Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fiat 500 transmissions: 5 or 6 speed, Dualogic or MTA...





The Fiat 500 comes with a wide range of reliable, robust, sophisticated gearboxes: one is a mechanical unit (with 5 speeds for the 1.2 and 1.3, and with 6 speeds for the 1.4), the other is of the sequential robotized type named the Dualogic. The 500 Abarth comes with a heavy duty 5 speed and the 500 Abarth Assetto Corse a 6 speed extreme duty transmission. The 695 Abarth "Tributo Ferrari" has a robotized version of the normal 500 Abarth transmission dubbed the MTA.
Below is a list of the model numbers and technical specifications of the various transmissions fitted to the Fiat 500 and Abarth versions:








Fiat 500 with 6 speed manual


C514: Fiat 500 5 speed (1.2L motor)/6 speed (1.4L motor)
Max Input Torque: 150 Nm
Center Distance: 170, 182 mm
Length: 362 mm (5-sp), 410 mm (6-sp)
Mass: 33 Kg (5-sp), 35 Kg (6-sp)


Fiat 500 with Dualogic transmission


C514 MTA (Manual Transmission Automated): Fiat 500 with Dualogic
Max Input Torque: 145 Nm
Center Distance: 170 mm
Length: 362 mm (5-sp)
Mass: 42,5 Kg
FPT Electro hydraulic add-on, S-Cam



Fiat 500 Abarth with heavy duty 5 speed manual


C510: Fiat 500 Abarth, Fiat 500 Abarth esse esse
Max Input Torque: 206 Nm
Center Distance: 181 mm
Length: 380 - 395 mm
Mass: 36 Kg


695 Abarth "Tributo Ferrari" with paddle shifted 5 speed MTA


C510 MTA (Manual Transmission Automated): 695 Abarth "Tributo Ferrari"
Max Input Torque: 206 Nm
Center Distance: 181 mm
Length: 380 - 395 mm
Mass: 45 Kg
FPT Electro hydraulic add-on, X-Y



Abarth Assetto Corse with extreme duty 6 speed transmission*


M32 6 speed: Abarth Assetto Corse
Max Input Torque: 320 Nm
Center Distance: 197 mm (M32)
Length: 332 mm
Mass: 47 Kg (M32)
Reverse synchronized

Below is information taken from press releases on the various transmissions used on the 500.




The mechanical gearbox is very compact with a lot of attention paid to its shifter feel. This was made possible by the reduced inertia of the driven clutch plate and the introduction of new seals. The gearbox configuration is transverse with two cascading shafts, while the shifter mechanism is internal, with four selection levers.









Fiat C514 transmission cutaway view


The shifter assembly is a dual cable type, which filters out engine running roughness and vibration transmitted by the engine to the gear lever. The gears have teeth with extra covering, as well as fifth speed and final drive pairs that are given an extra finish after heat treatment (this improves quiet operation). The gearbox housing is light and absorbs noise efficiently, and has been fine tuned using the Finite Element Method.

The gear shifter of the Fiat 500 has a lockout mechanism that prevents the involuntary engagement of reverse.

Dualogic


Dualogic shifter


Magneti Marelli Powertrain produces robotized transmission or MTA (Manual Transmission Automated), where the manual transmission controls are replaced by an Actuation kit (plug-in) electronically controlled by a Transmission Control Unit (TCU)

This system allows:
•Automatic gear shift
•Automatic clutch

In this way the driver has the following options:
•Possibility to choose between manual or automatic transmission
•Manual transmission by joystick or paddle shifters at seering wheel
•No more clutch pedal

In addition all the information can be displayed on the dash board for a deeper awareness of the driver.

The Dualogic transmission is available on the 1.2 8v and 1.4 16v versions of the Fiat 500. The 695 Abarth "Tributo Ferrari" is equipped with a similar system but is called MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) and is controlled by a race-inspired paddle gearshift.

The Dualogic and the MTA automates the clutch and gear lever controls by means of an electro hydraulic servo, but maintains all the advantages of a dry clutch and a mechanical gearbox (weight, sturdiness and reliability, low energy consumption).

This sophisticated system improves the performance of the manual mechanical transmission components and increases driving safety because it avoids errors by the driver and prevents faulty maneuvers of the transmission system.

There are two operating modes: semiautomatic and automatic.

The first adopts the most advanced control strategies to guarantee the best performance. Gears are engaged using the lever on the facia. Because there is no clutch pedal, the device is controlled simply by moving the lever: forward to change up (toward the ‘+’ symbol), back to change down (toward the ‘-‘ symbol). A simple push is sufficient to ensure the transmission makes a fast, accurate gear change.


Dualogic/MTA controller


This is how the Dualogic transmission functions in semiautomatic mode. Most of the electric signals reach the control unit by CAN (Controller Area Network) and can be grouped in two large subgroups. In one, the data from the gearbox area, which make it possible to identify the engagement position, the selection, the clutch, and the operating pressure of the hydraulic kit, as well as the rotating speed of the clutch.

In the other, all the signals coming in from the control lever on the tunnel or the levers on the steering wheel (which are optional), that let the driver decide when he wants to change gear, and those from the other systems on the Fiat 500 (for example, the engine and braking system), which help to define the gear change precisely and repeatably. For example, coordination with the engine control unit makes it possible to change up without having to release the accelerator pedal or to automatically increase engine speed when changing down (double de-clutch).

