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Fiat 500X and Tipo get new 48-volt mild-hybrid engine

The new 48-volt mild hybrid engine produces 128bhp, boosts economy and lowers emissions on the 500X and Tipo.

Fiat 500X and Tipo

The Fiat 500X crossover and Tipo hatchback are now being offered with a new 48-volt mild-hybrid petrol engine, as part of the brand’s carbon-cutting ecomobility drive. Prices for the former start from £27,585, while the same engine in the Tipo will only set you back an extra tenner.

The engine in question is the company’s Firefly 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol unit, to which is bolted a 48-volt belt-driven starter-generator and a compact battery pack. Combined, the system has an output of 128bhp and 240Nm of torque – and the system sends drive to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Fiat claims this new mild-hybrid powertrain trims down fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 11 per cent compared to the cars’ non-electrically assisted engines. The company also says the electric motor delivers enough torque to allow the car to cover short distances (such as when creeping forward at a set of traffic lights or parking) on electric power alone.

Fiat mild hybrid engine

Performance has improved, too. With the new hybrid engine, Fiat says the 500X can sprint from 0–62mph in 9.4 seconds, which is more than a second quicker than the old model. The Tipo’s gains are better still. It posts a 9.3-second 0–62mph time, which is more than two seconds faster than the hatchback’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine.

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To make sure onlookers know the eco benefits lurking under the bonnets of these two new models, Fiat has also fixed a “Hybrid” badge to both cars’ tailgates. Both vehicles are also available with the firm’s (RED) specification – a trim-level that was designed to raise awareness for the pandemic support charity founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver.

Fiat is also keen to point out that both of these new vehicles are available with a broad range of safety equipment. Depending on the specification, both cars come with autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, lane assist and a driver drowsiness sensor, which can recognise early signs of fatigue by monitoring how well the car is kept in its lane.

Other convenience features such as keyless entry and a reversing camera can also be specified as optional extras on both vehicles.

Now read all the latest news about the upcoming Fiat Panda SUV, which will be available with a pure-electric powertrain…

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