Fiat 2-cylinder TwinAir.

Fiat Twin Air

As promised earlier this year, Fiat has officially adorned their beloved 500 with a brand new engine option: the 2-cylinder TwinAir.

The 85 HP, turbocharged 0.9 liter engine reportedly has the performance characteristics of a much larger 1.4 liter, 16-valve engine, but it consumes about 30% less fuel—resulting in a fuel economy of 57 mpg as rated on the combined Euro cycle. If it were sold in the U.S. and rated on the EPA cycle, that number would likely drop to around 50 mpg.

Unfortunately for now, there are no plans to sell the 85 HP TwinAir engine as an option on any of the Fiat 500’s that are rumored to be reaching U.S. shores by the end of this year.

Ford posts a 40 percent March gain in U.S. sales

For the month of March, US sales for Ford Motor Co. rose by 40% and for April, it intends to extend its sales momentum by launching a full marketing campaign. Starting April 6, Ford will aim to step up its marketing for its new set of products that will be arriving.

At a conference call, Ken Czubay, Ford’s vice president of US sales and marketing, said that Ford will launch a campaign that’s focused on its products and product strength. Czubay said that what Ford seeks to emphasize are its products, and not on clearance and discounts.

Ford said that more details will be available next week about this campaign that will focus on Ford’s four product pillars — safety, quality, technology and fuel economy.

Ford also announced that consumers should expect the restyled and re-engineered 2011 Super Duty pickup and the 2011 Mustang coupe with a new V-6 engine to arrive in dealerships next month. By this summer, the Fiesta compact car is also expected to be launched.

The 40% gain in March is actually the sixth straight month that Ford had been able to record a sales gain. This figure follows Ford’s first annual increase in US market share since 1995. Ford also intends to keep its incentive spending stable.

Edmunds said that Ford’s average incentive was $3,304 per vehicle in March, down from $3,673 a year earlier. However, heavy incentives have been the norm across the industry. In comparison, Toyota’s average incentive was $2,256 per vehicle in March, a marked increase from $1,565 a year earlier.

[via autonews – sub. required]