Fiat 500X and Tipo receive new mild hybrid engine

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Fiat 500X Hybrid 2

Fiat introduces a new 48-volt mild-hybrid engine for the 500X and Tipo.

The Fiat 500X crossover and Tipo hatchback are now being offered with a new 48-volt mild-hybrid petrol engine, as part of the brand’s carbon-cutting eco-mobility drive. Both new models are currently not offered for sale in Australia by Fiat.

The engine in question is the company’s Firefly 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol unit, to which is bolted a 48-volt belt-driven starter-generator and a compact battery pack. Combined, the system has an output of 95kW and 240Nm of torque – and the system sends drive to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Fiat 500X Hybrid 1

Fiat claims this new mild-hybrid powertrain trims down fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 11 per cent compared to the cars’ non-electrically assisted engines. The company also says the electric motor delivers enough torque to allow the car to cover short distances (such as when creeping forward at a set of traffic lights or parking) on electric power alone.

Performance has improved, too. With the new hybrid engine, Fiat says the 500X can sprint from 0–100km/h in 9.4 seconds, which is more than a second quicker than the old model. The Tipo’s gains are better still. It posts a 9.3-second 0–100km/h time, which is more than two seconds faster than the hatchback’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine.

To make sure onlookers know the eco benefits lurking under the bonnets of these two new models, Fiat has also fixed a “Hybrid” badge to both cars’ tailgates. Both vehicles are also available with the company’s (RED) specification – a trim-level that was designed to raise awareness for the pandemic support charity founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver.

Fiat is also keen to point out that both of these new vehicles are available with a broad range of safety equipment. Depending on the specification, both cars come with autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, lane assist and a driver drowsiness sensor, which can recognise early signs of fatigue by monitoring how well the car is kept in its lane.

Other convenience features such as keyless entry and a reversing camera can also be specified as optional extras on both vehicles.

Luke Wilkinson

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