Fiat 500 and Panda Hybrids with a new 1.0 N3 BSG 12 MHEV engine

Bili

Official Pilot
Staff member
08 January 2020

Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda Hybrid, the Hybrid according to Fiat


  • The Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda, always European leaders in their segment, are the first FCA city cars fitted with the new gasoline Mild Hybrid technology.
  • The new Fiat 500 and Panda Hybrid are the first step towards the electrification of the Fiat brand.
  • The Hybrids are powered by the new 3-cylinder engines from the FireFly family, combined with the 12-volt BSG (Belt-integrated Starter Generator), which will deliver 70 HP.
  • For customers, CO2 consumption and emissions are reduced by up to 30% depending on the model, in addition to the tax and traffic benefits of hybrid vehicles in densely populated areas, based on local regulations.
  • The 500 and the Panda represent the two souls of the Fiat brand. The first, the more emotional one, is the pop, fashion and design icon. The second, the more functional, trendy one, with 5 doors. Together they are able to satisfy any customer and need and today, for the first time, they are together in a single special series: the Hybrid Launch Edition.
The Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda, undisputed leaders of the city car, will be the first FCA Group models in their category to adopt the new hybrid technology. The new 500 and Panda Hybrid, available from February and March 2020 respectively, will revolutionize urban mobility once again, making the hybrid accessible to all and indeed becoming the new European benchmark for electrified urban mobility.

The new 500 and Panda Hybrid provide all the benefits of efficient, compact, lightweight and accessible hybrid driving. In short, it is the best solution for a citycar and consistent with the Fiat approach. For the last 120 years Fiat has always been a pioneer in technology and an innovator in mobility and now sustainable mobility.

2020 marks the new milestone in the history of the Fiat brand. With the launch of the new hybrid versions of the Fiat 500 and the Panda, the electrification of the brand will begin, and will continue with the start of production in Turin of the new 500. This model will be 100% electric and therefore will play a key role in the e-Mobility by FCA strategy. 2020 will see the group offer a range of products and services to give customers a complete and sustainable mobility experience.

Furthermore, for the first time in the history of the two iconic and complementary Fiat brand models, the 500 and the Panda will be available in a special unique series: the exclusive "Launch Edition", with the debut of the new gasoline Mild Hybrid engine that combines the latest 3-cylinder FireFly 1 liter 70 HP (51 kW) engine family with a 12-volt BSG (Belt-integrated Starter Generator) electric motor and a lithium battery. Compared to the 1.2 69 HP Fire, the Mild Hybrid version improves fuel efficiency, thus reducing CO2 emissions on average by 20% and up to 30% for the Panda Cross, without foregoing performance. It also ensures a very high standard of driving comfort thanks to the BSG system, which allows for quiet, vibration-free restarting of the internal combustion engine in Stop&Start mode. Customers also benefit from all the advantages of going hybrid (the car is Euro 6D Final-compliant, for instance), which, depending on local regulations, include freedom of access and movement in city centers, cheaper parking in town centers and tax breaks.

The special series can be recognized by the "Hybrid" sign written on the rear and the exclusive "H" logo, formed by two dew drops, on the center panel. Dew - the symbol of the light of dawn and therefore of the beginning of a new era - has been used as inspiration for the new and exclusive "Dewdrop Green" exterior that fits both cars like a bespoke suit, in perfect harmony with the themes of nature and innovation.


How the FCA Mild Hybrid Technology Works
The new gasoline Mild Hybrid engine, which builds on the heritage of the famous Fire engine, more than 30 million of them were produced, implements a 1-liter, 3-cylinder engine configuration with peak power output of 70 hp (51 kW) at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 92 Nm at 3,500 rpm. The cylinder head has two valves per cylinder and a single camshaft with continuous variable valve timing (the timing is chain-driven). The structure includes a compact combustion chamber, high-tumble intake ducts and external EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation), providing a remarkably high compression ratio (12:1), which translates into better thermal efficiency. The crankcase, developed in collaboration with Teksid, is made of high-pressure die-cast aluminum alloy with cast-iron cylinder liners, to reduce startup times and contain the weight of the engine to just 77 kg. Additionally, friction is reduced using a crank mechanism with a bore/stroke ratio of 1.24 and a connecting rod/crank device with a 10 mm offset to maximize efficiency.

