However cost considerations rule-out current plug-in hybrid technology for compact cars so Marchionne is looking for alternatives, in particular mild-hybrid 48-volt systems.
“We will have to play with a variety of solutions,” Marchionne explained to Britain’s Auto Express. “There are very few things that are certain in this market – apart from one, and that is that small displacement diesels are dead. I think everything else is fair play, so we’ll experiment.”
So, for the all-new Fiat 500, hybrid technology is not ‘if’ – it’s when and how.
“I think hybrids are inevitable,” Marchionne revealed. “We are all moving in the right direction. The question is not the technology, it’s a question of the cost and whether the consumer will pay.”
And expect the hybrid Fiat 500 to perform better and achieve lower operating costs than the current model’s 1.3-litre Multijet diesel.
As for styling, expect an evolution of the current car's throw-back design updated to keep it looking sleek and contemporary while maintaining clear lineage to its iconic predecessors.
The interior too is expected to bring a modern interpretation of the classic 500 – the hallmark compact binnacle is likely to be maintened while a large central screen similar to that featured in the retro-syled 500X SUV will bring infotainment and interior interfaces up to speed.