New Fiat 600 Hybrid puts the 600e on ICE, slowly | CAR Magazine

New Fiat 600 Hybrid puts the 600e on ICE, slowly

Published: 19 September 2023 Updated: 20 September 2023

► New Fiat 600 Hybrid with MHEV tech
► Compact petrol SUV equivalent to 600e
► Can run on electric power alone – briefly

In further shock news that petrol engines aren’t dead, Fiat has announced the 600 Hybrid – a dinosaur-chewing companion car to the 600e electric SUV. This new b-segment warrior brings the mighty power of a 1.2-litre three-cylinder mild hybrid engine to the family car battle ground, an area of the market Fiat has largely been avoiding of late.

Reasons to read further about the 600 Hybrid include the ability to move on electric power alone – still relatively unusual for a mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) – and that it has been developed to service regions where conversion to full electric vehicles ‘is still at a slower pace’.

It’s set to go on sale in the UK in late 2024.

What’s under the bonnet?

Looking indistinguishable from the Fiat 600e electric car, which is to say as sleepy as any SUV we’ve ever seen, the 600 Hybrid sports what Fiat refers to as a ‘P2 hybrid’ package.

The 1.2-litre triple produces 99bhp all by itself, but is mated to a belt-driven starter generator and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with an integrated 21kW electric motor. This e-motor not only boosts low speed response, it’s also able to move the car all by itself at speeds of up to 18mph (30kmh) thanks to the ‘e-launch’ mode and on-board lithium-ion battery.

There are three other e- modes that also utilise this ability: e-creeping (foot off low-speed crawling as per a conventional automatic); e-queuing (in traffic jams), and; e-parking.

If e-creeping isn’t the worst name for any innovation on any car launched in 2023, we’ll eat our e-hats.

As the MHEV system also recovers energy under deceleration it should help with fuel economy and CO2 emissions, which are expected to be 110-114g/km, depending on spec. The petrol engine uses the Miller cycle for optimised economy as well.

It’s no rocketship, however, with Fiat saying ‘the brilliant New Fiat 600 Hybrid features acceleration to 100 km/h in just about 11 seconds.’

Yes, just about.

Any other details about the Fiat 600 Hybrid?

Even for a B-SUV this is a compact car at just 4.17m in length. You can get five people in, but our time spent with the 600e suggests four will be more comfortable. The boot is 385 litres, which is merely ok for this class now.

There are two specifications. At the top of the range sits La Prima, a name already familiar from the Fiat 500e and 600e. Below this, the regular 600 Hybrid model comes ‘exclusively’ with recycled-fabric seats with white accents and a black bio-plastic dashboard fascia.

All models get paddleshifters and an e-Auto Off mode that stops the car shutting down the petrol engine. Which immediately makes us slightly suspicious of the state of the calibration (having driven early examples of the Alfa Romeo Tonale mild hybrid) but there’s quite some time to go before it reaches the UK anyway.

The platform is the same Stellantis e-CMP basis as the Jeep Avenger. The next-gen Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Mokka models also use it.

What does the Fiat 600 Hybrid cost?

Pricing has already been announced in Italy, where you’ll be able to get a 600 Hybrid for 19,950 Euros thanks to current incentives – the regular list price is 24,950 Euros.

That’s equivalent to around £21,500 at the moment, but is unlikely to translate directly to the UK even before we consider what might happen between now and the second half of 2024 when the 600 Hybrid is scheduled to be available here.

By CJ Hubbard

Head of the Bauer Digital Automotive Hub and former Associate Editor of CAR. Road tester, organiser, reporter and professional enthusiast, putting the driver first

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