Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has launched the 'Global Small Engine' (GSE) or 'Firefly' into Europe. The small modular engine family made of all aluminium and starting at just 93 kg is available in two configurations for this region, 120 hp 1-litre 3-cylinder and 150 hp 1.3-litre 4-cylinder, higher power than the South American version.
Launched in 2016 in South America it is currently available on the ranges of the Fiat Uno, Argo, Cronos and Mobi that are sold in that region.
The Firefly turbo petrol engines for Europe, which also see the debut of third-generation MultiAir technology that's not available on the South American versions, will see their first application on the mildly facelifted Jeep Renegade which was announced this week, but more significantly they will become available on Fiat models going forward, starting with the 500X facelift.
The 1-litre 3-cylinder will also deliver 190 Nm peak torque and comes with a six-speed manual transmission while the 1.3-litre 4-cylinder is paired with a DDCT dual clutch transmission, both in front-wheel drive on the Renegade.
A turbo 1.3-litre, 180 hp paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission with torque converter and 4WD is also available. Peak torque of both 1.3-litre engines is equal to 270 Nm. The new petrol engines comply with the Euro 6 / D standards and feature GPF filter (Gasoline Particulate Filter).
The new turbo family was developed by the FCA Group in Latin America to offer a range of downsized petrol engines characterised by good fuel efficiency and benchmark performance on a wide range of applications.
The basic structure of the new engines guarantees efficiency, modularity and a considerable degree of standardisation with regards to components and manufacturing process, flexibility and future development potentials.
The new engines are made entirely of aluminium for lightness and weight starts from 93 kilograms). The crankcase, developed in partnership with Teksid, is made of high-pressure die-cast aluminium alloy. Cast-in iron liners are used to increase structural robustness. They are 1.8 millimetres thick and coated on the outside with aluminium to create a "metallurgical bond" between liner and block.
After having studied various crankcase designs, an architecture with bedplate was chosen as it offers the best balance of noise, vibrations, weight and structural performance.
In order to maximise effectiveness and ensure better performance and fuel efficiency than the ones they replace, the new engines have a 70-millimetre bore with a stroke-to-bore ratio of 1.24 and a 10-millimetre crank offset. This forms a very compact combustion chamber to benefit thermal efficiency. A conrod-crank architecture with improved mechanical efficiency results in minimised friction. All three and four-cylinder turbo engines implement this innovative combustion module with a 0.33-liter unit displacement.
The head has four valves per cylinder and a single camshaft. The compact combustion chamber structure and the high-tumble intake ducts ensure air turbulence and short combustion time with regular flame propagation, which implies high thermal efficiency and knock control.
The high engineering level of the new drivetrain is demonstrated by the presence of many innovative technical features, such as direct fuel injection to maximise volumetric efficiency and a low-inertia turbocharger managed by an electrically controlled Wastegate actuator paired with a water-cooled supercharger module in the intake manifold to ensure quicker transient response.
The third generation of the exclusive MultiAir technology, that improves combustion efficiency by adjusting valve lift and timing, is debuting on the new turbo engines. The latest MultiAir III evolution further optimises independent intake valve opening and closing. By implementing specific intake and exhaust cam profiles, low-load efficiency is improved by recirculating the exhaust gas by opening the intake valves in advance, while high-load output is emphasised at the same time by delaying the intake valve closing.
In other words, MultiAir III technology can reduce the real compression ratio, controlling knock and substantially improving fuel efficiency also when the engine is delivering high power.
The new turbo engines were tuned in over 75,000 hours of virtual analysis, 60,000 hours of off-vehicle testing and five million kilometres driven worldwide both on and off-road to test robustness and reliability.
The new Jeep Renegade is the first model of the Group to implement the new turbo petrol engine range, designed to offer the enjoyable driving experience that customers expect from a Jeep SUV, while saving up to 20 percent of fuel with respect to its predecessors and delivering excellent driving comfort.
Photos: New GSE T3 Engine (1-litre, 3-cyl, 120 hp/190 Nm) / FCA New GSE T4 Engine (1.3-litre, 4-cyl, 150/180 hp/270 Nm)