New Fiat 500 due before 2019 with 48-volt hybrid tech

The new Fiat 500 will stick to a tried-and-tested retro design formula, but is expected to employ radical hybrid tech

The venerable Fiat 500 is expected to ditch its 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel engine in favour of cleaner 48-volt hybrid technology when the new model is revealed before the end of the decade.

In an effort to reduce harmful NOx emissions, Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne is looking at cleaner and more fuel efficient powertrain options for vehicles across the range. While these will include plug-in hybrids on high-end luxury models from Alfa Romeo and Maserati, the Group’s smallest cars will adopt a more cost-effective approach.

• Best small cars

“We will have to play with a variety of solutions,” Marchionne told us. “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.”

However, while Marchionne insisted the cost would have to come down before plug-in superminis were a reality, he conceived that mild hybrids were a logical next step.

• Cheapest cars to insure

“I think hybrids are inevitable,” he said. “We’re 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.

“We still make a very large number of small cars like the [Fiat] Panda and Fiat 500. Putting full hybrids into a car in that segment is going to kill you. We need to find other solutions, and that’s why I think we need to embrace 48 volt systems in a more realistic way.”

Fitting such a system should ensure the next-generation Fiat 500 is both faster and cheaper to run than the current car, while doing little to affect list prices or PCP monthly payments. However, with the MINI rival updated last year with a series of late-life nips and tucks, it’s unlikely we’ll see an all-new 500 before 2019.

What do you think of Fiat's plans for the next 500? Let us know in the comments...

Recommended

Fiat 500 Passion: long-term test review
Fiat 500 Passion long termer - first report header
Fiat 500 Hatchback

Fiat 500 Passion: long-term test review

First report: our current city car champ makes a good first impression in London, but the Fiat 500’s real tests are still to come
25 Oct 2021
New special-edition Fiat (500)RED priced from £16,435
Fiat (500)RED - front
Fiat 500

New special-edition Fiat (500)RED priced from £16,435

New special-edition Fiat 500 trim has been created in collaboration with international AIDS charity, with prices starting from £16,435
14 Oct 2021
2022 Geneva Motor Show cancelled due to ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
Geneva
Geneva Motor Show

2022 Geneva Motor Show cancelled due to ongoing Covid-19 pandemic

Geneva show cancelled for three years running but hope for 2023 return remains
7 Oct 2021
Geneva Motor Show to launch Qatar exhibition in 2022
Geneva Motor Show
News

Geneva Motor Show to launch Qatar exhibition in 2022

Geneva Motor Show heads to the middle east with a spin-off event planned in Doha every two years from 2022 or 2023
25 Aug 2021

Most Popular

New Kia EV6 2021 review
Kia EV6 front tracking
Kia EV6

New Kia EV6 2021 review

With a sporty drive, 300-plus miles of range and plenty of tech - could the new Kia EV6 be one of the best electric cars on sale?
19 Oct 2021
New Michelin Uptis airless tyre blows in ahead of 2024 launch
Michelin Uptis
News

New Michelin Uptis airless tyre blows in ahead of 2024 launch

The new airless Michelin Uptis is made from rubber and fibreglass and promises to be longer lasting, fuel-saving and recyclable
20 Oct 2021
The best 0% finance car deals 2021
Best 0% finance car deals - header
Best cars & vans

The best 0% finance car deals 2021

Tempted by a 0% APR deal? Here are our best 0% finance deals starting from only £145...
21 Oct 2021