Using these two groups of signals, the Dualogic gearbox can manage gear changes in a comfortable or sporty way, in the manual or automatic mode, interpreting the driver’s needs by analyzing the pedal position and the engine speed.




Once the engine on the Fiat 500 is started, any pressure on the brake pedal confirms that the driver is at the wheel, and enables first or reverse to be engaged (on a slippery surface it is also possible to set off in second). And to guarantee safety and prevent incorrect gear engagement, the system engages neutral automatically when a door is open with the engine running. The Dualogic device also prevents errors that might damage the engine or gearbox, by notifying the driver of emergency situations or incorrect maneuvers with warning lights and beeps.

The automatic mode of the Dualogic system offers two settings on the 1.2 version: Normal and Economy.

The Normal setting provides outstanding driving comfort, with brilliant acceleration and gear changes in all conditions. The Economy setting, on the other hand, is used to reduce fuel consumption, while still maintaining outstanding handling and comfort.
On the version for the 1.4 16v engine, the two settings are Normal and Sport (with the Sport button on the facia). The Sport setting activates a faster gear change logic that minimizes the torque gap and thus makes the car more ‘fun to drive’ for the driver.

In automatic mode, the system recognizes the road gradient (by means of a software algorithm) and modifies the gear shift point to ensure the best possible compromise between the driver’s needs, ground conditions and vehicle situation (speed and engine rpm).

Another feature peculiar to the Dualogic gearbox is its ability to measure the vehicle deceleration and adapt gear changes accordingly. For example, in semiautomatic mode, and particularly with a sporty driving style, the system changes down when the driver asks for a lower speed to take a corner with more gusto. In automatic mode, the system anticipates the change down so that the driver has the best speed to maintain the level of comfort or fuel economy.

The Dualogic system is the best compromise for drivers who prefer the enjoyment and entertainment of a manual shift, but like to know they can count on the convenience of an automatic.

With help from Fiat Group Press/Magneti Marelli
*photo courtesy of Archivio Perini

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Buy your Fiat 500 at your local Chrysler dealer...




Initially, Fiat was going to make its plans on Chrysler known at the end of summer, however, Fiat pushed this back to November when it discovered there wasn't a lot of product planing going on at Chrysler in the period that Cerberus owned Chrysler.

Sergio Marchionne


Fiat's CEO, Sergio Marchionne, told reporters at the Frankfurt International Motor Show "We were surprised by how little had been done in the past 24 months." "We have to be absolutely clear about what we want to do with Chrysler and, as a management team, where the organization is going to be in five years," Marchionne said, according to the industry newspaper Automotive News.

Last Friday, the board of Chrysler Group met to approve this five-year product plan, and although the full document won't officially be released until mid-November, a few details have emerged.

Peter Fong



Peter Fong, Chrysler brand CEO and head of sales for all Chrysler Group brands, has been reported as saying the Fiat 500 will be sold through Chrysler brand dealers only. It was initially speculated that the Fiat 500 would be retailed through its own branded showrooms much like the Mini is. However, the relative small volumes being talked about for the 500 preclude a dedicated dealer network.

What Fong says is the 500 most likely will have a dedicated area in Chrysler-brand showrooms. Currently, about 80 percent of Chrysler dealers now offer all three of the group's brands: Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep. Fong says there hasn't been a decision of who or how many of these Chrysler dealers will offer the 500.

The factory that will make the Fiat 500 hasn't been officially announced yet, but it is widely accepted as it will be in Toluca, Mexico. Fiat prefers Mexico because of its free-trade agreement with Brazil and its lower labor costs. Fiat, which is the market leader in Brazil, plans to export about a third of the 100,000 Fiat 500s planned for yearly production in Toluca to Latin American countries.

This decision to make the 500 in Mexico is not without some controversy as the United Auto Workers union had hoped the 500 would be made at a U.S. factory. The UAW cost saving concessions and Chrysler receiving $15.5 billion in government aid underlining their feelings.



However, cost is a major issue on a high content small car like the Fiat 500. The 500 has won numerous deign awards and also was the first sub compact car to achieve a 5-star crash rating (safety at all cost with no impact on pricing...). All this engineering and design talent costs a lot of money, yet it is included in a relatively low cost car. And pricing is going to be the biggest issue with the 500, as ,although it's less than the Mini, it is smaller and the fancier versions are considered pricey by American standards. So pricing (and profit margins) will have be smaller to fit American tastes, that's where the Mexican low manufacturing costs come into play.

Of course all this can change if there is a special deal cut with the UAW/government. But, after all the concessions and bailout money, that's not likely.




So, a summary of the news, as of right now, we have the Fiat 500 being sold through select Chrysler dealers, being built in Mexico with an estimated 30,000 of the 100,000 unit capacity being sold in Latin America.

We'll hear more about Chrysler's five year plan and how the Fiat 500 will be marketed in mid-November. Stick around!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How Fiat MultiAir was developed...



Fiat MultiAir technology is one of the advanced engine technologies that Fiat is providing to Chrysler. Fiat's offer to provide this technology, along with its other design expertise, so impressed the US government they gave Fiat its initial 20% stake in Chrysler with nothing more than Fiat's promise to share this technology with Chrysler.



We have discussed this technology in a few previous postings, but with the next few videos, we'll see how MultiAir was developed, its design goals and how it was tested.

The Chrysler 200C EV


MultiAir is a major advancement in the internal combustion engine and Chrysler will be the first car company in the US to offer it to consumers. This, along with striking designs like the Chrysler 200C EV, shows Chrysler products have a promising future.

