Fiat Panda Aria
The Concept car Panda Aria represents the most advanced frontier achievable, in terms of emissions and consumption, associating in synergy existing sustainable technologies or those in future production. In a nutshell, we're dealing with a "demonstration" which synthesizes Fiat's commitment to the environment.
The Concept car, combines an innovative powertrain architecture – represented by the new SGE 900 cc Turbo twin-cylinder engine, equipped with the Multiair® system for dual petrol/methane-hydrogen fuel management, MTA gearbox and Stop&Start device – with the adoption of eco-compatibile materials (recycled, recyclable or from natural sources) both for the interiors and exteriors.
The interior is upholstered with natural fibres (cotton and linen), woven coconut fibre and biodegradable elements, whilst the exterior panelling is made of semi-transparent eco-resin and the structure is treated in opaque "totouch" paint.
Even better, the energy absorbed by the auxiliary units is minimised on the vehicle and the engine (for example, the low consumption climate control unit) by a reduction in the vehicle's weight (by a downsizing of the engine, and the use of new generation high tensile steel, methane storage cylinders made of high-performance steel and carbon fibres) and the adoption of experimental Pirelli 'ultra-green' tyres with new compounds and new AOF (Aromatic Oil Free) textile weaves guaranteeing limited drag but without detracting from dynamic safety performance (stopping distances and good handling on wet and dry roads).
Lastly, the Panda Aria is fitted with a data transmission, based on the use of Blue&Me technology, ready for the implementation of new info-mobility services. Furthermore it is equipped with a unique application that, via the USB port of the Blue&Me system, allows to record on a key the consumption and emmissions of every journey. Subsequently, this can be looked at on a computer to receive advice on how to drive more "ecologically".
In detail, Panda Aria is fitted with the new 900 cc turbo 80 CV engine, belonging to the family of SGE twin-cylinder engines (Small Gasoline Engine), in this version it is equipped with the Multiair® system for dual petrol/methane fuel management. The sophisticated fuel management system is already primed for the use of a methane (70%) and hydrogen (30%) mixture. The engine is matched to a Stop&Start device and the innovative MTA (Manual Transmission Automated) gearshift.
In particular, the innovative 900 turbo engine, developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies, is fruit of a philosophy focused on the reduction of costs (and consequently CO2 emissions), and the respecting of future Euro 5 and Euro 6 emission limits yet with comparable performance to higher horse-power engines.
The concept underlining this new engine, is the downsizing of a traditional engine with 4 cylinders to a twin-cylinder one, which has been fitted with the innovative electronic valve control Multiair® system. In addition to the reduction in consumption costs, the twin-cylinder engine allows a 20% reduction of the weight and a 25% reduction in the engine compartment, in comparison to a 4 cylinder with similar power. Furthermore, the SGE family of motors adopts a system of balancing the engine spindle , which guarantees reduced vibrations and noises in comparison to petrol engines with three cylinders.
The innovative Multiair® system allows to control the air in the motor with electronic ignition (petrol engines) without having to use the traditional throttle-valve, therefore with higher flexibility in comparison to mechanical distribution systems.
The implemented electro-hydraulic technology is based on the inter positioning, between the cams and the suction-valve engine of a volume of oil (high pressure chamber) which can be varied across the use of a valve which is controlled in turn by an apposite electronic junction box.
In this manner, the valve opening can be varied in different modes according to the the engine's need for air and the vehicle use. Different strategies (Early Valve Shut-Off – EIVC – Deferred Valve Opening – LIVO or Multi-Lift) can be used for optimising the efficiency of the combustion with remarkable benefits in terms of power, torque, consumption and emissions. Another advantage of this system is that the air pressure around the valves is always constant. This characteristic, combined with a raised dynamic system of implementation (from partial load to full load in one engine cycle) allows raising the engine's torque response without any delay, either when the engine is overloaded or not, heightening the so-called Fun-to-Drive.
In the Panda Aria the new 900 turbo engine is combined to the dual petrol/methane fuel management methane (70%) hydrogen (30%); this solution brings a further contribution to the reduction of polluting emissions, assuring a more efficient and complete combustion. Furthermore, it allows the incrementation of the thermodynamic performance of the engine, allowing it to reach, in particular conditions, combustion stability values superior even to those obtainable by only using methane. Therefore, the vehicles running on methane-hydrogen mixtures are a gradual evolution of an already existing system and open to further refining and applications. The methane-hydrogen mixtures, in fact, represent a bridge, which would allow in the short term development of infrastructures for the future supply of hydrogen.
Panda Aria is fitted with the "Stop&Start" system, a device which operates the temporary shut-off of the engine and it's subsequent ignition, when the vehicle is stationary. In these situations, typical of urban traffic and during waits at the traffic-lights, the system automatically shuts-off the engine allowing a marked saving of fuel. Afterwards, as soon as the car is put in gear or the brake is released, the system sees to promptly igniting the engine, assuring the user an immediate response to their commands.
Furthermore, the "Stop & Start" system, is mated to the MTA gearshift which allows optimal use of the gears, and is characterized by a high mechanical efficiency. In detail, the automatic transmission lays the foundation for an "intelligent" management of the on/off state of the engine. More so, via the use of the clutch, the system allows the uncoupling of the three-phase motor from the transmission whenever traction is not required and the engine can be turned off.
The combining of the "Stop & Start" system and the MTA gearshift allows the concept car Panda Aria to reduce consumption by over 10% in urban journeys.
Lastly, the combination of these solutions, which have been developed by the Fiat Group(Fiat Group Automobiles, Fiat Powertrain Technologies and Centro Ricerche Fiat), are already in existence or will soon be available on regular and future production models, guaranteeing a drastic reduction in CO2 emissions. The Panda Aria emissions have been cut to a record low of 69 g/km.