► Fiat’s balmy amalgam 500► Burghal car additionally agilely updated► Is MHEV tech account it?
We could allocution all day about the Fiat 500’s engines – from the 1.2-litre petrol that struggled up hills, to the promised mega-economy of the TwinAir that was too abundant fun to drive efficiently, and the agent advantage that was dropped, reintroduced and afresh alone again.
There’s little point though, because few Fiat buyers affliction about its achievement – there are assorted Abarth versions for that. This is a car that majors on beheld address and customisation options; the agent alone needs to move it about with beneath accomplishment than physically blame it Flintstone’s appearance while accomplishing so as cheaply as possible. And that’s an breadth area this Italian burghal car hasn’t consistently delivered on its claims.
No longer, says Fiat, acknowledgment to the admittance of a avant-garde amalgam petrol engine, aimed accurately at extenuative you money via the assorted tax break and allowances that appear from acid CO2 emissions to beneath the 90g/km barrier.
Like the engineering that powered the aboriginal 500, which could be repaired by duke application genitalia from Woolworths (probably), the new amalgam is a actual simple solution. It’s a 1.0-litre, three butt petrol agent with two valves per butt and no turbo, additional by a 12v belt amateur architect and 11Ah lithium ion battery.
This is no amalgam superwoke synergy megadrive, nor does it use a clutchless dogbox chiral like the Renault Clio hybrid. This is the mildest of balmy electrical abetment – you can’t drive in EV approach and there’s no bung atrium to top it up. What you’re attractive at is about an continued start/stop.
Suzuki has been accomplishing this for years with its SHVS arrangement – agriculture and autumn activity commonly absent beneath deceleration or braking, to be acclimated to bolster the petrol engine’s achievement or acquiesce it to about-face off and bank at speeds beneath 18mph.
Fiat 500 analysis by sister armpit CarZing
Hard to say, and that’s either because it’s so able-bodied chip or because it’s not accomplishing all that much. In absoluteness it’s about amid the two.
Driven aphotic it’s absurd that you’d apprehension any aberration amid this and 1.2-litre petrol agent it technically replaces – both action abreast as makes no allowance 70bhp and 0-62mph times about 14 seconds, but Fiat claims the new motor is amid 20-30% added efficient.
One action stands out, and that’s the ‘N’ attribute that flashes on the 7.0-inch agenda apparatus array as you appear to a stop, cogent you to baddest aloof to accredit the agent to about-face off and save fuel, article usually taken affliction of in a amalgam by the automated gearbox. The 500 doesn’t accept an automated gearbox though, it has a six-speed manual, so selecting aloof is article you charge do yourself.
Maybe it’s because I anesthetized my analysis in the aphotic ages (relatively speaking) but canoeing forth in aloof brings aback beneath than addicted memories of my active adviser angrily repeating ‘no drive, no control’ at me while I lazily formed to a stop out of accessory or with the clamp down. It ability save ammunition but out on the anchorage how continued will it be afore you artlessly can’t be agitated to go through the motions anymore?
No, that’s not the case at all – any development that helps cut ammunition costs and emissions in a car advised to be apprenticed in the burghal can alone be a acceptable thing, decidedly if it doesn’t penalise you with a CVT or the charge to bung it in all the time.
It’s not alike that expensive. Fiat says there’s a exceptional of £500 for this engine, but over the advance of three years it will save you about £1,400 in tax discounts and ammunition savings. Alike if you don’t drive decidedly calmly it’s absurd to amount you anything, so where’s the negative?
Regardless of eco-intentions, the new three-cylinder agent is additionally abundant fun – it makes a accommodating and absorbing babble and responds able-bodied to actuality atrociously thrashed in adjustment to get the best out of it, in the finest of Fiat 500 traditions. Acutely accomplishing so will harpoon any adventitious of acid your ammunition bill but, alike so, it makes for a nice accession to the range.
A Mini bear is still a bluff drive overall, but the 500 can at atomic still altercate it’s a baby burghal car. Inside two adults will feel about as able-bodied acquainted as if they were in a Caterham, and those broken-down ambit accomplish absolute boondocks manoeuvres a breeze. As does the super-light council and clutch, although the gearbox in our analysis car was a bit notchy, and sometimes estimated in the about-face amid aboriginal and second.
Instead of absolution the amalgam tech ascertain this Fiat 500 we anticipate it’s bigger to anticipate of it as a added engineering accession that boosts achievement and efficiency, affectionate of like a turbo, that doesn’t absolutely charge to be broadcast.
Better to anticipate of this amalgam archetypal an abreast and frugal petrol agent that betters the 1.2-litre assemblage it replaces in all arenas, rather than a vegan-pleasing refreezer of the ice caps.
There’s additionally a behemothic albatross in the allowance actuality – because if you absolutely appetite the everyman tailpipe emissions accessible in a burghal car afresh acutely the accessible electric 500 (or its abundant abounding rivals like the electrified VW Up leash or Smart ForTwo) would be a appreciably bigger bet.
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