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Fiat's Mild-Hybrid 600 for 'Slower Pace' BEV Nations

Following hard-on-the-heels of Fiat’s all-electric 600e, the automaker has unveiled its more practical mild-hybrid powered option for most consumers with little or no access to charging infrastructure.

The new Fiat 600 Hybrid is aimed at “countries where the conversion to electric is still at a slower pace,” says the automaker recognizing the painfully slow roll-out rate of public charging infrastructure in most western nations.

Its powertrain features a three-cylinder 1.2-liter ICE engine that can deliver up to 97bhp coupled with a 48-Volt Li-ion battery and the new 6-speed electric dual-clutch transmission which includes the 21-kW e-motor, inverter, and transmission central unit, to keep the overall dimensions compact. The "extra” electric power improves boost at low rev-range and during take-off.

Naturally, there’s energy recovery technology as the vehicle slows down. In normal driving conditions, the engine is designed to improve fuel consumption and save up to 15% of CO2 emissions compared to a pure ICE engine with automatic transmission, also thanks to the Miller Cycle, and only up to 114g of estimated CO2.

In performance terms it claims a 0-62mph sprint time of 11 seconds and in start-up is in 100% electric mode (e-launch). This mode is also activated during city driving under 20mph, with 0.6 miles of full electric range on urban and country roads. Electric-only power supply can also be used for the e-creeping function, which is used to make a series of short movements forward with no pressure on the accelerator—for example, in a traffic jam (e-queueing). The car can also be parked in 100% electric mode, either in first gear or in reverse (e-parking).

Olivier Francois, Fiat CEO and Stellantis Global CMO, said: “Our strategic vision remains full electric and all-eletric 500 being the bestselling BEV city car in Europe fuels our determination to pursue and make electric truly accessible to all. However, we also shall stay relevant in those countries such as Italy, our domestic market, where full electric hasn’t yet really taken off. Therefore, for these selected countries, together with the new 600 full electric, we will offer a high-spec hybrid that will hopefully open the door to a more electrified world.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_  and Threads

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