FEV's LiiON Fiat 500 gets Rotarized

At the Vienna Motor Symposium, what's billed as "one of the world's most important power train events", German volt-heads FEV brought an electric 500 with a Wankel range-extending engine (the setup is called LiiON Drive).

The rotary engine is mounted in place of the fuel tank, which has shrunk to 12 liters / 3.2 gallons. It gives the little city car an extra 190 miles of road to travel on top of its 50-mile electric range.

The added range is one part of convincing people that the car's viable, but usability is another major issue (even in a spatially-challenged car like the 500).

FEV's LiiON-powered 500 retains its four seats and cargo area, and "drivers commented favourably regarding the excellent NVH characteristics of the [AIXRO] Wankel powertrain in particular". Good news, but is it doable?

Yup. The power train is already licensed for road use, helping make this concept a real possibility.

By Phil Alex

Via Autoblogreen & FEV