Technology award for Fiat 500 TwinAir

Despite its compact dimensions, the small city car is highly recommended in the 2011 BusinessCar Fleet Technology Awards this week.

In particular, the Fiat 500 was praised by judges of the awards for its TwinAir petrol engine, a unique two-cylinder engine delivering CO2 emissions below 99g/km – making it the cleanest petrol engine on sale in the UK.

This is matched to 68.9mpg of fuel economy, making it an ideal choice for city-based UK businesses, particularly in the London area where it is exempt from the London congestion charge.

The engine, which was named International Engine of the Year 2011 earlier in the year, is capable of powering the Fiat 500 to a top speed of 108mph and can reach 62mph from standing in 11 seconds.

Despite its compact size, the retro-styled city car is a popular choice with businesses as rising fuel costs leads to more fleet operators looking at smaller and more efficient cars.

This is seen in the rise of diesel models in the UK, which now make up a larger proportion of the market than petrol models.

The Fiat 500 however, is bucking the trend with a low-CO2 TwinAir petrol offering. The 500 was picked by the judges for the recommendation in a competitive category, said BusinessCar.

“Not every category is afforded a Highly Commended entrant, it’s only given out where the judges found it particularly difficult to split candidates and felt more than one deserved recognition,” says Paul Barker, Group Editor, BusinessCar.

The Fiat 500 TwinAir range starts at £11,600 OTR for the 0.9 TwinAir, rising to £15,500 OTR for the convertible 500C TwinAir Lounge.