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BMW, Fiat small car gains ground

2008-07-30 13:30
BMW and Fiat's "little union" is gathering steam. The Isetta and Topolino - those are the names being suggested - are on their way, and the deal between the two manufacturers includes the next Mini and Alfa Mito.

The initial models will be city car's to rival the Volkswagen Up! and Toyota iQ and the Isetta will be BMW's first foray into the tiny car segment.

Both cars are being developed to comply with increasingly strict European Union and US emissions requirements and low emissions and great fuel consumption are top priorities for the development teams. There are also plans for electric versions of the cars, it has been reported.

Should they share a powerplant, it could well be the "green" 900cc twin-cylinder engine previewed at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. This motor has also been earmarked for Fiat's 500.

Engines will likely be mated with twin-clutch semi-automatic gearboxes allowing for a stop-start system that switches off the engine when the car stops in heavy traffic.

Fiat's Topolino and BMW's Isetta are expected to go into production on 2010.

Inside Wheels24

Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy auto – understated and smart new hatch

When it comes to the mid-size hatchback choice, there are a few default choices, a few bland ones… and some often overlooked cars. The Opel Astra hatch is an example of the latter, writes David Swanepoel. - Sponsored

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