Fiat will focus on its highly impressive green credentials at this year’s Paris show with the spotlight falling on the world premiere of the new PUR-O2 line that will be available on the 500, Croma and Bravo from November in Europe.
This select group of versions is at the cutting edge of the international automotive scenario due to their high-tech content, low fuel consumption and low CO2 emission levels. The result has been achieved by the introduction of special systems and devices such as the innovative Eco Drive, the new ‘Start&Stop’ device developed by Bosch and special Eco Packs that include green tyres, low-viscosity fluids, aerodynamic packages and gearboxes with modified ratios.
The new PUR-O2 line confirms Fiat’s wish to develop more and more new products as part of its quest for innovative solutions to contain polluting emissions and CO2 levels. Fiat is incidentally one of the motoring brands providing the best response to the need to limit the impact of transport on the environment.
The company JATO – world leader in automotive research and consulting, set up in 1984 and present in more than 40 countries – recently announced that, out of the ten biggest selling automobile brands in Europe, Fiat Automobiles is the brand that achieved the lowest average CO2 emissions value for the cars it sold in 2007, i.e 134.6 g/km. And more, again in 2007, the CO2 emissions of no fewer than 23% of the cars sold by Fiat were lower than 120 g/km and 67% of Fiat cars achieved a level of less than or equal to 140 g/km.
Heartened by this result and irrespective of what will be decided in Europe, Fiat Automobiles is aiming to achieve the lowest average adjusted level of CO2 emissions for its cars by 2012. Fiat intends to pursue its goal by introducing a targeted campaign on its engines, transmission and cars and also the structural use of the Start&Stop system.
The Stop&Start system was developed in conjunction with FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies and includes a special reinforced starter motor produced by Bosch in addition to a particularly advanced control strategy that analyses a host of engine, gearbox and climate control parameters to reduce fuel consumption and emissions while upholding the Fiat 500’s high handling and reliability standards.
Fiat 500 PUR-O2
The PUR-O2 version, built on the basis of a Fiat 500 Lounge, is fitted with the tried and tested 1.2 petrol engine and equipped with the Start&Stop system, a device that turns the engine off temporarily and restarts it during periods when the engine would be idling with the car at a standstill.
In these situations, typical of congested traffic in urban areas and while waiting at traffic lights, and when control strategies permit it, the system automatically turns off the engine to allow a significant saving in fuel (more than 10% reduction in fuel consumption over an urban cycle).
As soon as the brake pedal is released or a gear engaged, the system then quickly restarts the engine to ensure the user an immediate response to controls. The Start&Stop also offers further advantages in terms of passenger compartment comfort due to the lack of vibrations and noise. The system therefore represents a high-tech and smart solution to the requirement for low environmental impact cars with good fuel economy.
The PUR-O2 version of the 500 can boast the lowest emissions in the petrol range (CO2 emissions: 115 g/km), and is also equipped with the Eco Drive system.
From January 2009, it will also be possible to combine the system with a Dualogic gearbox that allows optimum management of gear shifts and offers high mechanical efficiency. In detail, the automated transmission offers a basis for smart management of engine on/off status, shaving even more off fuel consumption figures and guaranteeing CO2 emission levels even lower than 115 g/km.
By controlling the clutch, the system can disengage the engine from the transmission whenever drive is not required and the engine can be turned off.
Fiat Bravo PUR-O2
The Fiat Bravo is a leading seller in the most competitive market segment, i.e. compact saloons, and continues to flaunt its unchallenged technological leadership with its PUR-O2 versions equipped with a 1.6 Multijet engine delivering power outputs of 90 bhp and 105 bhp. In detail, the new versions offer particularly low CO2 emissions (only 115 g/km on the 90 bhp 1.6 version and just 119 g/km on the 105 bhp 1.6) in addition to particulate values pegged at minimum levels due to a standard-equipment particulate filter that few competitors offer as a standard item on their greener versions.
The technical changes that have made it possible to achieve these absolutely outstanding results for the category include lengthening of the gear ratios, the use of tyres with a low friction coefficient, the use of low viscosity lubricant oil and a special engine control unit setting.
