The US Fiat 500 has already started receiving accolades even before the car goes on sale to the public. This time it is for achieving best in class fuel economy.
Fiat North America has released EPA fuel economy specs for the 2012 Fiat 500, and it shows for the manual transmission car, 30mpg city and 38mpg highway with a combined rating of 33mpg. This is best in class performance. The Fiat 500 with an automatic transmission earned a rating of 27mpg city and 34mpg highway with a combined 30mpg. Again, a best in class performance.
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to talk with Chrysler engineers who, working together with their Fiat SpA counterparts, achieved this performance. A fascinating point made was the US car achieves better gas mileage than if they used the complete European drivetrain.
These official fuel economy figures are better than the preliminary figures published earlier in documents provided by anonymous sources. The best in class achievements will erase any doubts to the efficiency of the 1.4L MultiAir engine.
But the Fiat 500 is more than just great fuel economy. While visiting these talented engineers, I was given the opportunity to drive the new 500 over a long, windy, hilly course laid out by Fiat North America in beautiful San Diego. Let me tell you, this car puts the power down; MultiAir spins out plenty of torque when and where you need it. I was able to charge this course mostly in one gear; the low-end torque pulling me out of the slow turns and then just letting the engine sing through the higher speed sweepers. Very Italian, the engine has a lot of personality. I'll have more on my road test in a later post.
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With thanks to Chrysler Media