Videos courtesy of Alfa Romeo:

Damiano Micelli, Head of Petrol Engine Research of FTP, explains how the MultiAir engine works Engineers Benfenati and Di Martino show us how the engine is calibrated and tested Engineer Andrea Ferrari, head of FTP "Testing Facilities", measures the MultiAir 's emissions
Fiat MultiAir developmental phases from concept to final product
*************************************

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Abarth 500 R3T: Rally version of the Fiat 500 Abarth





Abarth has just announced a new rally version of the Fiat 500 Abarth called the Abarth R3T. You can view the full specifications here. Below is the official Abarth press release.

Abarth 500 for rallies launched in Sanremo


Abarth introduced its latest racing gem at the 51st Sanremo Rally. The new Abarth 500R3T will lend its name to a promotional rally trophy in 2010, due to join the two track events (European and Italian) planned for the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse.


Autobianchi A112 Abarth: High Performance in a small size


For Abarth, this marks a return to promotional trophy events, a niche it has made its own for more than thirty years. Since 1977, to be precise, when the first ever Autobianchi A112 Abarth Championship was held, followed by trophies for the Fiat Uno, Uno Turbo, Cinquecento, Seicento, Punto Kit and Super 1600, Stilo, Panda Kit.

The Abarth 500 rally version will be type approved for Group R3T, the category for turbocharged cars up to 1600 cm3 in capacity. This class will be the future of the specialism because it represents a good compromise between car cost and performance. Ideal for private drivers and young people who want to show their worth in a true racing car, capable of outstanding performance by any standard.


The Abarth 500 power unit is 1368 cm3 with a Garret GT 1446 fixed geometry turbocharger capable of delivering a power of 180 hp (132 kw) at 5500 rpm.

The gearbox is sequential, front meshing with 6 speeds and includes a multiplate self-locking differential, twin plate clutch and special half-axles.

Great care has been taken to ensure the suspension can be adjusted to obtain a ride suited to each driver's individual driving style. The racing shock-absorbers are adjustable, with coaxial spring and wheel to alter the ground clearance plus special shims to adjust the caster and camber angles.



The 7” x 17” OZ asphalt rims are designed for 19/62-17 tires.

The Brembo brakes are all disc, ventilated at the front with 4 piston calipers, solid disc at the rear with brake distributor and governor. The handbrake is hydraulic.

The Abarth 500 is equipped with a special welded roll-bar integral with the body, the required safety devices and FIA type-approved seats with 6 seat belt anchorage points.

The weight is the lowest set by the regulations for this category: 1080 kg unladen.



Great care has also been taken over the details, beginning with a livery that is most decidedly in keeping with tradition, complemented by a lovingly crafted interior and instruments.

The Abarth promotional trophy regulation and timetable will be circulated in the coming weeks.

Turin, 25th September 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fiat500USA Tuner Report: HAMANN LARGO


HAMANN is an ultra high end Tuner from Germany renown for their work with BMW, Porsche, Mercedes Benz and other prestigious marks in Europe. On display at the Frankfurt International Motor show is their latest range of modifications to the Fiat 500. You can view the official brochure here and enjoy the press release below.





HAMANN LARGO –
The dynamic broad modification for the Fiat 500



Last year, the tuning specialist HAMANN-Motorsport confirmed that it is not only one of the best addresses for refining BMW models and exclusive luxury automobiles. With the sportive accessory program for the Fiat 500, the Laupheim-based technicians left their long-established grounds and joyfully and blissfully indulged in refining the trendy retro scooter. Their efforts paid out, the refining line for the Italian compact car met the approval of the Fiat 500 enthusiasts. Therefore, HAMANN now adds the impressive broad modification HAMANN LARGO to its portfolio.

HAMANN-Motorsport did not have to venture unchartered grounds, as the company has been specialized in such sporty modifications for many years already. The latest impressive contributions by the tuning expert were the Mercedes SLR VOLCANO, the BMW X6 TYCOON EVO or the Porsche Cayenne CYCLONE.



For the modified design vocabulary of the trendy Italian, the engineers designed new aerodynamics components made of light composite materials. Perfectly manufactured extensions seamlessly fit into the car body design and give the LARGO a masculine appearance.


A striking eye-catcher is the re-designed front skirt with integrated LED-lights. Special wing extensions are added at the front and the back. They broaden the car body by impressive 30 millimeters at the front- and 35 millimeters at the back axle. The visual excellence is rendered by the perfectly shaped side skirts.



And also the newly designed tail is remarkable: four exhaust end pipes and a diffuser which resembles the Ferrari element leave an extraordinary mark at the tail. It goes without saying that all HAMANN-components do not only convince with their look, but also with their aerodynamic characteristics. They produce an optimized air duct across the car silhouette and therefore render additional downforce.




Matching the new, dynamic automobile look, HAMANN-Motorsport offers the striking design wheel LARGO FORGED ANODIZED. The matt black anodized, one-part rim is available in 8.0 x 18 for the front- and 9.0 x 18 for the rear axle. In addition, HAMANN offers matching tires measuring 215/35 ZR18 or 225/35 ZR18. But not only the dynamic design of the light alloy rim is inspiring. Due to its light weight, also the unsprung masses of the car are reduced. This leads to a better handling and more agility. Another enhancement for handling the car is the HAMANN-coilover suspension which lowers the car´s center of gravity by up to 60 mm.



