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Fiat has added two new engines to its 500L line-up - is due for South African launch in the last quarter of 2013 - a 77kW, 1.6-litre Multijet II turbodiesel and the 875cc, twin-cylinder TwinAir Turbo petrol engine, also rated at 77kW.
The TwinAir is already available in Europe, while the diesel is due to reach EU showrooms by the end of March. The two new engines, say Fiat, cater for customers with different attitudes and requirements: the Multijet II puts the 500L right in the middle of the 'efficiency' segment with an engine that offers the best of a diesel in terms of range and comfort and sporty performance of second-generation MultiJet technology.
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The 875cc TwinAir, on the other hand, is aimed at customers who are serious about reducing fuel consumption and emissions, particularly in cities, and in countries where high-emission cars are restricted and heavily taxed - in fact the TwinAir already complies with EU standards that will only take effect in 2020.
Each engine is paired with a six-speed manual gearbox - the C514 for the TwinAir Turbo and the C635 in the 1.6 MultiJet II.
The 500L will be launched in South Africa with the same 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol engines as the standard 500. TwinAir and Multijet derivatives are being tested with South African fuels; while the TwinAir has a good chance of being released in South Africa at some point the Multijet is still a dubious starter.