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Could Fiat 500 Get 50MPG?

Michael Sheena's picture

When the Fiat 500 arrives in the United States, it will feature Fiat's MultiAir technology which should allow our Americanized Fiat 500 to handily exceed 40 MPG.

To keep pace with the Mini Cooper, one of the Fiat's primary competitors, our Fiat 500 will initially be built with only one engine, a 1.4-liter turbocharged MultiAir inline-four. Fiat has not released power figures, but a good guess places the range between 100 to 120 horsepower. When it comes to mileage, the engine's MultiAir technology should allow it to exceed the 40 MPG highway numbers that its non-MultiAir editions have posted in Europe. How much better? A safe bet is mid-forties on the highway, but trade publication Automotive News has sources inside the company that say test drivers have achieved better than 50 MPG.

Fiat Has Lofty Sales Ambitions For 500 In USA

If Fiat can truly coax 50 MPG out of the car and it is not a complete slug, then suddenly the company's 78,000 annual units sold by 2013 might be very possible. Especially when you consider that by then Chrysler should have other editions of the 500 for customers to choose from. The question is, is the Fiat 500 a flash in the pan like the smart fortwo or a solid hit like the Mini? We say that its much more likely to be like the Mini for several reasons. The problems with smart are many: It only transports two people, initially its transmission was quite awful and has only gotten marginally better, it offered a weak warranty, small dealer base and posted fuel economy numbers that were lower than buyers would have guess given its size. Top all of that off with the fact that Scion will be bringing a very similar sized iQ to the USA and the smart's goose looks to be cooked.

The Fiat has great looks, passenger capacity, a much larger potential dealer body even though it will be limited at first, and multiple variants to keep people interested. Given that it will be made in Mexico, it will not suffer from the same currency issues as the Mini and smart do.

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