The Panda will be available with a new petrol mild hybrid engine that combines the latest 3-cylinder FireFly 1.0-litre engine family with a 12-volt BSG (Belt-integrated Starter Generator) electric motor and a lithium battery that delivers 69 bhp (51kW).
Compared to the outgoing 1.2-litre 68 bhp petrol engine, the mild hybrid version improves fuel efficiency, reducing CO2emissions on the road by approximately 10 per cent..
The new 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder engine has a peak power output of 69 bhp (51kW) at 6,000rpm and peak torque of 68 ft lb at 3,500rpm. The cylinder head has two valves per cylinder and a single camshaft with continuous variable valve timing (the timing is chain-driven). The structure includes a compact combustion chamber, high-tumble intake ducts and external Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), providing a high compression ratio (12:1), which translates into better thermal efficiency. The crankcase, developed in collaboration with Teksid, is made of high-pressure die-cast aluminium alloy with cast-iron cylinder liners, to reduce start-up times and contain the weight of the engine to 77kg. Additionally, friction is reduced using a crank mechanism with a bore/stroke ratio of 1.24 and a connecting rod/crank device with a 10mm offset to maximise efficiency.
The BSG system is mounted directly on the engine and is operated by the belt that also drives the auxiliaries. The system recovers energy during braking and deceleration, stores it in a lithium battery with a capacity of 11Ah, and uses it, at a maximum power of 3,600W, to restart the engine in Stop&Start mode and to assist it during acceleration.
This technology allows the internal combustion engine to switch off by shifting into neutral, even at speeds below 18mph. The dashboard, which displays information on the hybrid system, prompts the driver when to shift.
The mild hybrid unit receives a 6-gear manual transmission (transverse gearbox, front-wheel drive), aimed at improving fuel economy in out-of-town driving, thanks to new low-friction bearings and gaskets and the use of a specific high-efficiency lubricant. The new system also involves lowering the entire power unit 45mm so the car behaves better on the road thanks to the lower centre of gravity.
Panda Easy mild hybrid receives air conditioning, DAB radio, Bluetooth functionality, audio controls via the steering wheel, USB socket, 15-inch dark metal alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers, adjustable door mirrors, fully-adjustable driver’s seat, four airbags, and electronic stability control with hill hold assist.