With over 700
examples sold each month in Brazil during the last quarter,
the innovative Fiat Siena 1.4 Tetrafuel has exceeded Fiat
Automóveis' sales projections by an excellent
three-and-a-half times. When the ground-breaking new model was
launched onto the Brazilian market in October of 2006,
it was expected to see average sales of around 200 units a month.
The Fiat Siena 1.4 Tetrafuel
is the first passenger car in the the
world to be able to use four different kinds of fuels
(moisturised alcohol; Brazilian gasoline which is made
up of 25 percent alcohol, pure gasoline and natural gas).
Besides this, the great technological innovation of the
model is the fact that a single electronic control unit
which was developed by
Magneti Marelli manages the use of fuels in a seamlessly integrated
manner, changing the fuel required without any interference
or input from the driver. In other words, who decides which is the most
appropriate fuel to be used at any given moment is the
car's electronic control unit and not the driver who does not need to press any
buttons in the dashboard to manage the system. The
system's main priority is to achieve economy so the first choice of the
system is GNV as the main source of fuel, but when the
system detects a situation that requires extra torque, for
example to overtake another car or to climb up a ramp, it
switches to alcohol or petrol automatically.
The base of the
trunk has been reinforced to receive the fixation and the
supports for the cylinders of GNV, each
one has a total capacity of 6.5 cubic meters of gas with
200 bar. The front and rear suspension units have specific
buffer springs and shock absorbers to keep the required distance
from the ground, but beyond these changes, modifications
in the braking system have been made to preserve the same performance and
characteristics of the standard model.
The Fiat Siena 1.4 Tetrafuel is the first passenger
car in the the world to be able to make use of four
different kinds of fuels.
With over 700
examples sold each month in Brazil during the last
quarter, the innovative Fiat Siena 1.4 Tetrafuel has
exceeded Fiat Automóveis' sales projections by an
excellent three-and-a-half times.
The instrument panel is fitted with detectors to alert the driver of
a low level
of GNV and the level of pressure of the cylinders, as
well as alerting them to
damage in the system, the level of external temperature and
an obligatory Trip Computer. The Siena Tetrafuel has
robust mechanisms in the area of passive safety, to avoid
greater damage in case of an accident, while the
positioning and the fixation of the two GNV cylinders
have been projected to overcome all crash-tests and fire
tests required, achieving the same levels of safety of
the standard model.
of the system for the natural gas were built and tested for
not allowing any leaks, but if however a pipe
breaks a safety mechanism immediately shuts off the flow of GNV. The
system has also a relief device for any overpressure
the cylinder, allowing the GNV to safely leak into the
atmosphere; and in case of a collision it blocks off the
of the gas.
The use of GNV in
larger transportation vehicles such as taxis, buses and
light commercial vehicles is increasing very rapidly, and a
similar pattern is occurring amongst private drivers, in
Brazil, all being led by its economical benefits
and environmental aspects. Fiat is also the first
automotive brand in
the country to offer a complete system with the same
warranty as is offered to its standard models.
by Claudio Perlini