Introduction Engines & Gearboxes Equipment & Safety
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Behind its strong personality and elegance, the new Ypsilon Sport MomoDesign offers a comprehensive range of excellent cutting-edge engines with generous performance: the sparkling 1.4 16v petrol engine (95 bhp) and the two Multijet 1.3 16v turbodiesels (90 and 105 bhp). Each offers different features, all of which are exploited fully by combining them with mechanical 5 or 6 speed gearboxes (the 1.4 can also be equipped with a 5-speed sequential robotised DFN gearbox), which stand out for their generosity, brilliant temperament or top performance and advanced technology. However they all share superb reliability and respect for the environment.

The 105 bhp and 90 bhp 1.3 Multijet 16v engine

The Ypsilon Sport MomoDesign range would not be complete without the 1.3 16v Multijet engine, the smallest and most advanced second generation direct injection Common rail diesel unit, equipped with a variable geometry turbo. It is available in two different versions, 90 bhp and 105 bhp, which share the same architecture: 4 cylinders in line with a capacity of 1248 cc, a bore of 69.6 mm and a ‘long’ stroke of 82 mm. There are four valves per cylinder, governed directly by twin overhead camshafts. That is not all. The 1.3 Multijet 16v is a miniature masterpiece: ‘dressed’ with all its accessories, it weighs just 130 kg, it is small, just 50 cm long and 65 cm tall, and the components are arranged to take up as little space as possible.

The 1.3 16v Multijet delivers 105 bhp (77 kW) at 4000 rpm and torque of 200 Nm (20.4 kgm) at 1750 rpm. And it doesn’t end there. With the 105 bhp 1.3 Multijet and the 5-speed manual gearbox, the new Ypsilon delivers excellent performance that makes it the most powerful compact in its category: it has a top speed of 177 km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.3 seconds. Fuel consumption is also among the best for this segment: 5.7 l/100 km in the urban cycle, 4.1 l/100 km out of town and 4.7 l/100 km in the combined cycle. And finally, CO2 emissions are also very low, just 123 g/km. The performance of the second 1.3 Multijet is excellent too: a power delivery of 90 bhp (55 kW) at 4000 rpm and torque of 190 Nm (19.4 kgm) at 1750 rpm. With this engine, the new Ypsilon has a top speed of 175 km/h, and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.5 seconds, with class-topping consumption: 5.4 l/100 km in the urban cycle, 3.9 l/100 km out of town and 4.5 l/100 km in the combined cycle.

The combustion system of the 1.3 Multijet has been modified, increasing the permeability of the inlet and exhaust manifolds, reducing the turbulence in the combustion chamber and consequently modifying the geometry and the compression ratio. The emissions control system incorporates an EGR valve with electrical activation, managed directly by the engine control system, a heat exchanger to cool the recirculating exhaust gases (EGR) and a close-coupled catalytic converter. This guarantees that the car meets Euro 4 emissions targets.

Designed by criteria of maximum rationality, efficiency and reliability, the engine guarantees excellent efficiency and is practically ‘for life’: it was designed to travel 250,000 km without needing any maintenance to the mechanical components. Oil change intervals have been extended from 20,000 to 30,000 km, and the 1.3 Multijet 16v uses a low viscosity oil, which means fuel economy and more respect for the environment. The compact, sophisticated engine is also environment-friendly, and it meets the Euro 4 emissions limits even without a particulate trap (which is optional on certain markets).

The 1.3 Multijet 16v therefore represents a technological leap forward which, for the customer, translates into lower consumption and emissions, without even taking into consideration the reduction in noise (due to the multiple injections), the increase in comfort (fewer alternating masses means less vibration), the smooth, responsive steering (due to the extremely smooth torque delivery, which is guaranteed by the improved combustion control), the elasticity and prompt response of a diesel that resembles a petrol engine for the vast excursion in rpm (for example, you are no longer aware of the fuel ‘cut-out’ just above 4000 rpm), or the ecological elements that enhance the diesel’s main environmental credentials (consumption) while minimising its main defect (particulate emissions), particularly on the 90 bhp version, on which the DPF filter is standard equipment.

The 95 bhp 1.4 16v Fire engine

This engine has a capacity of 1368 cc, and 4 cylinders in line, with a bore of 72 mm and stroke of 84 mm. There are four valves per cylinder, activated directly by 2 overhead camshafts. The engine was developed paying particular attention to performance and to fuel economy, two areas in which the Ypsilon Sport MomoDesign leads its class. The merit goes to the volumetric efficiency which has been optimised all through the operating range, thanks to a precise fluid-dynamic calibration of the entire intake system and the timing. The 1.4 engine delivers 70 kW (95 bhp) at 5800 rpm, and peak torque of 128 Nm (13 kgm) at 4500 rpm. Performance is excellent: the engine has a top speed of 175 km/h, and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.9 seconds. It is a sparkling engine that delivers excellent performance, achieved by the adoption of an electronic throttle valve control system known as ‘drive by wire’.