A specifically developed sport exhaust system turns the retro scooter into a tough sports car and renders a powerful and earthy sound. The system includes an end muffler with four round stainless steel pipes, a pre-muffler with a metal catalyser and a sport manifold. All components can also be ordered separately. The HAMANN-technicians developed a performance kit especially for the Fiat 500 Abarth. The engine output increase to 265 hp at 5,630 r.p.m. The maximum torque rises to enormous 348 Nm at 4,200 r.p.m



HAMANN also developed a stable sport brake system for the Fiat 500 which renders advanced deceleration values. The set consist of two perforated and internally ventilated brake discs (diameter 280 x 28mm) at the front axle in combination with red 4-piston brake calipers and steel-covered brake tubes. The back axle can optionally be equipped with discs measuring 257 mm in diameter.





An aluminum pedal set including foot rests and a door mat set with embroidered HAMANN sportive logo leave dynamic highlights in the interior and stylishly perfect the Fiat 500 program.


For more information about the extensive HAMANN tuning program, please visit the web site www.HAMANN-MOTORSPORT.com

Address:
HAMANN GmbH
Kässbohrerstraße 3
D-88471 Laupheim

Phone +49 (0)7392 / 9 73 20
Fax +49 (0)7392 / 9 73 22 22
E-mail: info@hamann-motorsport.de


Current version: 09/2009 Subject to changes and errors
No charge for printing / copy requested



Contact HAMANN: Uli Schwarz / PR Manager, Tel. +49 7392 9732118, Email: u.schwarz@hamann-motorsport.de
Contact Agency: Ralph Niese / ConCom GmbH, Tel. +49 7152 353891, Email: r.niese@concom.eu

With thanks to HAMANN GmbH

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde introduced




Being introduced this week at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, the Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde is the latest version of this exciting Alfa model. The MiTo is Alfa's smallest model but that doesn't mean it's any less sporty. It is the kind of car you can pull up to a Ferrari dealership and not have to park out in back. The name MiTo comes from the car's origin: Milano for where it was designed and Torino for where it is built, it is also a play on the Italian mito meaning myth or legend.

Below is the official Alfa Romeo press release on the MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde.

MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde, world premiere




Available following the launch of the 105 and 135 hp MultiAir engines, the world premiere of the Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde with 170 hp 1.4 MultiAir TBi takes place in Frankfurt. The exclusive trim brings back a legendary symbol that over the years has appeared on some of Alfa Romeo's sportiest cars. Having always been synonymous with heritage, racing and victory, the “Quadrifoglio Verde” (four-leaf clover) now represents a new kind of sportiness that combines maximum driving pleasure with improved environmental qualities.

Bearing the Quadrifoglio Verde is this MiTo with the most powerful 170 hp MultiAir engine and innovative solutions that accentuate the existing qualities of the model: hold, agility, active safety and drive ability are heightened by an engine with one of the highest specific power values in the world and a chassis with features hitherto unthinkable for a car in this class.

This engine's best feature is its outstanding weight/power ratio, which has always been one of the key factors behind Alfa Romeo's success on the road and the racetrack. The class-leading ratio of 6.7 kg/hp is almost 10 per cent better than the already excellent performance of the current 155 hp 1.4 TBi. At 124 hp/liter, this engine is also one of the world leaders in specific power. In fact, this is the highest value ever recorded for an Alfa car, affirming the excellent engineering heritage of the Alfa MiTo.

This is a particularly important value because it proves the effectiveness of downsizing, aimed at producing high-tech engines to get better performance allied with sharp reductions in fuel consumption and emissions. Indeed, it is this latter area which provides the most surprising evidence of the technical level achieved: 4.8 l/100 km and 139 g/km of CO2 (in the extra-urban cycle) are closer to what you would expect from an economy car than a compact sports car that goes from 0 to 100 km/h in just over 7 seconds.





On the back of these exceptional power qualities and the unbeatable performance/consumption ratio, Alfa Romeo decided to give a sporty and technological feel to this Quadrifoglio Verde version with high-quality finishes, attention to detail and a raft of features. One example is the 17" satin titanium-finished wheels (based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione supercar). The same color is used for the headlight frames and the wing mirrors, while the dark finish of the headlight parabolas is achieved by a brand new metal sublimation technology. The interior also has a refined sporty feel thanks to the all-black environment that ensures no reflections or distractions while driving. The technological aspect of this car is further enhanced by the sporty fabric used to upholster the seats, the modern dashboard and the white lighting on the instrument panel.

It should also be stressed that Alfa Romeo has developed an innovative chassis upgrade to further emphasis the dynamic qualities of the MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde.


Dynamic Suspension




Competitive racing has always been a testing ground for new technologies, which have found their way from the world's most famous racetracks to standard road cars. One example of this passage between two seemingly very different worlds is dynamic suspension. This system, which actively and continuously controls the electronic shock absorbers, was developed by combining Alfa Romeo road testing with the latest engineering techniques from Magneti Marelli.

So, using experience gained on the racetrack, the system allows the MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde to excel even further in terms of agility and handling, giving it exceptional driveability and unparalleled safety. The driver gets three benefits from the Dynamic Suspension system: comfort, safety and agility. Above all, the electronic shock absorbers adapt to the road conditions and control all the car's movements. This guarantees maximum comfort and ensures that the unevenness of road surfaces is fully absorbed. In addition, the Dynamic Suspension system always ensures maximum grip and safety by actively responding to all road conditions. Finally, because roll and pitch are more restricted in all conditions, there is better stability and cornering that adds to the undoubted agility of the Alfa Romeo MiTo.

