How do you make Fiat’s oh-so-cute 500 even more retro? Install a two-cylinder engine, just like the original Nuova 500 launched in 1957. Fiat is doing just that, with plans to place a two-cylinder 500 in European showrooms this summer.
The new engine, part of what Fiat calls its “TwinAir” family of engines, is a 900-cc, turbocharged two-cylinder, reportedly good for 85 hp (in comparison, the 500’s base 1.4-liter I-4 currently offers 99 hp). Since Fiat axed the boxy Cinquecento subcompact in 1996, the 500 will be the only car in Europe available with a two-cylinder.
While the new engine won’t set any performance records, it will help Fiat meet increasingly stringent EU carbon dioxide emission standards. Fiat won’t reveal the exact figures quite yet, but says the engine will emit less than 100 grams of CO2 per kilometer -- an improvement over the 113 g/km emitted by the 500 PUR-02, the “greenest” 500 model currently sold.
Although the 500 will soon arrive in Chrysler showrooms, it’s unlikely that such an engine will appear in cars destined for North America. Fiat, however, does have plans to expand the use of the two-cylinder: both a 105-hp turbocharged and a 65-hp normally aspirated versions are planned, and the engine family could appear future Fiat and Lancia subcompact models.
Source: Automotive News