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Fiat 500 and Panda Hybrid Launch Edition - first steps for Fiat in the world of electromobilty

22 January 2020

Fiat 500 and Panda Hybrid - front lookFIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES

The Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda - undisputed leaders of the city car segment, will be the first FCA group's models in their category to adopt new hybrid technology.
The new 500 and Panda Hybrid will be available in dealerships from February and March 2020. They are supposed to revolutionize urban mobility once again making the hybrid accessible to everyone. The models are believed to become the new European benchmark for electrified urban mobility.

The new 500 and Panda Hybrid provide all the benefits of an efficient compact lightweight vehicle and accessible hybrid driving in short distances. Fiat has always been a pioneer in technology and an innovator in mobility. Now the modern sustainable mobility of 2020 marks a new milestone in the brand's history.

Fiat 500 and panda Hybrid - front view near the sea
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With the launch of the new hybrid versions of Fiat 500 and Panda, the electrification of the brand will begin. And this will be just the first step.  Next one will be the production of the new 500. This model is promised to have a fully-electric version and therefore will play a key role in the e-mobility FCA's strategy. 2020 will see the group offering a range of products and services to give customers a complete and sustainable mobility experience. Furthermore, for the first time in the history of the two iconic and complementary Fiat brand models - the 500 and the Panda, they will be available in a special unique series. The exclusive Launch Edition comes with the debut of a new gasoline mild-hybrid engine from the FireFly family. It combines the latest 3-cylinder, 1,0-litre unit, with a power output of 70 horsepower (51 kilowatts). It'll be paired with 12-volt BSG (Belt- integrated starter generator),  an electric motor and a lithium battery. The mild-hybrid version significantly improves fuel efficiency. In this way, the CO2 emissions will be reduced on average between 20% and 30%.
For the Panda Cross performance, Fiat also ensures a very high standard of driving comfort thanks to the BSG system. This technology allows almost noiseless vibration, fast restarting of the internal combustion engine and stop and start mode. Customers also benefit from all the advantages of driving a hybrid vehicle. Depending on local regulations this will provide the drivers with the freedom of access and movement in city centres, cheaper parking and tax breaks.

Fiat 500 and Panda Hybrid - Interior of model 500
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On the inside, the seat upholstery is following the sustainable philosophy of the entire project. A perfect combination between the FCA's mild-hybrid technology and the innovative spirit of the iconic Fiat Panda and Fiat 500 have been reached. The Launch Edition's seats are the first in the automotive sector to be partly made with SEAQUAL® YARN (a special material, derived from recycled plastic). This technology implements plastic recycling as a part of the eco-friendly philosophy of the brand. Fiat 500 and Panda are the two complementary Fiat icons representing urban mobility in Europe with about 400,000 units sold throughout the year.
Now by introducing the mild-hybrid technology, models 500 and Panda will make a significant step towards more sustainable urban driving. Both Hybrid Launch Edition can be ordered from now onwards at Fiat dealerships across Europe. The new gasoline mild-hybrid engine is based on the heritage of the famous motor. It implements a one-litre three-cylinder engine configuration with a peak power output of 70 horsepower (51 kilowatts) at 6,000 RPM and peak torque of 92 newton- meters at 3500 RPM. The cylinder head has two valves per each cylinder and a single camshaft with continuous variable valve timing(CVVT). The structure includes a compact combustion chamber, high tumble intake ducts and EGR-valves. Providing a remarkably high compression ratio ( ensuring better thermal efficiency) the crankcase is made of high-pressure die-cast aluminium alloy with cast iron cylinder liners to reduce startup times and resulting in a lighter engine - just 77 kilograms. The BSG system is mounted directly on the engine and is operated by the belt. This technology allows capturing energy during braking and deceleration, storing it in a lithium battery with a capacity of 11 ampere-hours, and uses it at a maximum power of 3,600 watts to restart the engine in stop and start mode or to assist during acceleration. The BSG system provides the option to switch off the internal combustion engine at speeds below 30 kmph. Simply by shifting into neutral or parking mode the lithium battery powers all services ensuring the driver's full control of the vehicle. The mild-hybrid propulsion unit in the latest Panda and 500 Hybrid Launch Edition is combined with a novel 6-gear manual transmission with front-wheel drive. Enhanced manoeuvrability and improved efficiency are results of the new low friction bearings and gaskets. 
Lastly, the new system involves reducing the dimensions of the entire power unit by 45 millimetres, so the car behaves better on the road. Thanks to the lower centre of gravity the new FireFly family engine was developed by FCA to offer a range of downsized gasoline aggregates featuring good fuel efficiency and excellent performance.

Fiat 500 and Panda Hybrid - rear view of model Panda
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The new Hybrid Launch Edition once again positions the two Fiat icons as the stars of the show due to the perfect combination of continuous technological innovations and a timeless style. At the same time, they also complement each other in the city car segment. According to Fiat the model 500 represents the more aspirational side, while the Panda fits for the more functional one.

Author: Danny Stoyanova