The suspension interacts perfectly with the three different control strategies of the Alfa DNA system. In “Normal”, agility is combined with a higher level of comfort, whereas in "All Weather", the safety features are enhanced by continual interaction between the Vehicle Dynamic Control stability system, the steering and the suspension. Finally, in “Dynamic”, the MiTo becomes a true sports car clinging to the ground and fit for any road: it is no coincidence that the system was developed at the historic Balocco test track and round the corners of the Nurburgring.

So, thanks to the hard work of Alfa Romeo and Magneti Marelli, the car is responsive and reliable when you turn the steering wheel or put your foot on the accelerator.

The innovative Dynamic Suspension system is made up of four electronically controlled shock absorbers, five accelerometric sensors, a control unit and an interface with Alfa DNA for the different settings and with the other on-board electronic systems.

Its main feature is to actively and continuously control the response of the shock absorbers, which adapt depending on the movement of the car and the road conditions, as well as the driving style. To sum up, the Dynamic Suspension system better protects passengers from uneven road surfaces thanks to an effective filtering and optimizes comfort by recognizing an obstacle (such as a bump or a hole) and adapting suspension behavior accordingly. The system also ensures better cornering by altering damping distribution of the four shock absorbers, enhancing handling and hold thanks to advanced lateral dynamic control. What's more, the Dynamic Suspension system manages longitudinal dynamic control by adjusting the movement of the chassis during acceleration, braking and gear changes, and by integrating perfectly with the Vehicle Dynamic Control, steering and braking systems.


The new six-speed C635 gearbox





The technological qualities of the Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde are further enhanced by the next-generation C635 gearbox. Developed by FPT and manufactured at the Verrone factory in Italy, this groundbreaking mechanical unit is the first result of a design philosophy aimed at improving driveability, consumption levels and production flexibility.

As far as driveability is concerned, the new gearbox ensures clean and swift changes with very short selection movements, uniform activation pressures, no noise and no vibrations. In addition, modern design and construction techniques help to significantly reduce consumption levels thanks to less friction and the best possible gear ratios.

Its appearance in the Alfa MiTo 170 hp 1.4 MultiAir TBi marks the debut of a modern family of gearboxes adapted for a broad range of models.



Alfa MiTo 1.4 MultiAir




Alfa Romeo, always a byword for sophisticated engineering and high-performance engines, proudly presents the revolutionary MultiAir system, developed and patented by FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies.

The head of this revolutionary family is the MultiAir 1.4 engine, which makes its global debut on the Alfa Romeo MiTo model and is offered with 3 different power levels (105 hp, 135 hp and 170 hp), all Euro 5-ready.

At launch, the first two MultiAir power units fitted to the Alfa Romeo MiTo are the 135 hp 1.4 and the 105 hp 1.4, available across the current range. This will be followed by the 170 hp 1.4 MultiAir TBi, which will complete the Alfa Romeo MiTo petrol engine range and be available on the brand new and unique Quadrifoglio Verde model. This broad product range will enable the MiTo to meet the needs of a growing and increasingly savvy public, who are rewarding the Alfa Romeo city car with excellent sales figures.

The 135 hp 1.4 TBi guarantees the Alfa Romeo MiTo all the performance and temperament of a sporty, well-balanced car designed for customers who are concerned about driveability and good fuel economy. The torque delivery of the 135 hp engine is optimum under all conditions and ensures outstanding pick-up performance and vigorous thrust at all revs, setting a new benchmark for petrol engines. The new 135 hp power unit's top speed and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h are at the very top of the city car category.

This brand new engine, designed to work in conjunction with the Alfa DNA system, allows the excellent dynamic attributes of the Alfa MiTo to be exploited to the full. This makes long trips pleasant and comfortable, but also guarantees plenty of thrills on more demanding stretches of road, the natural terrain of any Alfa Romeo, due to the well-balanced weight/power ratio and excellent responsiveness.

Excellent performance is combined with respect for the environment and good fuel economy. This excellence is reflected in particularly low CO2 emissions, equal to 129 g/km, with a combined fuel consumption of just 5.6 liters every 100 km.

Balance and temperament are also attributes of the 105 hp 1.4 power unit. This engine sits in the middle of its reference market, where it represents the best choice. The 105 hp MultiAir adheres to Euro 5 regulations and tops its reference market in terms of maximum power and driveability. It also keeps the driver fully involved, making the Alfa MiTo a real star of city traffic, ensuring full safety and easy driving under all conditions.

In addition, the MiTo achieves excellent performance through the top-of-the-range 170 hp MultiAir version available on the exclusive Quadrifoglio Verde model. This marks the reappearance of one of the historical symbols most dear to Alfa aficionados throughout the world, who are passionate about the glorious past of a brand that has made racing and motorsport a real trademark.

The new MultiAir engines are built in Termoli at the FPT plant. Right from the development stage, they have been designed to further enhance Alfa DNA, the system that allows the personality of the Alfa Romeo MiTo to be adapted to the driver's needs and to different road conditions.



The sporty nature and technological features of these new engines are evident from the characteristic Alfa Romeo sound, which is as engaging when driving quickly as it is relaxing on extra-urban or city journeys.

