Fiat at the Frankfurt Motor Show: Debut of the all-new Fiat Panda – it’s now very grown-up!
With the third generation, Fiat’s ubiquitous Panda has reached full maturity, making a further qualitative leap in terms of comfort, technology and safety equipment, and making its appearance with a new, modern and harmonious look. But without giving up that “roguish” and ready-for-anything soul that has always distinguished it.
Although continuing to be a compact car, the Panda has grown just a few centimetres to ensure the attainment of the highest standards of safety and improve the generous level of passenger room and capacity of the boot still further.
With a length of 365 centimetres, a width of 164 and a height of 155, the new Panda can comfortably accommodate up to five people and is equipped with one of the roomiest luggage compartments in its segment. In addition, modularity is enhanced thanks to the numerous storage compartments and the different front and rear seat configurations.
Renewed style in the spirit of functionality
The new Panda has been created drawing inspiration from the most up-to-date trends. It proposes an elegant restyling of the exteriors with smooth and rounded lines on a volume of regular form and of great spatial efficiency.
Its front has a strong personality, where the slightly convex bonnet joins with the elegant horizontal grille and the new front headlamps with a rounded shape, underlined by a separate supplementary element with Daytime Running Lights function.
The side view has also been updated, where several distinctive features of the second-generation Fiat Panda have been reinterpreted starting with the third window, now with softened angles in harmony with the softer shape of the exteriors, which creates the effect of an uninterrupted glazed surface up to the vertical rear light clusters.
Smooth and rounded shapes also distinguish the bumper strips on the bumpers and side panels that not only pay tribute to the first generation Fiat Panda, but also accentuate the “all-terrain” look of the model also accompanied by the marked wheel arches. Finally, as on the current model, the lower section of the tailgate protrudes with respect to the rear window. Combined with the side line, this gives a distinct impression of a roof panel resting on the bodywork.
The interiors consistently continue the stylistic choices of the exteriors and provide a spacious, functional and comfortable passenger compartment, which can bear comparison with that of higher category cars.
What’s more, flexibility has always been one of the strong points of the Panda model, as proven by the rear seat, which can be split and sliding, and the front passenger seat backrest, which can be folded to form a table. This equipment, exclusive for the category, combined with the cargo box option for the boot, offers a nearly flat loading area so full use can be made of the entire length of the interior.
The new dashboard was designed as a practical multifunctional shell, inside of which a large storage “pocket” was made, just like the first version of the model. The shell is wrapped up in a colourful frame, without interruptions, which serves as a single perimeter to the steering wheel, radio and main controls, and that houses the vents and passenger airbag.
Also in this case there is a return to the first generation Panda, where the elements were tightened to the fabric “pouch”, which constituted the main part of the dashboard.
In short, it is a car destined to continuously surprise us owing to its ability to transform itself according to the situation and adapt to the needs of whoever uses it, driver or passenger as the case may be. What’s more, offering original style, advanced technology accessible to everyone, and smart solutions that simplify and improve life on board is in Fiat’s DNA.
Roominess and comfort at the top of the segment
Offered with five doors only and with roominess worthy of a higher segment, the new Panda proves that it is a real super-compact. Its smaller exterior dimensions in relation to its interior volume are an invaluable feature for a car principally intended to be used in urban areas.
But the new Panda is able to do more. In fact it has all the properties of dynamism and comfort that allow it to easily tackle longer and tougher extra urban routes: driving ease, functional and ergonomic layout of controls and furnishings, a large number of storage compartments, and use of seats with “thin” backrests that improve accessibility and comfort for the rear passengers.
Finally, the position of the gear lever in the centre of the dashboard, the raised seat base and the large windows guarantee driver and passengers excellent visibility and mastery of the road.
The driving dynamics are supported by a tried and tested suspension configuration: MacPherson independent wheel up front and interconnected wheels (semi-independent) with a torsion beam in the rear.
Cutting-edge engines and eco-friendly systems
Functional and reliable, the Fiat Panda is a car rich in substance that boasts cutting-edge engines in terms of both performance and fuel consumption and emissions.
Standing out in the range are the brand new two-cylinder engines: the 85 HP / 62,5 kW 900cc TwinAir Turbo, named “International Engine of the Year 2011”, and the 65 HP / 48 kW 900cc Aspirated TwinAir, both equipped with the Start&Stop system as standard, which temporarily cuts out the engine and restarts it in order to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The renewed 69 HP / 51 kW 1.2 Fire* completes the range of petrol engines available at the launch.
The engineering excellence of the new Panda continues with the 75 HP / 55 kW 1.3 Multijet II with Start&Stop supplied as standard. Belonging to the second generation of the MultiJet family, the engine is equipped with faster injectors capable of multiple injections in rapid sequence.
Specifically, the system can now perform a main modulated injection of fuel in several distinct phases and anticipate the ones that follow. The servo valve with balanced plunger of the MultiJet II system enables it to manage up to 8 injections per cycle, offering greater speed, flexibility and precision in the various phases of operation.
Then the bifuel 80 HP / 59 kW 900cc TwinAir Turbo Natural Power (petrol/methane) and 69 HP / 51 kW 1.2 EasyPower (petrol/LPG) will follow in European markets. They are proof of the constant attention Fiat Automobiles focuses on environmental issues through research and development of easily accessible solutions.
In perfect harmony with the “eco-friendly” spirit, the new Panda also offers the Gear Shift Indicator (GSI), a genuine “co-pilot” that discreetly prompts drivers to change gear, leading to more efficient use of the engine and to reduce fuel consumption.
A Panda for everybody
At its launch*, the new model will be available with front-wheel drive – and later the Panda 4×4 will make its debut – and will offer a range made up of: four engines, three trim levels, ten body colours, four interiors, two wheel cap designs and two 14″ and 15″ alloy wheels for a total of over 600 combinations.
To ensure the safety of the driver and passengers, the new model has 4 airbags (front and window), ABS complete with BAS (Brake Assist System), front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiter, Isofix attachments for child seats, anti-whiplash front headrests, rear headrests and headlamps with Daytime Running Lights, all supplied as standard.
In addition, the new model offers devices which are exclusive in its category: from the brand new “Blue&Me-TomTom LIVE” and the large transparent electric “Skydome” sun roof to the Hi-Fi system with CD/MP3 player and Dualdrive electric power steering with “City” function as standard.
In particular, to drive in city traffic with total peace of mind the new Panda offers the “Blue&Me TomTom LIVE” device that combines the advantages of an infotainment system which is integrated and connected with those of a portable navigator, opening the doors to connectivity.
“Blue&Me TomTom LIVE” will allow Panda customers to use mobile phones and media players in total safety without ever removing their hands from the steering wheel, and provides an absolutely unique and distinctive navigation experience, built into the dashboard and offering the most accurate traffic information updated in real time.
In addition, during the first year of sales, an innovative braking system will also become available which, at speeds below 30km/h, is able to detect obstacles at close range and stop automatically.
Lots of versions rich in content will then make it possible for every customer to choose their own made-to-measure Panda, and to then add an additional distinctive and personal touch by choosing packs and Lineaccessori articles from a long list of optional extras.
These features make the new Panda a “big” car that, moreover, has a very high product value thanks to the combination of high contents and reduced running costs.
*Please note that for the South African market, we will initially be launching with the 1.2 Fire engine mated to a manual transmission. The TwinAir powerplants are under evaluation for local introduction.