Fiat at the 80th International Geneva Motor Show

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The Stand, TWIN-AIR 900cc engine & Bravo MY 2010

Fiat and its affiliate brands once again used the Geneva Motor Show as a platform to remind the world of their eco-friendliness by developing the theme “The World I Want” as seen through the eyes of children. After all, a brand projected into the future must ‘listen’ to the little ones who will one day be shaping the world of tomorrow.

Appropriately the stand was ‘designed’ by children who let their imagination loose and expressed their vision of a future – always more focused on environmental friendliness. A cheerful, happy place is created, where houses are built on clouds and a rainbow welcomes visitors into the Fiat world. The heart of the stand is the 500 Configurator, a playful installation which perfectly blends into the mood of the exhibition area.

The houses and clouds of a city dreamed up by children showcase the latest auto innovations, cars which are a step forward on the way towards sustainable mobility. Set in a unique tree-shaped installation with sparkling optical fibre filaments, the guest of honour is a technological masterpiece developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies: the two-cylinder 85 HP / 63 kW TWIN-AIR (900 cc). Visitors can preview it for the first time both in a showcase and fitted aboard a 500, the first Fiat recipient of this engine which will be introduced next September in some European markets.

Progenitor of a new family of two-cylinder engines made by FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies, it implements a revolutionary Multiair* system combined with specific fluid dynamics optimised for the best fuel efficiency. Furthermore, by taking the concept of downsizing to the extreme and masterlfully tuning the basic mechanics, the new family – delivering from 48 to 77 kW – emits 30% less CO2 than any other engine of equal performance.

*Multiair technology will make its SA debut in a few months’ time in the MiTo which will feature two new powerplants using this revolutionary engine management system.

A spotlight will also be on the Bravo MY 2010 that will be presented with a 1.4 Multiair engine (140 HP / 103 kW) and standard Start&Stop system at the show. Available from next June in European markets, this is a petrol engine with one of the best emission/power ratios in the world: only 132 g/km and a power of 103 kW. Later on, at different times according to the markets, a specific pack will be available, which will cut CO2 to 129 g/km, the best emission/power ratio for turbo engines in this power range.

Furthermore, with respect to the 1.4 16v T-JET – 120 HP / 88 kW, the 1.4 Multiair – 140 HP / 103 kW has more power and torque at low rpm (+16%) and the adoption of a Start&Stop system cuts consumption and emissions (-10%). In brief, the new engine ensures top-notch eco-friendliness (it is Euro 5 type-approved) without compromising on performance and driving pleasure.

That is not all. For an even more dynamic driving experience, the Sport function can be selected by pressing a button – Sport version only – to change acceleration response and steering settings.

With a fresh style and interiors, the model offers new, competitively priced packs confirming the brand’s strategy aimed at ongoing innovations that have made the Bravo one of the most popular cars in the medium compact C segment in 2009. It leads the LPG segment in Italy (totalling nearly 40% of the private customer market) and stands out in the 5-door saloon sub segment.

IN DETAIL: TWIN-AIR – 85 HP / kW World Preview

The new two-cylinder engine family made by FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies called TWIN-AIR will be making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. This is a brand-new concept on the worldwide auto scene and confirms the leadership of the Fiat Group in this field.

Using next-generation technology, the new engine implements the revolutionary Multiair system combined with special fluid dynamics optimised for the best fuel efficiency. Furthermore, by taking the concept of downsizing to the extreme and masterfully tuning the basic mechanics, the new family – delivering from 48 to 77 kW – emits 30% less CO2 than any other engine of equal performance.

Visitors to the show will admire the first application of this new engine in a 500, the first Fiat model to receive this engine (eta from September in Europe). The car is equipped with a two-cylinder turbo 85 HP / 63 kW engine (900 cc) which has the lowest CO2 emission levels for a petrol engine (up to 95 g/km) without compromising performance and driving pleasure.

Compared with the two engine versions available today, it provides excellent performance with a major fuel reduction: the new turbo two-cylinder 85 HP / 63 kW engine consumes about 15% less fuel and has 25% more performance than the 1.2 8v, while fuel consumption drops to a remarkable 30% with respect to the 1.4 16v with comparable performance and the same high driving pleasure.

Furthermore, with respect to a four-cylinder of equal performance and medium displacement, the new engine is significantly shorter (-23%) and lighter (-10%), opening the way to interesting further developments, such as methane fuel feed or hybrid technology combinations, again under the sign of greater eco-friendliness.