The Start&Stop system, making its debut on an Alfa Romeo, comes as standard with the three MiTo MultiAir petrol engines. It temporarily turns off the engine and then restarts it to ensure reduced fuel consumption and low noise levels in the passenger compartment when the device is at work. In these situations, which are typical of heavy traffic in urban areas and when stopped at traffic lights, when the control strategy permits, the system automatically cuts out the engine in order to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 10% for an urban route and 3.5% over an NEDC-type cycle.

Moreover, the Gear Shift Indicator (GSI) linked to the Start&Stop system is a kind of co-pilot that discreetly advises drivers when they should change gear, leading to a more fuel-efficient use of the engine. For example, the GSI may suggest shifting to a higher gear, by means of a signal on the instrument panel, in order to allow the engine to combust a leaner mixture, i.e. containing less fuel, or to change down a gear to make best use of the available torque. The device is permanently active when the Alfa DNA selector is set to “Normal” or “All Weather” in order to ensure a smooth and comfortable drive while also aiming to save fuel and significantly reduce emissions.

The introduction of the new MultiAir engines also coincides with a fresh range of colors for the MiTo, a successful model that is already sold in 34 countries throughout the world and five different continents. It can already be ordered in the new metallic shade Tornado Blue, which will complement the already extensive array of exterior colors.

The model's level of engineering can also be appreciated due to a series of improvements that have further increased the quality of the Alfa Romeo MiTo. These improvements affect the interior finishes, couplings, gear maneuverability due to shortening the lever to 2.5 centimeters and also the steering and suspension system, which has been recalibrated.

To sum up, the Alfa Romeo MiTo offers 2 TDi engines (90 hp 1.3 JTDm and 120 hp 1.6 JTDm) and complements the current petrol engine range (the 78 hp, 120 hp TBi and 155 hp 1.4) with two new MultiAir engines: the 105 hp 1.4 and the 135 hp 1.4 TBi. This model, which is packed full of technology, offers: two configurations (Progression and Distinctive); two special packs available on Distinctive versions, one with a sportier content, the other more geared to comfort; seven different seat trims plus top-quality Pelle Frau leather upholstery in three different shades; two interior colors with Sprint dashboard on the Progression configuration; three interior colors with Competizione dashboard on the Distinctive configuration.

Five different alloy wheels are also available (16”, 17’’ and 18”), as well as 10 different bodywork paints that reflect every facet of the new Alfa Romeo's sporty nature. These are combined with a multitude of taillight and headlight frame colors and finishes: chrome plated, satin, titanium grey or body colored, offering clients a host of customization options.


All the secrets of MultiAir technology



Alfa Romeo proudly introduces MultiAir technology to the world on its latest creation, the Alfa Romeo MiTo. The head of the new family is the MultiAir 1.4 engine, available in three different power levels on the model: 105 hp, 135 hp and 170 hp.

This marks a significant generational leap compared to current petrol engines, as occurred in 1997 with the Common Rail technology applied to diesel power units and introduced to the world for the first time on the Alfa Romeo 156. Now the 'sportiest city car ever' picks up the baton and marks a true leap forward in technology: the MultiAir system takes the controlled ignition engine to previously unthinkable levels of efficiency. This is achieved due to the principle underpinning this new technology: the possibility of continuously adjusting the main elements that guarantee optimum combustion at any speed and under all driving conditions.

In particular, the possibility of managing the opportune moment for opening and closing the intake valve has optimized the engine's volumetric efficiency, bringing benefits in terms of maximum torque delivery, particularly at low revs: compared with a conventional 120 hp TBi engine, the same engine with MultiAir achieves an increase in maximum power (135 hp) without penalizing torque and response at low revs (5,000 rpm).

The introduction of MultiAir technology therefore makes the Alfa Romeo MiTo even more agile and nippy due to the power and torque increases possible with the new power units. The engines also ensure a significant reduction in fuel consumption and toxic emissions, with benefits in terms of running costs and respect for the environment.

For example, the flexibility and responsiveness guaranteed by the MultiAir system make it possible to manage engine load by means of the intake valves, eliminating the use of the throttle valve to benefit combustion efficiency at partial loads and therefore reduce fuel consumption. Suffice it to say that the same power unit reduces fuel consumption over an NEDC cycle by up to 10% compared with a conventional 120 hp 1.4 TBi engine.

The new power units represent a significant point of departure from the current petrol engine scene. For example, compared with a conventional petrol engine of the same capacity, MultiAir provides an increase in power (up to 10%) and torque (up to 15%), in addition to a significant reduction in fuel consumption (up to 10%) and emissions of CO 2 (up to 10%), particulate (up to 40%) and NOx (up to 60%).

At the heart of MultiAir is a new electrohydraulic valve management system that allows a reduction in fuel consumption (by controlling air directly via the engine intake valves, without using the throttle) and harmful emissions (via combustion control). As befits a flag-bearer for the downsizing concept, MultiAir is a versatile technology that is easily applied to all petrol engines and may potentially be developed for diesel engines.

Load management by means of the intake valves also means that combustion can be optimized even on motorways. The area within which the mixture is made richer has been greatly reduced by exploiting characteristics of the technology: the air-fuel ratio is still stoichiometric at 150 km/h, for example, ensuring a greatly reduced specific consumption.

Finally, the new generation of MultiAir engines has been designed to enhance the car setup options available via the Alfa DNA selector to ensure the most effective response to the driver's expectations and the different road conditions, adjusting its performance via a different torque curve, accelerator sensitivity and overboost management.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chrysler 200C EV: Chrysler's future looks great...



The Chrysler 200C EV concept car was unveiled at the 2009 North American International Auto Show held in January this year. It is a promising indication of the future of Chrysler. This is one good looking car and seeing it in person it is even more impressive.

