Already one of Europe’s most popular cars, the diminutive and good-looking Fiat 500 just keeps getting better. It’s such a diverse platform—from the high performance, MINI-fighting Abarth edition to the recently released 50 mpg TwinAir Turbo, and there’s even hint of a fully electric version—that it seems hard to cram more options into it. But according to a report over at Auto Express, the 500 TwinAir is set to receive a hybrid electric drivetrain that will take it to an amazing 100 mpg fuel economy while reducing carbon emissions to a scant 70 g/km.
Fiat first hinted that the TwinAir would be well-suited to mating with an electric motor when they announced its official launch last week. At a scant 0.9 liters, the 2-cylinder TwinAir is 23% smaller than a 4-cylinder engine, yet produces the equivalent performance characteristics of a 1.4 liter engine. Because of the engine’s tiny dimensions, the hybrid battery pack and electric motor can both be placed under the hood as well. Given the fact that the car is already tiny, trying to cram battery packs under the floor or in the trunk would be quite noticeable, so being able to tuck them away under the hood is a huge benefit.
Early testers in Europe have given mostly rave reviews of the 500 TwinAir, with Autocar UK saying, “This brilliant, charismatic little parallel twin offers as much performance as the regular 1.4-litre four, for 30 per cent less fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, elegantly demonstrating … that there is still huge potential for development in the regular piston engine.” The test driver then goes on to highlight how much fun it is to drive and how much low end “grunt” the TwinAir engine has, calling the TwinAir 500 “the future,” and exclaiming, “The people to feel sorriest for are those Fiat rivals who have nothing like this to offer their increasingly efficiency-conscious clientele.”
Now imagine the same vehicle, but with an electric motor that kicks in at the low end to provide instant torque, acceleration and performance, yet at the same time providing a mind-blowing 100 mpg. Who the hell wouldn’t buy that car for a daily commuter or around towner?
Source: Auto Express