It's no secret that Fiat products are economical. For the third year in a row, Fiat has been recognized as Europe's most environmentally-friendly brand with average CO2 emissions of just 127.8 grams per kilometer. Thus, it really shouldn't come as a surprise that a Fiat product was chosen out of 241 competitors as the most economical in the land. The German Automobilclub (ADAC) carried out testing on fuel-powered vehicles to find out just how far €30 (about $36 U.S. at the current exchange rate) can get you down the road.

The testing covered all types of cars from little two-seaters on up to supercars. In the end, the Fiat Panda Natural Power emerged as the overall winner. The Fiat managed to cover nearly 450 miles on $36 of fuel, which may not sound that remarkable until you consider that gasoline goes for more than $5.50 a gallon in Germany and BMW's X6 ActiveHybrid only managed to cover 106 miles in the same test.

The Fiat doesn't rely on gasoline alone to move on down the road though. All vehicles in Fiat's Natural Power Range utilize a combined natural gas/gasoline system, which undoubtedly makes miles per gallon comparisons difficult. We can say that the 1.2-liter engine can capably propel the $16,830 (U.S) Panda to highway speeds whether under the power of natural gas or gasoline and with 400,000 natural gas-powered vehicles sold in Europe, Fiat leads the continent, indicating that it must be doing something right. Follow the jump to learn more about the inner workings of Fiat's award-winning Panda Natural Power.

[Source: Fiat]


PRESS RELEASE

An ADAC test revealed that no car is more economical than the Fiat Panda Natural Power, which travelled 724 km on just €30

The German Automobilclub (ADAC) carried out an original test on 241 cars in various categories with different fuel systems. The aim: to cover as much distance as possible on €30 of fuel. The test was won triumphantly by the Fiat Panda Natural Power, which covered 724 kilometres, equal to the distance between Frankfurt and the North Sea. With the holiday period approaching, this record achieved by the methane-driven Fiat car shows that it is still possible to save when you travel by car.

ADAC carried out the test on almost all known cars - from small two-seaters to sporting supercars - revealing once again that gas-driven cars offer the best savings. But first of all was the Panda from the Natural Power range, a dual-fuel (methane/petrol) product range made up of 14 Fiat cars and commercial vehicle models able to meet the mobility needs of a huge band of customers. It should be remembered that with nearly 400,000 units sold to date, Fiat leads the field in Europe for vehicles with factory-fitted methane systems (OEM). Due to the extraordinary growth of methane, the most eco-friendly and economical fuel currently on sale, Fiat has been the most environmentally-friendly of the top-selling 10 car brands in Europe for the third year running, with an average CO2 emission level of 127.8 g/km, compared to the market average of 145.8 g/km (analyses carried out by the independent institution Jato Dynamics).

Two separate methane tanks have been incorporated in the floorpan of the Fiat Panda Natural Power using an under-chassis installation method that is unique in the world, to offer a total capacity of 72 litres (12 kg), thus maintaining the roominess of the original car as far as both passenger space and luggage space are concerned (with a single or split rear seat, luggage compartment capacity increases from 190 to 840 dm3, measured up to the ceiling). The petrol tank capacity (30 litres) offers a back-up for peace of mind even in areas where methane filling stations are thin on the ground.

The Fiat Panda Natural Power may be economical, but this does not limit its speed: the 1.2 8V Bipower propels the car up to 140 km/h when running on natural gas (148 km/h when petrol is used). Last but not least, when natural gas is used, the Fiat Panda Panda achieves a CO2 emission level of just 113/g/km. An innovative, eco-friendly and economical car: the Fiat Panda Natural Power is on sale in Italy from EUR 14,050 (on the road price).

Turin, 4 June 2010