Chrysler is doing a lot of research on electric vehicle technology, however, whether this vehicle is electric, hybrid or equipped with a V6, one thing is clear, they have got to produce it!


Below is the official Chrysler Press release courtesy of Chrysler Media.


PRESS RELEASE:

Chrysler 200C EV Concept




Contemporary design, Range-extended Electric Vehicle drive system and platform for future connectivity

Inspired and soulful look at the new Chrysler DNA
Beauty and brains coalesce in Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle with design and technology appeal
Futuristic in-vehicle connectivity takes center stage
ENVI's Range-extended Electric Vehicle drive system with 400-mile range
40-mile all-electric range with zero fuel consumption and zero tailpipe emissions



The definitive blend of design and technology, the all-new Chrysler 200C EV concept redefines the idea of responsible mobility with a touch of class and sophistication never before embodied so elegantly in one vehicle.


"The Chrysler 200C EV concept represents the perfect blend of provocative design and leading-edge technology, as well as the new Chrysler DNA," said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President – Product Development, Chrysler LLC. "Chrysler's latest concept vehicle combines the benefits of progressive, ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicle technology – which offers nearly zero emissions during daily commutes – with a design that boasts a combination of modern shapes, a planted athletic stance with classic overtones and an undeniably luxurious interior.

"What makes the Chrysler 200C EV concept even more meaningful is the use of technology that will make traveling and managing one's life an absolute pleasure," Klegon added. "The 200C EV concept is a connectivity portal to the world outside, creating a rewarding relationship between driver and automobile. The result is a driving experience that celebrates the human instinct to be connected to our world."

The Chrysler 200C EV concept body was designed to manage aerodynamic forces while delivering a stunning form.

On the inside, the 200C EV continues the theme of embracing the future with a highly sculpted and richly appointed environment. The interior is free of switches and levers. All vehicle functions, settings and uconnect features are managed via a panoramic multimedia touch screen, a passenger-dedicated "techno-leaf" and a stowable tablet PC.

Based on a shortened version of Chrysler's successful rear-wheel-drive platform, the Chrysler 200C EV is a performance sedan in a package that looks spirited and agile. It delivers a blend of style, performance and amenities that both automotive and technology enthusiasts want.

"The Chrysler 200C EV embodies our passion for problem solving by combining the best of engineering and automotive design," said Ralph Gilles, Vice President – Design. "With the 200C EV, we were able to maximize the effectiveness of the ENVI powertrain with the stunning, wind-cheating vehicle shape, while pushing toward the future with the avant-garde interior and advanced in-vehicle connectivity.

"Designed for the car lover, the Chrysler 200C EV was inspired by Chrysler's dynamic design legacy, and provides a glimpse at the possibilities for a next-generation Chrysler performance sedan," Gilles added.


Simple and Elegant Exterior Styling



The Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle evokes timeless beauty, coupling the organic form and language of Chrysler's deep design roots with the noble proportions of the Chrysler 300 to create a modern product statement that appeals to both luxury and sports car enthusiasts.




"It was important to design a car that not only appealed to the Chrysler enthusiast, but also could sway the interest of a wide variety of potential customers," said Nick Malachowski, Chrysler 200C EV Lead Exterior Designer. "The essence of the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle is sophisticated and fresh. It embraces a more organic design philosophy and helps to push the Chrysler brand design to the next level."



Efficiency is a key element in the design of the Chrysler 200C EV, as its swept-back front end contributes to the vehicle's aerodynamics. The front fascia is a modern interpretation of the winged Chrysler badge, and its distinct grille continues to shape and evolve Chrysler's brand identity. The encompassed grille bars within the front fascia reinforce the sinuous elegance of the 200C EV concept vehicle with its assertive shape and precise execution.



The headlamps and tail lamps are treated as dramatic sculptural elements on the vehicle and reinforce the organic form and function carried throughout the design theme. Their placement on the far corners of the vehicle help to visually reduce the front and rear overhangs and contribute to the vehicle's efficient appearance. The lower frontal fog lights and rear backup lights are seamlessly integrated onto the surrounding fascia, and are minimized in scale through the use of LED technology. Modern graphic cues, such as the use of a dissipating dot matrix, are utilized throughout the concept vehicle as both functional and visual elements.



The Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle projects a confident stance and proportion with its optimized wheel-to-body relationship. The clean body-side and restrained line work communicate an elegance achieved only when the "less is more" rule of modern design is followed. Simple, modern details such as aerodynamic mirrors and door handles continue the marriage of form and function.

The eco-friendly, water-based Liquid Graphite Pearl exterior color of the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle is a luminous, dark gray, which conveys a serious and sophisticated attitude. The windows are tinted in a Warm Bronze, helping to reduce air-conditioning loads. They are surrounded in hand-crafted polished aluminum accent trim.


Comfort and Connectivity Define Interior Space



Maximizing interior comfort, utilizing space and creating a connected environment were key objectives in creating the interior of the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle. Natural, luxurious, organic materials and modern furniture design served as inspiration for the interior design team.



In contrast to the exterior color, the interior space is light and inviting. On the inside, Leaf Green LED lighting and stitching accentuates the organic, clean shape. A combination of Pearl, Graphite and Leaf Green colors combine to create a warm and inviting interior cabin.



