The Italian car maker has announced the current generation Panda will remain on sale in Europe alongside the new 2012 Fiat Panda, albeit with a stripped-down specification and fewer engine choices.
Fiat will rebrand the current Panda the ‘Fiat Panda Classic’ and with prices starting from 7,900 Euros (around £6,600 at today’s exchange rate) it is being offered at the more affordable end of the car market.
Strong sales of the car, despite its age, have convinced Fiat to re-launch the model under its new pseudonym.
However, it will be available with a single trim level this time which includes a CD and MP3 player, two airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as standard in what is a basic specification.
Under the bonnet the Fiat Panda Classic will not use the ultra-efficient TwinAir petrol engines offered with the 2012 Panda but it does get a choice of frugal 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel units.
The Fiat Panda Classic will go on sale in Fiat’s home market of Italy first before being extended across Europe, but there has been no confirmation this will also include right hand-drive models for the UK market.
UK customers will be able to buy the all-new 2012 Fiat Panda from Spring 2012 for an expected price of around £8,000 for entry-level versions from UK Fiat dealerships.
The new Fiat Panda boasts an update to its design, new interior options and equipment and a selection of new, efficient engines to bring down running costs over older versions.