FIAT is the latest car brand to join the electronic revolution and has announced hybrid versions of its popular 500 and Panda models.
The 500 hybrid will be arriving from next month with the Panda coming in March and both are powered by three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engines backed up by a 12-volt belt-integrated starter generator.
Together they develop 70hp and the new powertrain is said to reduce emissions by up to 30 per cent.
Both models have six-speed manual gearboxes.
The BSG system is mounted directly on the engine and the system recovers energy during braking and deceleration, stores it in a lithium battery with a capacity of 11Ah, and uses it, at a maximum power of 3,600W, to restart the engine in Stop&Start mode and to assist it during acceleration.
This technology allows the internal combustion engine to switch off by shifting into neutral, even at speeds below 18mph. The dashboard, which displays information on the hybrid system, prompts the driver when to shift.
Fiat says it will be releasing the new versions of the 500 and Panda in special Launch Edition specification which includes a hybrid logo - said to incorporate a dew drop pattern - on the rear and a special paint finish.
Inside, the cars have upholstery made from Seaqual Yarn which is derived from recycled plastic.
Prices for the hybrids have still to be announced but the current 500 line up ranges from around £12,000 to just under £20,000 while the Panda runs from around £11,000 to some £18,000.