"The interior space of the 200C EV concept vehicle is defined by a modern, sculptural form and language that doesn't sacrifice an open and spacious feel," said Ryan Patrick Joyce, Chrysler 200C EV Lead Interior Designer. "If occupants are given the choice to take the short or long route home, I want the interior to inspire them to choose the long way."



Immediately noticeable upon entry is the large screen located on the instrument panel. Starting the vehicle activates the electronic instrument panel that contains an advanced electronic vehicle information center, the next generation of Chrysler's uconnect infotainment system and a compound touch surface.

The compound touch surface is a touch screen that serves as the hub for the vehicle's connectivity system – a system that offers endless avenues of communication and transforms the interior into a portal to the outside world. It can be personalized to suit different drivers or simplified based on preference. Similar to recently introduced touch-screen electronic devices, the driver is able to move images, select infotainment choices and customize images, backgrounds, mood, volume and lighting by simply touching the screen itself.



The emphasis on open space is a hallmark of Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle. An aluminum appliqué dramatically sweeps from the center console, across the instrument panel and onto the passenger's door. The first-row compartment strays from traditional 50/50 seating and has been cleverly designed to give the perception of a more spacious 60/60 seating space. The driver and passenger seats, thin in design with a focus on spinal support, are covered in Pearl chromium-free leather and trimmed with Leaf Green stitching, giving the interior a sporty and luxurious look. All four bucket seats can be heated or cooled with individual temperature controls.



The first-row passenger has access to a techno-leaf that houses personal climate controls and an infotainment system. A simple touch to the smooth glass surface deploys a personal touch screen computer from the glove box. Users can surf the Internet, scroll through their personal media library, schedule vehicle maintenance or send directions to the driver. The compartment located below the techno-leaf is a charging station for personal mobile devices. Electronic devices can be charged by simply laying the unit on the charging pad. Rear passengers have access to a similar charging compartment under the cantilevered front-console arm rest.



The thick-rimmed, one-spoke steering wheel is trimmed in two types of leather. The top of the steering wheel is wrapped in Pearl leather and the lower is covered in Graphite leather accented with Leaf Green perforations. The steering column and stalks are milled from aluminum for a precise, technical feel. Drivers can move the transmission into drive positions via the right stalk. The horn pad is draped in Pearl leather with Leaf Green stitching and is dramatically swept back and emboldened with the Chrysler winged badge.

Climate control for the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle can be utilized indirectly or directly. Indirectly, air flows through the cabin via a metal-mesh outlet located near the windshield. Air can be pointed onto occupants through an illuminated metal-mesh bezel that surrounds the driver screen and passenger outboard vents.

Interior doors on the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle are two-tone. The top-half of the door is trimmed in Pearl leather with Leaf Green stitching and polished aluminum accents; the lower-half is an extension of the flooring.

The concept vehicle flooring is inspired by a Zen rock garden. Gentle Graphite waves flow from the floor, across the sides of the center console and undulate onto the doors. Removable carpeted floor mats are practical and sustainable as they are composed of recycled nylon.

Additional storage can be found in the trunk of the vehicle, which contains a load floor made from recycled leather.


Advance Interior Design Studio

The interior of the Chrysler 200C EV concept vehicle was created in Chrysler LLC's Advance Interior Design Studio. The primary goal of this studio is to improve the quality and fit and finish on all future Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep® vehicles. By using state-of-the-art design software and computer modeling processes, interior designers can achieve quality and fit and finish objectives faster than ever before. Implementation of the Advance Interior Design Studio has enabled the company to engage suppliers up to a year earlier, allowing more time for customer research, feature approval and material selection. The Advance Interior Design Studio features a dedicated, customer-focused, interior-centric team of designers and engineers.


ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicle Technology



The Chrysler 200C EV concept is the newest Chrysler ENVI electric-drive vehicle.

Utilizing ENVI's Range-extended Electric Vehicle technology, the Chrysler 200C EV concept boasts clean, quiet elegance and seamless acceleration, underscoring the engaging driving experience of the Chrysler brand.

Capable of driving up to 40 miles on battery-only power – using zero gasoline and producing zero tailpipe emissions – the 200C EV uses a small gasoline engine and integrated electric generator that produces electricity to extend the driving range to 400 miles.

Chrysler 200C EV Concept – Vehicle Specifications


Vehicle Type Range-extended Electric Vehicle,
4-passenger sedan

Weight and Dimensions
Length 192.1 inches / 4879 mm
Width 73.6 inches / 1870 mm
Height 57.3 inches / 1455 mm
Wheelbase 116.1 inches / 2948 mm
Track front / rear 63 inches / 1600 mm 63 inches / 1600 mm
Turn circle 33.4 feet / 10.1m

Powertrain and Suspension
Layout Rear-wheel drive
Motor Peak Power: 200 kW (268 hp)
Regenerative braking
Battery Lithium-ion battery
Suspension Front - Independent
Rear - Independent
Range extender SULEV gasoline engine and electric generator
Continuous electric power: 55 kW (74 hp)

Wheels and Tires
Tire size front P245 / 45R20 28.7 inches / 728 mm
Tire size rear P245 / 45R20 28.7 inches / 728 mm

Color Scheme
Exterior Liquid Graphite Pearl
Interior Pearl / Leaf Green accents

Key Performance Attributes
0-60 mph (0-100 kph) approximately 7 seconds
Standing ¼-mile mid-14 seconds
Top speed greater than 120 mph (approximately 193 kph)
All-electric range 40 miles (approximately 64 km)
Total driving range up to 400 miles (approximately 644 km)