Stop, Start, Start, Stop – The 500 Gets More Eco

It used to be some guy called Raymond, but now everybody loves economy. Fuel economy, that is, and everybody being car buyers. Well, that’s what the car makers believe as they’re lining up to push new, increasingly economical versions of their cars onto the roads.

A new version of the already perfect-for-the-city, new Fiat 500 yesterday with what they call the Start&Stop system on vehicles with the 1.2 litre engine. The system basically turns off the 500’s engine when you bring it to complete stop and put it in neutral. When you want to move off you simply put drop the clutch to put it in gear and the engine will restart.  

Now, given that I’ve been told countless times that turning things off then back on actually uses more energy than leaving them running for a few minutes, I was impressed to find out that this ups the new Fiat‘s city fuel economy to 49.6mpg (from 44.1) and the combined fuel to 58.9mpg (from 55.4). It also cuts down those dirty CO2 emissions to 113g/km too.

It costs a little more but the fuel savings will make that extra £200 back pretty quick and there’s plenty of value in feeling like you’re helping the planet a bit too. Just don’t get too smug about it or you may as well have a Prius. 

I hope we can look forward to more auto makers looking at this method – anyone who’s been stuck in either inner city or M25 traffic jam surrounded by cars with engines running and trying not to be sick from the fumes will agree I’m sure.

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