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Hybrid “inevitable” In All-New Fiat 500

Fiat Chrysler chief, Sergio Marchionne, has hinted the all-new Fiat 500 will likely include a hybrid drivetrain when it arrives in 2019.

However cost considerations rule-out current plug-in hybrid technology for compact cars so Marchionne is looking for alternatives, in particular mild-hybrid 48-volt systems.

“We will have to play with a variety of solutions,” Marchionne explained to Britain’s Auto Express. “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.”

So, for the all-new Fiat 500, hybrid technology is not ‘if’ – it’s when and how.

Under the bonnet of Fiat's current 500

“I think hybrids are inevitable,” Marchionne revealed. “We are all moving in the right direction. The question is not the technology, it’s a question of the cost and whether the consumer will pay.”

With European cities clamping-down on diesel vehicles in the CBD, expect the hybrid Fiat 500 to be joined by plug-in hybrid vehicles from fellow Italian brands Alfa Romeo and Maserati.

And expect the hybrid Fiat 500 to perform better and achieve lower operating costs than the current model’s 1.3-litre Multijet diesel.

As for styling, expect an evolution of the current car’s throw-back design updated to keep it looking sleek and contemporary while maintaining clear lineage to its iconic predecessors.

The interior too is expected to bring a modern interpretation of the classic 500 – the hallmark compact binnacle is likely to be maintened while a large central screen similar to that featured in the retro-syled 500X SUV will bring infotainment and interior interfaces up to speed.

MORE: Fiat | 500 | Hybrid

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