The star of the Fiat stand at next week's Frankfurt International Motor Show will be the new Panda
While remaining true to its compact design brief, the new Panda has ‘grown’ by a few centimetres to meet the highest safety standards, and improve the level of passenger and luggage space. With an overall length of 365cm, width of 164cm and height of 155cm, the Panda can accommodate up to five people and is equipped with one of the largest luggage compartments in its segment.
In 2004 the Panda was the first car in its market segment, to win the prestigious European Car of the Year award. It was the first compact (less than four metres in length) to feature a diesel engine (1986), and it was the first to offer both four-wheel drive (1983) and a range of eco-friendly engines designed to limit fuel consumption. The Panda Elettra, introduced in 1990, was one of the first electric cars. The platform for the Fiat Panda provided the basis for the New Fiat 500.
Now in its third generation, the new Panda features a flexible interior and an new exterior featuring softer, rounded shapes.
The new engine range offers customers the choice of two TwinAir twin cylinder engines: the 85hp TwinAir Turbo (International Engine of the Year 2011 ), or the brand new 65hp naturally aspirated TwinAir, both equipped with Start and Stop as standard. The recently revised four cylinder 69hp 1.2 litre Fire engine completes the petrol engine range at launch, but a state-of-the-art turbo diesel 75hp 1.3 litre MultiJet 2 engine, also with Start and Stop as standard, will also be offered. The Panda also offers a Gearshift Indicator, which helps drivers use the engine more efficiently, and reduce fuel consumption.
At launch, the new Panda will be front-wheel drive only, but a four-wheel drive version is planned. Safety features include four airbags, ABS anti-lock braking with a brake assist system, front seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, Isofix attachments for child seats, anti-whiplash front head restraints, rear headrests, and Daytime Running Lights – all as standard.