In particular, a methane version of the TWIN-AIR will be available soon in Europe providing a further CO2 emission reduction: this is possible by adopting a pair of special injectors in addition to the petrol injectors on the intake manifold rails. Improving these fuel saving results using internal combustion engines will be difficult and alternative technologies will need to be developed.

The combination of traditional engines and electric motors appears particularly promising. Precisely because of its small size, the TWIN-AIR is well suited to be coupled with an electric motor, and in general with a device arranged between engine and gearbox for recovering and storing the energy which is normally wasted during braking.

Nothing short of an engineering gem, the two-cylinder implements the revolutionary Multiair* technology developed and patented by FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies, which was introduced on FIRE engines last year for the first time.

The heart of Multiair is a new electro-hydraulic valve management system that reduces fuel consumption by controlling air directly via the inlet valves (without using the throttle). Multiair reduces polluting emissions (thanks to improved combustion control) and also considerably improves performance by boosting driveability with respect to a traditional petrol engine of equal displacement.

*Multiair technology will make its SA debut in a few months’ time in the MiTo which will feature two new powerplants using this revolutionary engine management system.

Furthermore, the new TWIN-AIR engine takes the concept of downsizing to the extreme: combining a small displacement engine with a next-generation turbocharger provides performance comparable to – or even better than – that of a larger engine but with less fuel consumption and lower emissions.

And more: the turbo significantly increases the maximum torque, making it available at a very low rpm, with the result of offering greater flexibility and an unrivalled promptness of response compared to conventional aspirated engines. All this comes with a simple build that benefits strength and reliability.

Last but not least, the new engine was painstakingly optimised and tuned. For instance, the basic two-cylinder architecture – combined with the low friction of internal parts – ranks this engine best in the “friction” class in the world.

Furthermore, computer simulations have been used to identify the best possible standard displacement in terms of thermo-dynamic efficiency, and the best fluid dynamic configuration to optimise and get the best out of the MultiAir system.

Finally, special attention has been placed on the NVH (Noise, vibration, and harshness) aspect to ensure vibration performance at least equivalent to that of a four-cylinder, with equal performance but with a characteristic sound. For this purpose, a balancing countershaft was used to maintain optimal vibration levels in all operating conditions of the engine, from the idling speed to top power.

IN DETAIL: The new Bravo MY 2010

Fiat Bravo, being introduced to the public in 2010, comes with some major style innovations that make it even more modern and elegant.

Starting with the exterior, the front-end has been smartened up. The grill frame for example has a metallic finish on all versions, except for the Emotion, on which it is chrome-plated. Furthermore, all versions come with mirrors and handles in matching body colour, while the headlights are burnished and clear at the direction indicators. Two new colours complement the palette: Melodic Grey and Ballad Pearl.

The interiors, particularly of the Active and Dynamic versions, are also new. The Active version has a carbon-look dashboard, more modern and elegant. The Dynamic version – the most popular on the market – has fabrics with new patterns and colours, such as Sand which makes the interior even brighter.

The engine range is the same as ever, but it is well worth noting that the 1.4 – 90 HP / 66 kW on the Fiat Bravo 2010 is a Euro 5 with 146 g/km of CO2 (signifucantly ahead of the compulsory application of the standard). The Emotion version is also available with LPG engines in Europe.

For a more complete, customised offering, the Bravo 2010 has new (market-specific) content packs, which are considerably more cost-effective solutions for customers with respect to selecting optional features one at a time. For example, the Active Sound pack (for Active) includes fog lights, CD radio and MP3 player; the Blue Dynamic pack (for Dynamic) includes Blue&Me, rear parking sensors and rear electric windows; the Blue Emotion pack (for Emotion) includes Blue&Me, front and rear parking sensors, light and rain sensor and electrically folding mirrors; and finally, the Blue Sport pack (for Sport) includes Blue&Me, 18″ alloy rims, tinted back seat windows and rear window.

Bravo kicks off the new year with a renewed model, consolidating the ongoing innovation strategy that has made it be appreciated by an increasingly larger public. In 2009, it was once again one of the most popular cars in the medium compact C segment. It leads the LPG segment in Italy (totalling nearly 40% of the private customer market) and stands out in the 5-door saloon sub segment.

From a South African perspective Fiat Group Automobiles SA is currently investigating the feasibility of introducing these eco-friendly engines particularly in the light of forthcoming emissions taxation. Of course, cognisance will have to be taken of our fuel quality.