Small displacement diesel engines are dead. At least that’s the assertion made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne in an interview with UK publication AutoExpress. The executive went on to confirm plans for a mild hybrid version of next Fiat 500 mini car.
More specifically, the next 500 is apparently slated to gain a 48-volt hybrid power system. The electrification will replace the car’s 1.3-liter MultiJet engine, which is offered in the European market. Mild hybrids are more cost effective means of lowering NOx emissions than plug-in electric systems.
“There are very few things that are certain in this market – apart from one, and that is that small displacement diesels are dead. I think everything else is fair play, so we’ll experiment,” Marchionne told AutoExpress.
Marchionne went on to say that full hybrids are still out of reach from a cost for mini-cars from a cost perspective, but that the 48-volt system is actually cheaper than the current diesel version of the 500.
When exactly we’ll see the new Fiat 500 is anyone’s guess, but it is a safe assumption the car won’t be seen until after 2019.