Fiat 500 and Panda Hybrids

Fiat 500 and Panda Hybrids

With its new, mild-hybrid versions of the 500 and Panda, the Fiat brand has entered the world of electrification with two smart, affordable hybrids

April 15, 2020 - The Fiat brand marked its entry into the world of electrification this year with the launch of mild-hybrid versions of its two best-selling nameplates, the 500 and Panda, in January followed by the world debut of the all-new Fiat 500 full-electric in March.

“Our strategy is very simple. Today, the market for electrified vehicles is truly beginning to grow,” commented Luca Napolitano, Head of Fiat and Abarth Brands EMEA. “In Europe, sales passed the one-million-unit mark for the first time in 2019, so the moment is now right for us to get into the game. And we have a very clear objective: to become the market leader. To do this, we have chosen to begin by focusing on the city-car segment, where we have a consolidated leadership position in Italy and across Europe, with sales of more than 375,000 cars a year. We also account for the largest number of cars on the road in this segment and have the highest levels of customer loyalty. And we decided to launch the 500 and the Panda together because we want to offer electrified vehicles that cover the entire city-car market.” Together, these two complementary models respond to all of our customers’ needs: style, compactness and handling for the 500, and functionality, versatility and interior space for the Panda.

Each of these perennially popular city cars is distinctive in its own way but they both have the same objective: to make hybrid vehicles accessible to everyone and make Fiat the European benchmark in electric urban mobility.

The new Fiat 500 and Panda hybrids offer all the benefits of an efficient, compact, lightweight and affordable hybrid powertrain and are, in short, the best solution for a city car. They are ideal ambassadors for Fiat, a brand that over its 120-year history has consistently been an innovator in mobility solutions, and is now taking sustainable mobility to the next level. This alone would be enough to make history, but these two models are also debuting the one-liter, three-cylinder gasoline Firefly engine, developed specifically for the 500 and Panda. In the mild-hybrid configuration, the Firefly is paired with a 12-volt, belt-integrated starter generator (BSG) electric motor, to generate 70 horsepower, and a compact 11 Ah lithium-ion battery.

Fiat Mild Hybrid Engine

An Efficient, Lightweight Power Unit

The new Firefly family of modular engines is replacing the highly successful Fire engines, of which over 30 million have been sold worldwide. In Europe, the first application of the Firefly was the four-cylinder, 1.3-liter, 150 hp turbo on the Fiat 500X. In the 12 V hybrid version, three cylinders generate 70 horsepower (at 6,000 RPM) and 92 Nm of torque (at 3,500 RPM). Compared to the previous model, fuel consumption is 30 percent lower with CO2 emissions below 90 grams per kilometer. In addition to these environmental benefits, the hybrid powertrain brings a series of other advantages that, depending on the city, range from access to restricted traffic zones to free parking reserved for fuel-efficient vehicles. Fiat estimates that a person living in Rome who drives an average of 10,000 kilometers a year could save up to €2,800 over the course of four years, including savings on fuel, vehicle registration, parking, and access to restricted traffic zones. 

How Does Fiat’s Hybrid Solution Work?

A mild-hybrid vehicle combines a traditional combustion engine with an electric motor and a battery for storing energy recovered during deceleration/braking. It is an efficient, accessible and minimally invasive approach to electrification. With the BSG system, start-up of the combustion engine is silent with no vibration. At speeds below 30 kilometers per hour, the engine can be turned off by simply shifting into neutral and coasting. A dashboard indicator prompts the driver when to shift to neutral. During coasting, the lithium-ion battery continues to power all systems ensuring that the driver remains in full control of the vehicle.

And speaking of control, the all-new six-speed manual transmission is designed to ensure that the new power unit operates at maximum efficiency. In addition, these vehicles are homologated as hybrid vehicles and are fully compliant with the Euro 6D Final emissions standard.

Sustainable Inside and Out

The “Launch Edition” of the Fiat 500 and Panda hybrid features a new “H” logo which is formed by two drops of morning dew – symbolic of the rising sun and the start of a new era – and is also the inspiration for the exclusive “Dew Green” exterior, representing perfect harmony with nature, innovation and sustainability.

In addition, the Launch Edition features a world first for the automotive industry: the seats are made of Seaqual fiber, which is made from recycled plastic, at least 10 percent of which is upcycled marine plastic. In each Panda or 500, these seats use the equivalent of sixty 1.5-liter plastic bottles recovered from the sea. That means that 100,000 of these models would contain six million recycled plastic bottles, or the equivalent of 18,000 square kilometers of plastic – enough to clean up an expanse of water as vast as the Ligurian Sea, extending from Italy’s border with France all the way down to the island of Elba.

In addition to all this, customers financing the purchase of a hybrid vehicle through FCA Bank will “adopt a tree” through the initiative, created by an Italian company to enable people to sponsor the planting of a tree and follow its growth online.

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