Hybrids are the future, says Fiat
FIAT will follow Volkswagen’s strategy of phasing out small diesel engines in its compact cars, as the next Fiat 500 – illustrated in our exclusive image – is likely to ditch the 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engine in favour of a cleaner 48-volt petrol hybrid.
In an effort to reduce harmful NOX emissions, Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne is looking at cleaner and more fuel-efficient powertrain options for vehicles across the range. While these will include plug-in hybrids on highend luxury models from Alfa Romeo and Maserati, the Group’s smallest cars will adopt a more cost-effective approach.
“We will have to play with a variety of solutions,” Marchionne told us. “There are very few things that are certain in this market – apart from one, and that is that small-displacement diesels are dead.” However, while Marchionne insisted that the cost would have to come down before plug-in superminis were viable, he admitted that mild hybrids were a logical next step. He added: “Putting plug-in hybrids into a car in that segment is going to kill you as a manufacturer.
“We need to find other solutions, and that’s why I think we need to embrace 48-volt systems in a more realistic way.”
CLEANER Our exclusive image shows next Fiat 500, which could get small 48-volt hybrid power