Downsizing seems to be the trend these days, and why not? Coupled with direct injection and forced induction, carmakers are coming out with smaller capacity engines that can outpoint their bigger siblings in performance and economy. Volkswagen was among the early promoters of downsizing with their 1.4-litre TSI engines, but Fiat is taking the concept to extremes with its upcoming 900cc two-cylinder engine.

The “New Small Gasoline Engine” will make its premiere in the Fiat 500 next year and will be used in the firm’s A and B-segment cars. The Euro5 powerplant combines turbocharging and Fiat’s Multiair technology that controls the intake valves to match horsepower needs. Two variants will be launched – 80 bhp and 105 bhp – followed by a 65 bhp naturally aspirated unit and a version propelled by compressed natural gas, CNG.

Fiat says that its two potter is 20 per cent lighter and more compact than a 4-cylinder with the same output. Naturally, fuel economy and CO2 emissions are significantly reduced, with the latter dropping “well below 100 g/km”.