The PUR-O2 version is another item in the long list of new products that have been introduced since the launch and make the Bravo model the benchmark in its category in terms of style and also, increasingly, for its proven substance and state-of-the-art technology.
Examples include the introduction of the powerful Turbo T-jet petrol units and the revolutionary 1.6 Multijet diesel engine (the only Euro 5-ready engines in the category); the use and application of the most sophisticated systems and devices for passenger protection and for control of the car’s dynamic behaviour, as evidenced by the introduction as standard of a state-of-the-art ESP (Electronic Stability Program) device (the Fiat Bravo was not awarded a sought-after 5 star rating by EuroNcap for nothing); the option of ‘Blue&MeTM‘, a system created as a joint venture between Fiat Group
Automobiles and Microsoft that has brought a quantum leap in in-car communication, information and entertainment paradigms to improve comfort and the quality of time spent on board – and lastly Blue&Me Nav, an ultra-efficient pictogram navigation system that allows access to a simple and useful set of telematic services at the best price on the market. Not to mention the fact that recently the new Dualogic sequential gearbox was launched on the Fiat Bravo.
This offers two operating modes: automatic mode, designed for comfort and fuel consumption, and manual mode for greater driving satisfaction, enhanced by paddle controls behind the steering wheel.
A 360° trip on the Internet
Visitors to the Paris Motor show will be introduced to a new web platform created by Fiat and devoted to the company’s constant commitment to environmental protection and respect. This can be visited from the Fiat website– www.fiat.it or www.fiat.com for the international version.
The heart of the website is a circular navigation menu that covers the entire life cycles of our cars through 360°, showing the six main stages in the same number of browsing channels.
The first stage is research and development, an activity where respect for the environment plays a fundamental role, as it does in the construction and the study of environmentally-friendly prototypes.
The next stage is design and engineering and design applications for the construction of conventional engines and alternative minimum impact and emission engines. This is followed by the production stage, from the use of raw materials to process management. After this comes a presentation of the Fiat low environmental impact range and state incentives and contributions towards the purchase of these cars.
Respect for the environment also means driving your car in a manner that is compatible with the environment: this leads us on to a chapter devoted to the sophisticated Ecodrive application and to car sharing and car pooling initiatives.
The final stage is end of life management. This section is devoted to the disposal of the car and the various components of the car at the end of their life and to the recycling of materials to be reused in the construction of new cars.
The circle closes but the car’s life cycle starts all over again. It’s worth noting that all vehicles in the Fiat range are already 95% recyclable, ahead of the type approval limits laid down in directive 2005/64/EC that will become compulsory from December 2008 for new type approvals and from July 2010 for new car sales.
At the same time, to improve the environmental impact of its cars at the end of their lives, Fiat has reduced the use of PVC and thermosetting polymers while it has also considerably increased the use of recycled materials (thus offering a considerable contribution to the re-use of materials from cars that are no longer in use).
Visitors to the Paris Motor show will be able to find out about Eco Drive, a sophisticated application designed to promote a driving style that is compatible with the environment. Eco Drive was developed in conjunction with Microsoft and is now being introduced for the first time in the automotive industry. It will be available on the 500 and Grande Punto models (from October) and will then be extended to all Fiat models equipped with Blue& Me in 2009.
In detail, the system analyses the driver’s style of driving and offers tips on how to drive in a more environmentally-friendly manner. It is possible to record a customer’s driving characteristics through a USB port on the versatile Blue&Me system and import the information into a digital environment using a normal USB drive.
Here customers can carefully analyse fuel consumption and emissions on each of their trips (ecoIndex), receive advice on the best way to drive in order to ensure a lower environmental impact and become part of a community that shares an environmentally responsible driving style. The Eco Drive system also makes it possible to save at the pumps because it always advises a more regular style of driving that benefits fuel consumption.
Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa is evaluating each of these new eco-friendly technologies and hopes to incorporate some of them into its local line-up of cars in 2009.