Urban romance


Reliability, unpretentiousness, low price - all “in one car” from FIAT.


In addition to the already mentioned, a car for the city is useful for such qualities as maneuverability, body resistance to corrosion and minor damage, economy in the urban cycle, clean exhaust and the possibility of disposal at the end of its service life. Good dynamics, the ability to deliver purchases, and, of course, reassure the thought of passive safety devices will be useful.

To build such a machine is not easy, especially if you do not compromise and try to fulfill all of the above requirements at once. FIAT seems to have managed to combine the incompatible and will present the Ecobazik model at the Geneva Motor Show.

A funny little car the size of the Oka (length 3.49 m) weighs 750 kg, accelerates to 160 km / h and at the same time only 2.86 liters of diesel per 100 are satisfied. They are assisted in this by the new four-cylinder Common Rail diesel engine with Multi-Jet multi-phase injection (see review in ZR, 1999, No. 12) and excellent aerodynamics. With a working volume of 1.2 liters and a power of 45 kW / 61 liters. with. the engine is very pulling (160 N.m at 1800 rpm) and, coupled with an automatically controlled gearbox, accelerates the car to "hundreds" in 13 seconds.

The baby's body is made on a steel spatial frame (the developments for "Multiple" are used), to which the doors, the roof and the hood are made of plastic painted in bulk, screwed or glued. So scratches "Ecobasic" are not afraid, and most importantly, there is no expensive painting process. Polycarbonate also has rear and side windows. The future owner, with the help of a dealer (and not a factory!), Arranges his car in the style of the Lego constructor: there can be three or four doors (in the first case there is no left rear), panels in any color combination.

And most importantly - at the price of the “Italian” you cannot catch up with anyone, even the future Chinese Volkswagen: FIAT promises not to cross the threshold of $ 6, 000 for the production model! How did you manage to reach such a low price by European standards? Along with the widespread use of plastics, there is nothing “superfluous" in the car: the seats are just a tube-covered frame made of fabric, there is no air conditioning (however, the glass almost does not allow thermal radiation from the sun). Even the hood dispensed with the lock - after all, it is bolted to the body. So, in fact, there is no reason to open it: like the last Audi A2, a hinged hatch is made to fill the oil, coolant and water into the washer.

Let us dwell in more detail on how Ecobazik provided such remarkable efficiency. The problem was solved comprehensively: engine-transmission-aerodynamics-tires. We already wrote about the engine, we will dwell on the remaining components.

Automatically controlled gearbox contributes to a decrease in appetite. The driver using the gas pedal reports his intention to the computer, and he chooses the highest gear for the implementation of the received "task". In economy mode, the engine is muffled at stops for more than 4 s, there is also a standard mode, as well as the ability to shift gears in the usual way manually - with a small joystick.

Perhaps the body will seem to someone too angular, but this is only at first glance. In fact, it tapers smoothly behind in height and width (like a drop), which, by the way, had to make the rear wings slightly protruding. Particular attention is paid to the smoothness of the bottom - it usually accounts for up to half of the aerodynamic losses. The muffler (to make it easier, it is made of … aluminum alloy!) Is located immediately behind the front bumper, where it is not surrounded by a strong stream of air. Result: Cx = 0.28 - a record for cars of this class.

Finally, tires of dimension 155 / 65R14 are characterized by ultra-low rolling resistance. It’s enough to say that even a child will move the car on a flat platform - enough effort is only 8 kgf.

Having dealt with fuel economy, let's look into the cabin for a moment to understand how we managed to save money of the future owner. Plastic panels allowed to do without internal upholstery and do not require expensive primers and painting. The seats, although they look Spartan, are very comfortable, and the rear ones, in addition, automatically fold to the side (as it was about LuAZ) at the touch of a button. So if you made a major purchase - a TV or a washing machine, you don’t have to put the box on the ground: the seats themselves will free up space.