The Fiat 500 and the Panda are two Fiat icons, representing urban mobility in Europe, with around 400,000 units sold every year. Now, by introducing mild hybrid technology to the line-up, the 500 and the Panda provide all the benefits of efficient, compact, lightweight and accessible hybrid driving.
Both models mark the electrification of the brand are the first steps towards more sustainable urban driving.
The journey will continue with the production of the new 500 in its spiritual home of Turin. The model will be 100 per cent electric and will therefore play a key role in the FCA e-Mobility strategy.
Mild hybrid technology
The 500 and Panda will be available with a new petrol mild hybrid engine that combines the latest 3-cylinder FireFly 1.0-litre engine with a 12-volt Belt-integrated Starter Generator (BSG) electric motor and a lithium battery that delivers 70hp (51kW).
Compared to the outgoing 1.2-litre 69hp petrol engine, the mild hybrid version improves fuel efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions on the road by up to 30 per cent without impeding performance. The 500 Mild Hybrid has CO2 emissions as low as 88g/km (NEDC2) with the Panda at 89g/km (NEDC2). Fuel economy for the 500 stands at 53.3mpg (WLTP Combined), while the Panda returns 49.6mpg (WLTP Combined).
The BSG system also ensures a very high standard of driving comfort thanks to the BSG system, allowing for a quiet, vibration-free restart of the internal combustion engine in Stop&Start mode.
The new 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder engine has a peak power output of 70hp (51kW) at 6,000rpm and peak torque of 92Nm at 3,500rpm. The cylinder head has two valves per cylinder and a single camshaft with continuous variable valve timing (the timing is chain-driven). The structure includes a compact combustion chamber, high-tumble intake ducts and external Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), providing a remarkably high compression ratio (12:1), which translates into better thermal efficiency. The crankcase, developed in collaboration with Teksid, is made of high-pressure die-cast aluminium alloy with cast-iron cylinder liners, to reduce start-up times and contain the weight of the engine to just 77kg. Additionally, friction is reduced using a crank mechanism with a bore/stroke ratio of 1.24 and a connecting rod/crank device with a 10mm offset to maximise efficiency.
The BSG system is mounted directly on the engine and is operated by the belt that also drives the auxiliaries. The system recovers energy during braking and deceleration, stores it in a lithium battery with a capacity of 11Ah, and uses it, at a maximum power of 3,600W, to restart the engine in Stop&Start mode and to assist it during acceleration.
This technology allows the internal combustion engine to switch off by shifting into neutral, even at speeds below 18mph. The dashboard, which displays information on the hybrid system, prompts the driver when to shift.
The mild hybrid propulsion unit used in the Panda and 500 receives a 6-gear manual transmission (transverse gearbox, front-wheel drive), aimed at improving fuel economy in out-of-town driving, thanks to new low-friction bearings and gaskets and the use of a specific high-efficiency lubricant. The new system also involves lowering the entire power unit by 45mm so the car behaves better on the road thanks to the lower centre of gravity.
500 Mild Hybrid and Panda Mild Hybrid ‘Launch Edition’
The special series can be recognised by the ‘Hybrid’ logo on the rear and the exclusive ‘H’ logo, formed by two dew drops, on the centre panel. The new and exclusive ‘Dew Green’ exterior that suits both cars is in harmony with the themes of nature and innovation.
The Launch Edition seats are the first in the automotive sector to be made of Seaqual® Yarn, the weaving of which produces a special material, certified by Seaqual, derived from recycled plastic, 10 per cent of which originates from the sea and 90 per cent from land. Seaqual Yarn is produced by transforming plastics collected from the sea into flakes of polyethylene terephthalate. These flakes are then used in the yarn from which the fabrics are made. In the weaving phase, marine polyester is mixed with other natural, recycled or recovered fibres. This process is completed by the application of dyes and finishes which minimise the use of water and energy.