The relentless announcements of new cars with emissions of less than 120g/km continues apace. The latest one to join the party is Fiat, with its new diesel Bravo.
This adds to the choice of cars that may be free to enter the capital if sub-120g/km cars become exempt from the London Congestion Charge, and adds to Ken Livingstone’s headache about whether the 120g/km limit is a good idea or not. If nothing else, even the idea has played a part in encouraging manufacturers to give us lower emission cars (along with the incentive of £35 per year road tax).
The new 1.6 MultiJet 16v diesel unit delivers 62.7mpg in the combined cycle (an increase of 5 mpg on the standard 105 bhp 1.6 MultiJet) and CO2 emissions of just 119g/km. This also makes the Bravo the first car in its category to be fitted with a Euro 5-compliant engine, well ahead of the 2009 deadline.
To achieve 62.7mpg, the Bravo comes in 105 bhp form and in a special eco-package. In addition to revised engine ECU settings, this ‘Eco’ pack employs special measures similar to Volkswagen’s BlueMotion range including optimising the aerodynamics, incorporating low rolling resistance tyres and ‘taller’ gear ratios. Without the eco pack, the engine delivers 57.6mpg – and 129g/km – the same as the 120bhp version.
The Fiat Group has pledged to be the leading manufacturer in terms of weighted average CO2 levels. Last year, Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne told the international media that “Regardless of what other car makers will do, our Group is committed, by 2012, to reaching the lowest weighted average CO2 emission level for the cars it produces, with respect to competitors.”
Fiat is currently among the top performers in Europe for having the lowest average CO2 emissions, posting 144g/km, according to figures published by the European Federation for Transport and Environment (EFTE).
The new 4 cylinder 1.6 MultiJet comes in 105bhp form and as a 120bhp version. Both engines come with a manual six-speed gearbox.
The engines are boosted by either electronically-controlled fixed-geometry (105bhp version) or variable-geometry (120bhp version) turbochargers, to enhance power output while providing very high torque even at low revs. Compared with the current Fiat 1.9 MultiJet 120bhp unit, the 1.6 MultiJet series has the same power, torque is improved by almost 25 per cent at 1500 rpm, and fuel consumption is reduced by eight per cent.
Watch out for more cars being engineered to magically slip under the 120g/km barrier.