Return of the 2 cylinder engine, courtesy of Fiat

Have you ever driven a car with a 2 cylinder engine? I’ve driven two. Both cars were very famous, and still have cult-status to millions of fans all over the world. They were the Citroen 2 CV and The Fiat 500. Cars that had their prime-time about half a century ago. They were not fast, but they were cheap to buy and run, and also quite fun to drive. Much more than some korean imports that are today’s cheapest cars.

We do not have much data yet. This new engine, which goes by the name of Twin Air, still has to be homologated in a car, so there’s no fuel economy figures, nor CO2 emission values, but Fiat promises much less fuel in, and less CO2 out. This new engine will be the new base engine of the 500, and later the Panda (both models share the same platform). It might also be the only engine of the future Topolino, the next very small car of Fiat. I’ll have a close look at this engine next week in Geneva, I just wonder how small it is. Displacement is 0.9 liter, which makes it the smallest gasoline engine in Europe.

The engine will come in 3 versions. 65, 85 and 105 hp. That last one making close to 120 hp per liter, a very impressive figure that only a handful of sports car can better. This has been possible with the help or turbocharging, and the already famous MultiAir system that Fiat introduced last year. Sadly, this engine will be Europe-only for the foreseeable future. Not meaty enough for power-hungry americans. The Fiat 500 will be sold in the US with a turbocharged 1.4 liter, and that shall be the only engine available. I’ll try to find out if Fiat has any plan for the Twin Air (that’s the name of this new engine) in the US, but I’m afraid it doesn’t have any.