After 31 years on sale, this is only the second all-new Fiat Panda, a testament to the timeless design of the spacious city car.
The distinctive move away from ‘cute’ city car looks and raised rear end more like a compact MPV than a small car have proved a hit across Europe, with more than two million sold since it was first introduced.
While the latest version features a redesigned front end including a larger grille, chunky headlamps and a larger, sloping windscreen, the raised rear end remains and the car once again has the ability to use roof bars.
The third rear window also remains at the back which, says Fiat, is shaped to offer more luggage space than any other city car on the road today.
Overall the car is more rounded compared to the sharper lines of the ageing previous generation model.
Under the bonnet, the next generation of Fiat engines will be used in the Panda for the first time. These include the International Engine of the Year 2011, Fiat’s TwinAir Turbo. The impressive two-cylinder engine is the most efficient petrol engine in the UK and is expected to lower CO2 emissions below the levels required for free road tax.
A second, 1.3-litre, petrol will also be available from launch alongside a 1.3-litre diesel MultiJet unit complete with Start/Stop technology.
While the Fiat Panda keeps its front-wheel drive layout, a four-wheel drive version is planned – something not sold in the UK on the previous version despite good reviews in Europe.
Alongside the new design, Fiat says the interior will be more flexible. Capable of seating five, it will also include some of Fiat’s new in-car technology such as Bluetooth and satellite navigation.
Prices have not been announced for Fiat’s new Panda city car, but the first models will arrive in the UK in spring 2012.