The BSG system is mounted directly on the engine and is operated by the belt that also drives the auxiliaries. The system recovers energy during braking and deceleration, stores it in a lithium battery with a capacity of 11 Ah, and uses it, at a peak power of 3,6 kW, to restart the engine in Stop&Start mode and to assist it during acceleration.

This technology allows the internal combustion engine to switch off, even at speeds below 30 km/h, simply by shifting into neutral (the dashboard, which displays information on the hybrid system, prompts the driver when to do so). In coasting mode, the lithium battery powers all services, ensuring the driver has full control of the vehicle.

The Mild Hybrid propulsion unit in the latest Panda and 500 Hybrid Launch Edition is combined with a 6-gear C514 manual transmission evolution (transverse gearbox, front-wheel drive), with contents aimed at enhancing maneuverability and improving efficiency, including new low-friction bearings and gaskets, the use of a specific high-efficiency lubricant and a never seen before 6th gear ratio that improves fuel economy in out-of-town driving. The comfort-related aspect has also been taken into consideration by optimizing the gearbox system support. Lastly, the new system involves lowering the entire power unit 45 mm so the car behaves better on the road thanks to the lower center of gravity.

The new FireFly family was developed by FCA to offer a range of downsized gasoline engines, featuring good fuel efficiency and benchmark performance in a wide range of applications. The basic structure of the new engines guarantees efficiency, modularity and a considerable degree of standardization in terms of components and manufacturing process, flexibility and potential for future developments.

Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda Hybrid, the Hybrid according to Fiat

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pumadog

Active member
The numbers look good, if similar in the real world. But I hoped for a Panda facelift coming with the hybrid. It's 8 years on the market, virtually unchanged, still without an infotainment screen. But maybe it'll come accompanying the Centoventi in 2021/22.
 

Freshforged

Active member
The numbers look good, if similar in the real world. But I hoped for a Panda facelift coming with the hybrid. It's 8 years on the market, virtually unchanged, still without an infotainment screen. But maybe it'll come accompanying the Centoventi in 2021/22.
Good lord, I’d love to be able to buy a car without infotainment—hate the damn things!
 

Deckard Cain

Active member
Finally!
So the restyling of the Panda will come next year right?
And how about the 500? With the new generation being revealed in Geneva, the gas and hybrid options will probably arrive in 2021?
 

KrisW

Member
I can imagine a facelift of 500 coming in Summer to align with whatever new interior and exterior styling changes are made on the 500e, but there's no reason to change powertrains again at that point.

CO2 emissions are 88 g/km combined for the 500 1.0 mild hybrid in Pop trim, compared to 116 g/km on the 1.2 FIRE. Consumption is 3.1 l/100 km, WLTP combined (= 77 UK mpg. For reference, that's 64 MPG American, but this powertrain won't be sold in USA). This puts the 500 and Panda (if similar) right up to the top of the segment on fuel consumption - only Citroen's newest C1 offers better economy (by just 0.1 l/100km), but it's a smaller and more expensive model than the Panda or 500.

What's not on that spec-sheet is that with the Firefly's better low-end torque plus e-motor fill-in, this should be a very nice car to drive. One thing I'm a bit wary of is the idea of telling the driver to place the vehicle "in neutral" - in quite a few countries, coasting a car like this comes under the category of "not being in control of the vehicle" (You will certainly fail the Irish or UK driving tests for doing it). With an automated transmission and a change of indication to the driver (make it display "E" instead of "Neutral") it'd be a very nice feature.
 

Deckard Cain

Active member
What's not on that spec-sheet is that with the Firefly's better low-end torque plus e-motor fill-in, this should be a very nice car to drive. One thing I'm a bit wary of is the idea of telling the driver to place the vehicle "in neutral" - in quite a few countries, coasting a car like this comes under the category of "not being in control of the vehicle" (You will certainly fail the Irish or UK driving tests for doing it). With an automated transmission and a change of indication to the driver (make it display "E" instead of "Neutral") it'd be a very nice feature.
This is also an issue in Portugal actually.
 

KrisW

Member
Am I right in thinking that this 12 Volt BSG system is cheaper than a turbocharger?

It looks like a good system, though. 3.6 kW is a big enough electric motor to be useful - it'll get the car started and give the road wheels a full turn, and should be able to fill in an extra 10-20 Newton-metres of torque until about 1500 rpm.
 
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