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.
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.
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.