In the world of modern technology, downsizing is the word. I could recall that twenty years ago, the size of a handphone could make it double up as a self defense tool. Fast forward to the 21st century, a handphone could fit into your right pocket with ease and could perform functions beyond your imagination.
Back to the automobile industry, the word 'downsizing' does not refer to the physical size of the car, but points to the capacity of the engine. The founder of this trend is none other than Volkswagen, whose renowned 1.4L twincharged direct injection engine has won the 'International Engine of the Year' award for 2009.
Volkswagen is not alone these days. Fiat takes a further step and in my opinion, embraces the concept of miniaturization with its upcoming 900cc two-cylinder engine. The new powerplant is Euro5 compliant and makes use of Fiat's Multiair and turbocharing technologies. It will make its debut in the Fiat 500 come 2010, and other A and B segment vehicles in the firm's stable. Two variants of the engine will be launched, generating 80 bhp and 105 bhp respectively. They will be followed by a 65 bhp naturally aspirated unit and a version propelled by compressed natural gas, CNG.
The two potter is lighter and more compact in design as compared to a 4 cylinder engine with similar power. The C02 emission and fuel consumption figures would probably bring a smile to the faces of the folks at Greenpeace. More importantly, such an engine would give the Singapore driver a reason to smile when it comes to road tax payment.