Hy­brids are the fu­ture, says Fiat

Auto Express - - News - Mi­los Dvo­rak

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

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