive vehicles. Instead, the drive and braking systems are optimized to deliver exceptional range and performance at all times.

Chrysler Group Powertrain

The honors earned by the 500e system and new EcoDiesel V-6 build on the outstanding legacy of Chrysler Group's 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, named one of Ward's 10 Best Engines the last three consecutive years.

The iconic 5.7-liter OHV HEMI® V-8 was a five-time winner from 2003-2007.

Since 2009 when Chrysler Group was formed, the company's powertrain investments have totaled $2.5 billion – 48 percent of its manufacturing outlay. From model-year 2012 to the present, Chrysler Group has introduced 13 engines, in addition to the 500e battery-electric drive system.

The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 and the 500e system are Chrysler Group's 12th and 13th entries to be honored in WardsAuto's esteemed competition, which marks its 20th year in 2014.

"Congratulations to WardsAuto on the 20th anniversary of its 10 Best Engines program – a welcome tribute to powertrain engineers," Bob Lee adds. "Sorry about that speeding ticket."

About WARDSAUTO
WardsAuto is a world-leading provider of auto industry news, data and analysis, having served the industry's information needs for more than 85 years. WardsAuto World is a monthly magazine serving automotive professionals around the world. The twice-monthly newsletter WardsAuto Engine & Technology Update provides analysis of engineering advancements and technical issues. WardsAuto.com is an online subscription service delivering all the industry news, data and analysis compiled by WardsAuto. A Southfield, MI-based division of Penton Inc., WardsAuto also publishes the weekly industry newsletter Ward's Automotive Reports, the digital tablet magazine WardsAuto Dealer Business, and offers a wealth of other automotive information services including reference annuals, online databases, and customized data reports.

