Fiat 500 and 500C get New TwinAir 85HP Two-Cylinder Turbo Engine

Fiat has rolled out the production version of its long-awaited two-cylinder gasoline engine family called TwinAir that's has been developed by FPT (Fiat Powertrain Technologies). The first car to receive the new turbocharged engine is the Fiat 500, in both three-door and convertible forms, with sales to begin from September, 2010.

The innovative 0.9-liter two-cylinder gasoline unit implements several technologies, including a small-sized turbine, start and stop and the firm's MultiAir electro-hydraulic valve management system that reduces fuel consumption and emissions by controlling air directly via the inlet valves, without using the throttle.

Fiat says that compared with a medium-sized four-cylinder of equal performance, the new Twinair engine is significantly shorter (-23%) and lighter (-10%), while returning 30% lower fuel consumption.

The new Twinair engine will eventually be offered in various flavors with power outputs ranging from 65 to 105 HP, while Fiat is also planning to present a hybrid variant pairing the two-cylinder gasoline unit with an electric engine.

In the 500 and 500C, the 0.9-liter gasoline unit produces 85HP at 5,500 rpm and 145Nm of peak torque at 1,900 rpm. The Italian automaker claims that compared to the 1.2 8v, the new 85 HP turbo has 23% more power and a 30% better performance.

Equipped with the 85HP 0.9-liter engine and a manual gearbox, the Fiat 500 reaches a top speed of 173 km/h (108mph) and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 11 seconds, while returning a combined fuel consumption of 4.1 lt/100km [equal to 57.4mpg US and 68.9mpg UK] with C02 emissions of just 95g/km.

Those figures are further improved with Fiat's Dualogic robotised gearbox as the 500 returns 4.0lt/100km [equal to 58.8mpg US and 70.6mpg UK] with 92g/km of CO2.

In addition, the Fiat 500 with TwinAir 85 HP and the Dualogic robotized gearbox will come equipped with an ECO button positioned on the dashboard allowing the driver to select from two modes, Normal and ECO. In the first mode, the engine delivers the maximum available torque (145 Nm) while steering assistance is set on normal.

In ECO mode, the emphasis is on "eco-friendly" driving as torque is cut off to 100 Nm at 1,750 rpm to minimize consumption and promote a driving style more suitable for city traffic while the steering wheel is lighter (CITY mode is automatically selected).

The new Twinair engine will be offered on other A- and B-segment Fiat Group models including the Panda and the Punto Evo.