Less Is More

SEEN ON PARK AVENUE at 63rd Street, an old Cinquecento and a Honda Odyssey “Minivan.” This photo has not been Photoshopped or altered in any way. #climatechange

This version of the Cinquecento was manufactured from 1957 to 1975. It was 9 feet 9 inches long and had a 2 cylinder, 479 cc engine that produced 13 horse power. The new 500, a good city car, is 1 foot 9 inches longer. The turbo version has 135 horsepower.

An all-electric 500 has been added to the line. It’s range is limited to 80 to 100 miles, which makes me wonder why they don’t add a “series” hybrid. “Parallel” hybrids use an internal combustion gasoline engine supplemented by electric power. The internal combustion engine also charges the battery that powers the electric motor(s). Series hybrids get all their power from electric motors. The gas-powered engine just drives a generator that charges the battery.

The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid with a 3-cylinder, 1398 cc internal combustion engine that can extend the range of the Volt by generating electricity. It would be nice to see Fiat evolve a series-electric 500 with a 500 cc internal combustion engine to extend the car’s range.

Live from New York
Travels with my iPhone

About John Massengale

Architect, Urbanist, Author, Educator
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