About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, SRT, FIAT and Mopar vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group's culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat's complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Dart, Ram 1500, SRT Viper and Fiat 500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      IMO, the Fiat 500e is a great little vehicle, and a lot of fun wrapped up in a very attractive package. Even if such vehicles are only built at a loss to satisfy the state of California's ZEV mandates, they still advance EV technology and display the possibility of things to come. This win by Fiat's 500e is a win for EV technology, and all EV's.
        1guyin10
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marcopolo
        If nothing else it does make a nice showpiece for what could be done given lower EV manufacturing costs.
      gslippy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Too bad Sergio hates it. Every review praises this vehicle.
        William Flesher
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gslippy
        It's a great little EV, and I highly doubt he or anyone within Fiat/Chrysler hate the car itself. What he and many auto execs "hate" is loosing money on a small number of cars built primarily to comply with California's ZEV requirements. Big difference.
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @William Flesher
          "Nissan and Chevy do make money on their cars." Prove it. “We’ll sell more (Chevrolet) Volts and lose less money on the Volts than they’ll lose on the (Tesla) Model S,” said Akerson. http://www.dailytech.com/GM+Gunning+for+Tesla+with+New+Cadillac+EVs/article33424.htm
          2 wheeled menace
          • 1 Year Ago
          @William Flesher
          It's their choice to build something at a loss. Nissan and Chevy do make money on their cars.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      "The Fiat continues to get praise for an environmentally friendly powertrain that doesn't sacrifice performance, even though the car is available only in California and Fiat has long claimed that it's losing a bunch of money on each car sold" Always gotta add a dig on an EV car for every article, huh Danny? Why don't they just transfer you over to autoblog regular already and get a writer that isn't an A hole?
      Bob
      • 1 Year Ago
      We keep hearing the story about Zero emissions from the electric autos, but we forget that the electric power is produced mostly by coal and oil fired power plants that are far from zero
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bob
        The zero emissions is at the 'tailpipe', or as the car itself emits. Just remember - a gallon of gas take 6 kWh's of electricity to refine, and that's not added to a gasoline's car emissions.
        Alfinisti
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bob
        Don't get all rational and logical you will kill the thrilll of feeling so smug about driving the earth friendly automobile.
        MTN RANGER
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bob
        Nobody is forgetting. It depends on your locality and whether you use solar panels. Coal use is now at 42% and shrinking. Oil fired power only accounts for less than 0.4% of generation. For example in my area, I am 41% nuclear. http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-and-you/index.html
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @MTN RANGER
          @ MTN RANGER "I am 41% nuclear." Did it hurt ? (sorry, couldn't resist :)
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bob
        Solar panels on the house changes that. What kind of options do you have to turn your internal combustion engine car into a zero emissions vehicle?
        omni007
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bob
        Very true. In fact, 100 miles worth of that filthy, poison electricity is used to make just 1 little gallon of clean, safe-to-drink gasoline :)
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @omni007
          That is a lie. Do some research instead of believing what you want to believe.
      karlInSanDiego
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hey AB Green, How about setting up an efficiency test among the BEVs (and BEVRx's ) to show which ones make the best use of e- in normal driving, hypermiling, etc? The Tesla's one weekness, aside form high cost, is that it may be the king of BEV inefficiency as it totes around 4600 lbs. and rolls on 20" rims with fat tires. In contrast, the Fiat, and i3??, may have introduced efficiency gains under the EV media radar, while everyone is focused on range (which Tesla admittedly solves well with money and heavy batteries.) So here's my suggestion. Perform some real world driving (including hills which kick all vehicle's efficiency ass, and start stops of stop signs not signals so it's equal across cars) both in a regularity test, using some acceleration standards and maintaining each speed limit. Then go back and do the same while hypermiling, to show the best ranges possible and the differential from normal driving. Redo with a mix of 70% highway in the mix. Publish a giant matrix of all the fascinating revelations you've gleaned, and submit it back to some of the print publications to get it out beyond the ABGreen bubble, and help defray the costs. This could become an annual feature, and will help influence an spotlight practical EVs traits vs. environmental EV traits and how different manufacturers are striking that balance. If you've got the means, throw in a non-plug in Prius and a notoriously incorrect EPA graded Mustang V8 for some control vehicles to help reflect where we're coming from with where we're going. Publish a sidebar with new revelations in electricity source for BEV (what percentage of owners have residential solar, and how does that cost out or is it strictly for environmental gains) and you could have some truly newsworthy testing that could change the game.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @karlInSanDiego
        First... no more acronyms for PHEVs. Can't add anymore to the pile. GM's EREV was bad enough, we don't need BEVRx's too. Second, if Tesla had any competitors in its class... it would be great for a head to head efficiency test. But comparing the efficiency of a Model S, and small econobox EV... is bound to have results that are incomprehensible at best, and misleading at worst. We've got the official EPA tests that are pretty standard. No need to come up with more proprietary tests (terms) that will undoubtedly favor one particular EV anyway.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Yes, misleading. Because there is no sense in creating a false comparison. No one has bothered with a "head-to-head" EV comparison to a Model S... because how many other EVs have a range even close to a Model S 85??? None. It is like comparing a Excursion with an Abrams Tank. Might be fun to compare... but the vehicles are made for two different purposes. Basically, don't encourage nonsense journalism. The EPA already has a standard that shows a 30% difference between the highest (Spark EV at 119 MPGe) and the lowest (Model S 85 at 89 MPGe). For a 30% more difference. But the range difference is 300+% So yeah.. it is already, "obvious to future buyers" just by looking at the EPA sticker.
