Fiat 500 TwinAir: first drive

  • 500 TwinAir emits 95g/km of CO2 emissions
  • That's zero showroom tax and nil road tax
  • Pricing starts from £10,665, available now

Fiat has put the driving fun into eco motoring thanks to the 500 TwinAir.

The 500 uses an 875cc two-cylinder engine, reputed to be the cleanest mass-produced petrol engine in the world. This means the 500 emits just 95g/km of CO2 and averages a claimed 68.9mpg.

The 500 TwinAir will also cost nothing when entering the London Congestion Zone, cost you nothing in showroom tax and is free for road tax thanks to this eco-friendly engine.

Performance figures look good for a car with a green theme running through it - the benchmark sprint from zero to 62mph takes 11 seconds with a top speed of 108mph.

It's fun to drive especially with the slick shifting five-speed manual gearbox and it retains the go-kart handling that will please the more enthusiastic driver.

The whine of the two-cylinder engine will be like marmite - some will love it, while others will hate it. The engine whirr gives the 500 TwinAir a playful charm and it seems to egg you on to have fun.

There will be an auto version available in 2011 that is claimed to emit 92g/km of CO2 and return on average 70.6mpg.

Driving flexibility is offered through the dashboard-mounted ECO button. Switch the ECO button on (the ECO light will be illuminated on the dash) and the maximum pulling power is cut by 45Nm to 100Nm. This improves fuel consumption and the steering becomes lighter - a boon for city-centre driving.

For outer-urban driving, keep the car in 'normal' mode with the ECO button off and the car will return to its 145Nm of pulling power making it fun and dynamic.

Available in both 500 and 500c, the TwinAir engine will be offered in every trim level including limited edition models.

Standard kit includes remote central locking, electric front windows and door mirrors, an MP3 compatible CD player, Dualdrive electric power steering, ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution, seven airbags, stop/start technology and a gear shift indicator to help drivers achieve the best economy possible.

Pricing is competitive as the 500 TwinAir in Pop specification starts from £10,665.

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