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Brand New Fiat 500

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Mike Stevens | Nov 28, 2011

Fiat's award-winning ultra-green TwinAir engine will make its Australian debut in the diminutive Fiat 500 next year.

The news comes nearly two years after the brand's local distributor Ateco had ruled out an appearance in this market because of pricing difficulties.

The two-cylinder 875cc engine will replace the Australian-delivered 500's 1.4 litre four-cylinder engine. Despite its smaller size, the new engine delivers more torque while guzzling less fuel.

Power for the TwinAir engine is rated at 63kW and 145Nm, meaning output is down by 11kW but torque is up by 14Nm. The 500's 0-100km time is little changed, moving from 10.5 seconds to 11 seconds.

fiat 900cc two cylinder twin air engines 01

The big win is in the engine's fuel economy, falling from 6.1 l/100km for the 1.4 litre four-cylinder, to 4.1 l/100km for the new TwinAir.

In Australia, the TwinAir engine's figures will make it the greenest petrol-powered car on the market, matching the hybrid Lexus CT 200h's 4.1 l/100km and besting the Suzuki Alto's 4.7 l/100km.

Fiat Australia boss Andrei Zaitzev said that while Europe's tax breaks for low-consumption low-emission vehicles helped to make the TwinAir engine an affordable option in that market, the absence of similar incentives in Australia had made the prospect of a local launch difficult.

"We have negotiated hard to enable it to arrive in Australia and to do so at market competitive prices," Mr Zaitzev said.

We'll have to wait until next year to see what Fiat's Australian distributor Ateco defines as a competitive price.

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