From Richard Bremner in Frankfurt
This vegetation-stickered Panda, called Aria, turns in an impressive 69g/km, using the company´s new 900cc 80bhp twin cylinder engine, which is equipped with Multiair electronic inlet valve control, a turbocharger, a stop-start device and an automated transmission. It runs on a 70:30 mix of methane and hydrogen. This new, downsized engine weighs 20 percent less than a conventional engine, and occupies 25 percent less space. Fiat will offer this powertrain from 2009 in dual fuel form, but the twin cylinder motor will appear next year in a wide range of small Fiats, from Panda through 500 to the Grande Punto. A 100bhp version of the engine will also be offered. The Aria also has an interior featuring materials made from plants.