          karlInSanDiego
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          "Second, if Tesla had any competitors in its class... it would be great for a head to head efficiency test. But comparing the efficiency of a Model S, and small econobox EV... is bound to have results that are incomprehensible at best, and misleading at worst." Why misleading? When battery prices crash in the near future, manufacturers will still be faced with the choice to build a lightweight small capacity 24kWh car vs. a 60 or 85 kWh car. If a Tesla is 30% less efficient, it may not be obvious to future buyers that God's gift to the EV, is actually the Excursion of the EV world. This is way of educating them before the industry tilts that direction, giving up 30% of our CO2 gains from electricity in the process. The Model S won accolades yes, but how many legitimate head to head EV comparisons have you seen in print, on TV, or on the web. Zero. Even the EV motorcycle head to head feature I did see in Cycle World, used only anecdotal real world canyon carving (but not controlled) ranges to unseat the Brammo Empulse with the 2013 Zero (before SR), thus ignoring the possibility that the Empulse driven carefully in its efficiency band could equal or best the Zero in efficiency (maybe it can't). In the end efficiency (through light weight, low Cd, small frontal area, low rolling resistance, smaller and more efficient motors, and possibly transmissions that favor a highly tuned narrow efficiency band motor) will be a critical factor in EV design, but just like SUVs and muscle cars ignored efficiency for years and journalists helped with horsepower war tabloid journalism, we could be facing an initial wave of inefficient BEVs if there's not hard science and fun insightful prose to feed it to the masses. Interestingly, the Tesla excels in the Cd + frontal area, but fails at some of the others. The Fiat has a horrible Cd + frontal area, didn't outfit with skinny tires the way i3 did, but does manage light weight. It's a complete mystery to most of us how these motor efficiencies stack up, as well as who's battery management is giving them an efficiency edge. Of course the exercise is to spotlight design choices and compromises, not just file an epa like test and call it done. regarding calling an i3 a PHEV, do you consider it comparable to a plug in Prius or a Volt which can run all day long on gas, and avoid plugs altogether? I don't, but it's fair to assume that the Rx will be secondary on the next gen of BEVs instead of being a primary that does 50% of the actual mileage for users.
          Marcopolo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @ Joeviocoe The term EREV, is a legitimate acronym to distinguish the difference between a vehicle which is primarily an electric car, but with an ICE range extender, and a hybrid with some battery recharging capacity. The distinction is important, as each is a seperate evolutionary step toward total electrification. However, I agree with you that it's far too early to start comparing EV's as there are simply to few models to form any legitimate comparison. Comparisons of vehicle should be based on a common standard of performance for engineering, not ideology. Comparing vehicles built for different purposes is absurd. Is the Renault Kangoo EV van the most efficient because it can carry more cargo than a Leaf, or the iMev more efficient than a Tesla because it's cheaper ? I could argue that the LERR is far more efficient than the Tesla model S, because it's ability to travel a similar range, but across country, off road. (Obviously absurd, since few people need such ability). Every vehicle must be judged by it's design purpose, or we'll become like poor old DF, endlessly dreaming of a vehicle that will never be built, because no one would ever buy such a vehicle.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @karlInSanDiego
        The Model S is a huge car.. do you really expect it to do better than the fiat? You wanna see inefficiency, just look no further than the Fisker Karma. That thing was as big of a watt guzzler as you could get.. 20mpg on gas.. terrible range on electric per kwh.. heavier than a Hummer h2.. :P
      Tweaker
      • 1 Year Ago
      The idiots that run Fiat/Chrysler have a car that everybody who drives, loves, and they don't want to sell it. This is what happens when two losers marry.
        William Flesher
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tweaker
        Simple economics. The market for EVs is still pretty small. Most buyers perceive them as too expensive as it is, regardless of the fact that they are often sold at a loss by the manufacturers. Credit should be given to Fiat/Chrysler for making such a great little EV simply to comply with ZEV mandates in California. The same can be said for GM and the Spark EV. It is giving them valuable experience for a time when demand is higher and battery costs are lower.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Every electric drivetrain should get this award by their standards. Let's see, low noise and vibration? check. High efficiency? check; 4 times as efficient as any gasoline motor, at worst.. Good torque? check. Far better! Good powerband? check. Far better! Low emissons? check - no emissions ( although this is kind of cheating? :) ) Low weight? check - less than a third of that of an equivalent gasoline engine, at worst. Construction and durability? check - 1 moving part. What the hell could go wrong with it? Weight balance of car? check - perfect 50/50 balances are totally possible in all FWD cars with electric. Which metric that gasoline engines are judged by would an electric motor not beat every single one at? A combustion engine by comparison is a complex, stinking, smoking, oily, inefficient, unreliable, poorly performing piece of machinery!
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      So right now... at 12pm EST 16 Dec 2013 Autoblog Green has 14 articles on its page. ONLY 4 of which, are Autoblog GREEN articles. 10 of the 14 are Autoblog regular. So... what is the trend now? Are GREEN automotive articles becoming more mainstream? Or is Autoblog changing?
      danfred411
      • 1 Year Ago
      They know nothing about it. And why not award the motor in Model S instead....
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred411
        No kidding. That little watermelon-sized thing is more advanced than anything else at the moment.
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