The Fiat group is developing diesel and gasoline-hybrid models of small cars and vans that could be production ready by 2011.
At this stage, the company expects new models to propel vehicles short distances on electric power only, with the main aim of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for stop-start city driving.
Speaking to Automotive News Europe, Alfredo Altavilla, CEO of Fiat Powertrain Technologies said, “We are still in the research phase and, if everything proceeds as expected, we could begin production within three years.”
For minicar and small car models, Fiat is developing a new two-cylinder 900cc gasoline engine, paired with an electric motor via a dual-clutch transmission. The powertrain for larger delivery vans will be based on an electric motor linked to a larger 2.3 litre four-cylinder diesel engine, with an automated manual transmission.
The low "electric only" range reflects the use of a relatively low-powered battery. However, according to Altavilla, Fiat is working with several unidentified battery suppliers to design better alternatives.
Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne, wants the company to have the lowest CO2 emissions of any European car manufacturer by 2012, when new EU standards come into force. The Italian firm says the new system could bring CO2 emissions for their small cars below 90g/KM.
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