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Fiat 500 and Panda kick off FCA’s hybrid future

FCA takes its first step to electrifying Fiat, launching 500 and Panda hybrids

10 Jan 2020

FIAT Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has taken its first step towards its electrified future after it debuted hybrid versions of the Fiat 500 and Panda this week.


Powered by a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine coupled with FCA’s mild hybrid system, the city runabouts each produce 51kW of power and 92Nm of torque, bringing with them a claimed CO2 emissions reduction of between 20 and 30 per cent.


The crux of the hybrid system has been allocated to the cars’ stop/start system which utilises the 12-volt BSG (Belt-integrated Starter Generator) electric motor to restart the petrol engine and assist in acceleration– saving fuel and reducing NVH – as well as power all of the auxiliaries.


The entire setup also sits 45mm lower than the engines in the regular cars, a move made to lower the centre of gravity and improve dynamics.


Gear-shifting duties are left to a new six-speed manual transmission, another first for the 500 and Panda duo, which until now have made do with five-speeds given their intended use in city environments. Drive still goes to the front wheels.


According Fiat, the 500 will eventually become a solely electric model range with the new Launch Edition distinguished from its ‘normal’ stablemates by unique hybrid and ‘H’ badging on the rear of the car.


The ‘H’ badge is formed by two dew drops which Fiat says is “the symbol of the light of dawn and therefore of the beginning of a new era” as well as the inspiration behind the exclusive "Dewdrop Green" paint adorning both the 500 and its Panda cousin.


Inside, the theme of eco-friendliness continues with the Launch Edition boasting the first car seats to be made (partly) out of Seaqual Yarn, a weaved material derived from recycle plastic.


The material is then coloured using dyes and other environment-friendly finishes in an effort to save both water and energy.


Fiat Australia remained tight lipped on when or if we can expect either of the Hybrid Launch Editions to hit Aussie shores – both models are due to hit European showrooms in February (500) and March (Panda) this year.

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