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New Fiat 500 minicar: Climate Control

Fiat 500, dashboard and climate control view in central console.

Fiat 500, interior view, red seats.

A choice between a manual or automatic climate control.

The climate inside the car is a major factor of comfort and safety, because the temperature, humidity and ventilation affect the driver’s well-being and attention level. It is the heating and ventilation system that demists the windscreen and side windows.

The Fiat 500 offers a choice between a conventional heating system, manual climate control (standard or optional depending on versions) and a sophisticated climate system (optional) that features automatic control of the temperature, air flow, air distribution, compressor engagement and recirculation.

The automatic system implements an ‘equivalent temperature’ climate control strategy. A number of sensors register the indoor and outdoor temperature and evaluate the feeling of thermal well-being perceived by the passenger, i.e. the energy exchange between the human body and the passenger compartment, which is affected by the humidity, the temperature and the flow of treated air.

All these parameters are measured constantly and used to adjust the distribution, ventilation and mixture constantly. This regulates the air flow to the air vents and the fan speed. The result is a constant climate, even if the outdoor conditions change.

To make sure that the air issuing into the car reaches all corners of the passenger compartment, the system can be adjusted to one of five combinations. The user can also modify the temperature gradually, by half a degree at a time, until it is comfortable for him. The knob allows an adjustment of 16°C.

Manual settings always have priority over automatic settings. They cause the ‘Auto’ LED to go out, and the setting is memorised until the control is annulled.

Every time the system is turned on, it will return to the status memorised when it was turned off, except for the ‘MAX DEF’ function, which is cancelled. It is also possible to turn the system off manually, de-activating the climate system completely.

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