And also of a new high turbulence combustion chamber, combined with continuously variable valve timing governed by the control unit. This innovative system allows a large part of the exhaust gases (about 25%) to be ‘recirculated’ in the combustion chamber, significantly reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions when driving with a partial load. And last but not least, the engine incorporates a number of fuel-saving steps. For example, the timing components have been made lighter and the valve springs are of the low load type, to reduce friction.

Other features peculiar to the new 1.4 Fire engine are the increased compression ratio (11:1) and the high torque values at low speeds, characteristics that make it possible to limit fuel consumption. This was also achieved by the calibration of the latest generation engine control unit, which keeps fuel consumption very low, compatible with the demand for drivability, performance and low emissions. We should underline that the 1.4 Fire engine is in line with Euro 4 legislation, thanks to the catalytic converter in the engine bay (welded to the exhaust manifold flange using a new technology), which reaches very high temperatures faster, thus reducing emissions even while the engine is warming up. To minimise the environmental impact, the engine also incorporates a returnless fuel supply system, which eliminates fuel recirculation within the tank, and reduces vapour formation.

The ‘DFN’ gearbox

The 95 bhp 1.4 16v Fire engine can be combined with a robotised manual 5-speed gearbox with automatic control. This automatic control makes the device extremely convenient to use, particularly after you have enjoyed the excitement of a sporty dynamic drive with the manual transmission, which is why it has been nicknamed ‘Dolce Far Niente’. The DFN gearbox has an innovative transmission system with an electrohydraulic servo device that automates the clutch controls and gear lever but retains all the advantages of a dry clutch and mechanical gearbox (weight, strength and reliability, low energy consumption). It is a balanced system, which improves the performance of the manual transmission components while increasing driving safety because it avoids errors by the driver and prevents incorrect manoeuvres of the transmission system.

There are two operating modes: semiautomatic and automatic. The first adopts the most advanced control strategies to guarantee best performance. Gears are engaged using the lever on the tunnel. Because there is no clutch pedal, the device is controlled simply by moving the lever: forward to change up (towards the ‘+’ symbol), back to change down (towards the ‘-’ symbol). A simple push is sufficient to ensure the transmission makes a fast, accurate gear change.

This is how the DFN transmission functions in semiautomatic mode. The electric signals reach the control unit by CAN (Controller Area Network) and can be grouped in two large subgroups. In one, the data from the gearbox area, which make it possible to identify the engagement position, the selection, the clutch, and the operating pressure of the hydraulic kit, as well as the rotating speed of the clutch. In the other, all the signals coming in from the other systems on the Lancia Ypsilon (for example, the engine and braking system), which help to define the gear change precisely and repeatably. Using these two groups of signals, the DFN gearbox can manage gear changes in a comfortable or sporty way, in manual or automatic mode, with the different operating logic, interpreting the driver’s needs by analysing pedal position (interpreted as a request for power as the values increase) and engine speed.

Once the engine on the Ypsilon Sport MomoDesign is started, any pressure on the brake pedal confirms that the driver is at the wheel, and enables first or reverse to be engaged (on a slippery surface it is also possible to set off in second). And to guarantee safety and prevent incorrect gear engagement, the system engages neutral automatically when a door is open with the engine running. The device also prevents errors that might damage the engine or gearbox, by notifying the driver of emergency situations or incorrect manoeuvres with warning lights and beeps. The automatic mode of the DFN gearbox offers two settings: Normal and Economy. The Normal setting offers outstanding driving comfort, with brilliant acceleration and gear changes in all conditions. The Economy setting is used to reduce fuel consumption, while still maintaining top level handling and comfort.

With both options, the system stretches to a higher ratio once the rpm level has been reached, when the engine delivers maximum torque or power. In automatic mode, the system recognises the road gradient (by means of a software algorithm) and modifies the gear shift point to ensure the best possible compromise between the driver’s needs, ground conditions and vehicle situation (speed and engine rpm). Another feature peculiar to the DFN gearbox is its ability to measure vehicle deceleration and adapt gear changes accordingly. For example, in semiautomatic mode, and particularly with a sporty driving style, the system changes down when the driver asks for a lower gear to take a corner at a faster speed. In automatic mode, the system anticipates the change down so that the driver has the best speed to maintain the level of comfort or fuel economy. The DFN gearbox is the best compromise for drivers who prefer the enjoyment and entertainment of a manual shift, but like to know they can count on the convenience of an automatic.

Report & Photos: Fiat Group Automobiles