Fiat 500’s TwinAir Update Boosts Fuel Efficiency To Prius-Like Levels

Changing consumer needs and tastes have made gas mileage just as big an issue as other facets of automobile performance.  Fiat, however, is taking the “mpg battle” a whole other level when they equip the adorable 500 model with the TwinAir 875cc, a tiny, two-cylinder engine that gets it an impressive 57.4 mpg (US), making it the most fuel-efficient gas car around.

According to the company, the new engine, which underwent a 24-month development cycle, will help it remain as “Europe’s greenest automaker.”  Despite other carmakers working to send their engines to fuel-sipping mode, Fiat’s new car fleet is still expected to offer the lowest average CO2 emissions in the region – no small feat, considering the heightening competition in the space.

The TwinAir 875cc has one turbocharger and eight valves, putting out 85 hp with 106 lb/ft of torque.  Equipping a Fiat 500 minicar with one, mated with a semi-auto gearbox, produces 92 grams per kilometer of CO2 emissions, aside from the aforementioned Prius-like mileage.  A version bearing a five-speed manual transmission does 95 g/km and 56 mpg.

Different versions of the engine will be offered afterwards, including a 65-hp normally aspirated variant and a more powerful 115-hp tuned-turbo model.  These will also be extended to the automaker’s other mini and subcompact offerings beginning next year, such as the Fiat Panda and Lancia Ypsilon.  A planned mild-hybrid system based on the engines is also on the pipe.

A TwinAir-powered Fiat 500 will go for 13,250 Euros ($16,775) when it launches in Italy beginning September.

[via Autonews]