Dare to go bear in Panda new colours

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Get the bear truth about the Panda 1.2 Dynamic’s new colour and trim collection

If you’ve got a formula that works, why tamper with it? That’s the rationale behind the Fiat Panda’s first change since its introduction into South Africa in 2005. The cuddliest supermini by far (and Europe’s best-seller too!), the Panda 1.2 Dynamic gets a fresh lick of paint (well a couple really…) and a few trim modifications to bring it bang up to date.

No changes were made to the model’s original, dynamic shape – which almost amounts to a small SUV – because none were needed… and that’s the bear truth!

First and foremost, the new 2009 1.2 Dynamic introduces three new* body colours: Surf Azure (light blue), Samba Orange (orange) and New Orleans Blue (bright blue).

In addition to these smart new exterior hues, Fiat has taken the opportunity to do some interior decorating too: the light grey facia is banished in favour of a stylish dark grey one and this is complemented by new fabrics featuring two new colour ways – there’s a black and blue combo and a black and orange combo (perfectly matched to the exterior colours of course).

Not only does this convey the impression of premium quality, but it’s also more paw-friendly than the previous light blue and pale yellow upholstery treatments. The 1.2 Dynamic now takes pride of place right in the centre of the Panda range – it’s flanked on either side by the frugal-minded 1.1 Active and the rip-roaring 100 HP – just the way Goldilocks would’ve wanted it. So, the moral of the story is don’t grin and bear it, just climb in and enjoy it.

*Baby Bear (aka the 1.1 Active) can also be specified in these new colours.

A Panda retrospective: a robust design for a top quality car

A robust design that only ever had one aim: i.e. to create a vehicle that represents a true leap forward in the supermini category and makes Fiat its indisputable leader. To do this, Fiat deployed its best resources and poured maximum quality and reliability into the entire product development and construction process. It also developed a profitable co-operative relationship with its outside suppliers.

These efforts resulted in innovative ideas that the Panda can take credit for introducing into this sector. Examples include the smaller number of dashboard components and the increased structural strength of the dashboard beam: this means fewer noises and squeaks and hence a much more silent passenger compartment interior.

This new driving comfort is further enhanced by the body’s torsional stiffness that also plays a leading role as far as safety is concerned. The result achieved by the Panda is 70,500 Nm/radiant: this outstanding result at the peak of its category helps determine the car’s great stability and roadholding properties. The number of body weld spots is also 7% higher than on previous models to ensure the car is more compact and more durable.

The Panda is created from a robust design that makes quality one of its strengths. Cutting edge reliability methods (FMEA, Robust Design) have been used throughout the design and industrialisation stage.

Eighty vehicles also performed several road tests to cover a total of one million six hundred thousand kilometres. In the end, the huge amount of data collected and experience gained will increase Fiat Auto’s know-how and act as a starting point for the introduction of new models.

The car is assembled in Tychy in southern Poland. The plant is organised on integrated factory principles and adopts state-of-the-art technologies that assure the product the highest quality and safety standards. At the end of the car’s life, all its component materials can be reused.

Quality and reliability are about more than mere statistics. We also gain important impressions when we see and touch the passenger compartment of a car. When we observe the parts, make ourselves comfortable on the seats, hold the steering wheel and seek out the storage compartments, we can appreciate the pleasing feel of the environment and the quality of the trim and finish. All these sensations add up to ‘perceived quality’.

The overall impression comes from a blend of a thousand different aspects: these include the shape of items, their constituent materials, individual colours and colour matches and the tactile sensations they arouse. Stimuli that all play an equal part in determining overall perception.

For this reason, long hours went into the design of each individual detail of the Fiat Panda. The result is a passenger compartment of quality and substance dominated by pale coloured trim to make the car look brighter.

Everything is emphasised by darker-coloured controls and the harmonious design of each surface. The final perception is of great sophistication and elegance more typical of a higher segment car. For example, the facia is embossed to ensure a more even surface finish and increase the sensation of opulence.

This has been achieved through a special laser technology that creates surface microroughness that alters the way light is refracted and makes the material more pleasurable to the touch. The New Panda is also the only car in its category with 99% of the interior metal covered by trim, just as you would expect of a higher segment car. The basic premise is clear: to ensure that everything you see and touch looks and feels good. This approach is confirmed in every part.

Panda 1.2 Dynamic – Summary of features

  • MPV practicality in a compact form
  • New exterior colours
  • New dashboard trim
  • New upholstery fabric (and colours)
  • Colour-coded bumpers
  • 1.3-litre 8v 44kW engine (102Nm @ 2500rpm)
  • 0-100km/h = 14 seconds
  • 5,6 L /100km in the combined cycle
  • Dash-mounted gear lever
  • ABS with EBD
  • Dual front airbags
  • Power steering with City function
  • Remote central locking with rolling code immobiliser
  • Air conditioning
  • Dash integrated sound system with CD front loader (built-in equalizer)
  • Rear headrests
  • Front electric windows
  • On-board computer
1.1 Active R103700
1.2 Dynamic R122500
1.4 16v 100HP R147900
1.2 Climbing 4×4 R169700

Celebrating more than a decade of Fiat in South Africa!