The Ecobasic is a concept car, the forerunner of the compact car of tomorrow, as seen by Fiat. It consumes less than three litres of petrol per hundred kilometres, costs little to run, is versatile, easy to use and friendly to the environment, with excellent performance. All characteristics that are hard to reconcile, and which have only been achieved by re-inventing the product, and the way it is built, distributed and sold.
To achieve the exceptional fuel consumption of just 2.9 litres of diesel for every 100 kilometres, the Ecobasic is light (it weighs just 750 kg) and aerodynamic (the Cd sets a record for its class at 0.28), but above all it is powered by an engine that is a champion money-saver. It is a small second generation four cylinder 1.2 JTD, made extremely fuel-efficient by its size, which is smaller than conventional diesel engines, Multijet injection and a robotised gearbox.
Software governs the control units of the engine and the automated gearbox, selecting not only the gear to engage, but also the engine functioning point (speed and load). The driver asks for power using the accelerator and the system makes the appropriate decisions to satisfy the request, adopting the logic that is most advantageous in terms of consumption. In fact the latter is decreased by 10% in the combined ECE plus EUDC cycle, and by 20% in the ECE urban cycle.
There is a choice of two programmes when the gearbox operates fully automatically: ‘standard’ and ‘economy’, the first for a sparkling driving style and the second for low consumption. However gears can also be selected manually on the Ecobasic, in which case the ratios are engaged sequentially using a joystick.
In addition to low consumption, extremely low industrial costs were another important goal of the Ecobasic. This is why the car was built with light but inexpensive materials (thermoplastics, thermosetting composites, polycarbonate, and polypropylene), that guarantee the highest safety levels: the bearing structure was designed to meet the strictest standards.
A new, leaner plant was studied to cut manufacturing costs, with no paint shop and lines that turn out a single car variant, that is completed and customised at the end of the machining cycle. New ways of stocking, distributing and even selling the cars were also studied.
The other strong points of the Ecobasic are its versatility and practicality. The concept car adapts to the customer’s needs when he buys it, and can be modified subsequently, changing together with the motorist’s needs and desires.
For example, the facia is made of an agile tubular structure, and incorporates a number of light, movable oddments compartments. The front seats also have a tubular frame on which an elasticised net cover can be mounted or, as an alternative, a rigid shell with light padding. They can be fitted at any time with armrests, padded containment sides and more still. The rear seat has a split squab which opens up by swivelling on the side hinges like a shutter. The seat cushion has a padded surface on one side to accommodate passengers, and a rigid surface on the other. So the two halves only have to be turned over to double the loading surface.
Price this car:
MSRP: not available yet
Invoice: not available yet
Source: Fiat Press Release