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Published on July 7th, 2010 | by Nick Chambers

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Fiat 500 Officially Gets 2-Cylinder, 85 HP TwinAir Engine; Achieves 50+ MPG

As promised earlier this year, Fiat has officially adorned their beloved 500 with a brand new engine option: the 2-cylinder TwinAir.

The 85 HP, turbocharged 0.9 liter engine reportedly has the performance characteristics of a much larger 1.4 liter, 16-valve engine, but it consumes about 30% less fuel—resulting in a fuel economy of 57 mpg as rated on the combined Euro cycle. If it were sold in the U.S. and rated on the EPA cycle, that number would likely drop to around 50 mpg.

Unfortunately for now, there are no plans to sell the 85 HP TwinAir engine as an option on any of the Fiat 500’s that are rumored to be reaching U.S. shores by the end of this year.

Okay, with a 0-60 mph time of about 11 seconds, a Fiat 500 equipped with the 2-cylinder TwinAir won’t be winning any drag races. But considering how tiny and miserly this engine is, 11 seconds doesn’t really seem all that bad either. And in an interesting bit of engineering, the TwinAir equipped 500’s will also have an “ECO” button to allow the driver to switch between getting maximum torque (and therefore performance) or getting maximum fuel economy. Not surprisingly, the diminutive engine features equally diminutive emissions. At just above 90 grams of carbon emitted per kilometer driven, the TwinAir is one of the least polluting combustion engines on the planet.

Fiat is also hinting that because of the incredibly reduced size of the TwinAir engine, it could be well suited to work alongside an electric motor in some kind of hybrid or plug-in hybrid configuration in future cars. The TwinAir will also be made available in a version that can run on compressed natural gas, making it an incredibly versatile platform.

Seems to me that the popular looks of the Fiat 500, combined with the green characteristics of the TwinAir combustion engine, wrapped up in an affordable package would sell incredibly well in the U.S… I just hope that Fiat and Chrysler also figure that one out.



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About the Author

Not your traditional car guy.



  • PL

    For something this small all around the mpg is just not enough. Let’s see a little more progress around 80mpg+

  • PL

    For something this small all around the mpg is just not enough. Let’s see a little more progress around 80mpg+

  • http://www.motornature.com/ elji

    I guess this 2 cylinder doesn’t make enough power for american tastes. Fiat will sell the car with a turbocharged 1.4 liter and charge much more than a 2 cylinder would command.

    The Fiat 500 will be much more expensive than the 3-door Yaris, there has to a reason somewhere.

  • http://www.motornature.com/ elji

    I guess this 2 cylinder doesn’t make enough power for american tastes. Fiat will sell the car with a turbocharged 1.4 liter and charge much more than a 2 cylinder would command.

    The Fiat 500 will be much more expensive than the 3-door Yaris, there has to a reason somewhere.

  • http://Web Harris

    For the size, I think the 2 cylinder pumps out enough power. Also, when compared to the size to power ratio I think there is a good balance! I really like this car and for city I believe it’s perfect. Thinking of gifting one for my special person! :P luckily Fiat 500 Twin air is available in UK! :)

  • http://Web Michael Stumpf

    Here is a beautiful little car with a marvelous 2 cylinder turbo engine that would fit our changing energy culture in the U.S. quite nicely. The problem is, Rockefeller’s oil empire just won’t allow it to be sold in the U.S. Here’s to the little guy being socially active towards the richest 1%.
    You gotta love capitalism.
    P.S. Ask anyone who’s ever owned a VW fox if it was fun to drive.
    I did and it was a blast. It accelerated from o to 60 in 11 seconds, just like the Fiat 500 twin air. My point is, specs. aren’t everything.
    Sometimes you just have to drive it.

  • JoBlow

    Why not for commuting to work I will buy one if it come to America.

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