Many manufacturers have been turning to electrification in order to reduce emissions, from the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf to high end cars like the BMW i-series and Fisker Karma. Other manufacturers have followed their lead, leading to the introduction of the Ford C-MAX and Chevy Volt, among other hybrid converted models.
Fiat, on the other hand, hasn’t really followed along. Sure, they just announced the release of the Fiat 500e, a fully electric Fiat 500, but it’s only going to be released in California, and maybe a couple of other states, to satisfy Corporate Average Fuel Economy [CAFE] regulations. Instead, Fiat has been focusing on more advanced internal combustion engine [ICE] technology.
The ubiquitous four-cylinder engine has found its way into almost every segment of the automotive industry, including hybrid vehicles. Fiat’s new TwinAir technology actually gives more performance in a smaller package, eliminating two cylinders as well as the throttle body. Rated between 65 and 105 horsepower [hp], Fiat’s TwinAir two-cylinder engines are rated as high as 120 hp per liter, these engines perform better than any others in their class.
Fiat’s TwinAir technology does something else better too, delivering performance while reducing fuel consumption by up to 30%. Two cylinders have less friction than four, while the balance shaft keeps vibrations in check, and integrating the exhaust manifold into the cylinder head reduces weight, increasing efficiency. Other additions, such as start-stop technology, smart alternator technology, variable capacity oil pump, and electronic thermostat, also increase the fuel efficiency of the engine.
Fiat’s innovations, as well as other ICE technology inventions, prove internal combustion is not dead. If “the next big thing” doesn’t come and save electric vehicles, then at least we know we can count on more efficient technologies such as Fiat’s TwinAir engine.