Fiat has picked the Geneva stage to present the world début of the Panda Cross and Freemont Cross, both at the top of their respective ranges. The two new cars offer exclusive, comprehensive equipment for the safety of occupants and maximum well-being on board combined with a unique and unmistakable style.
New Panda Cross
The new Panda Cross is the agile SUV that's easy to handle in city traffic but has the spirit and equipment typical of a 4×4 SUV of a higher category, as demonstrated by the adoption as standard of both the 'Torque on demand' transmission system - it activates automatically as required, so you can tackle any situation with complete cool - and the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system complete with ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function. This provides additional assistance while driving and setting off on slippery terrain.
The Panda Cross also offers a selector for lovers of off-road driving so they can have the choice to best use several AWD features based on the driving conditions. In detail, 'Terrain Control' lets the driver select three different modes:
Every detail of the Panda Cross has been designed to make it immediately recognisable and distinctive, with a stylistic language typical of an SUV. It all starts with the front end featuring a brand-new look thanks to the new bumper, which boasts a generous skid plate in a satin titanium colour with a design of holes which reinterprets the Panda's characteristic "squircle" motif. Tow hooks with an immediately recognisable new design in a brilliant red place emphasis on its off-road character. The light clusters too are brand new, thanks to the headlights and new fog lights integrated with the logo holder bonnet trim, and to the new DRLs with LED technology, built into the skid plate. From the side, certain specific elements, such as the pronounced wheel arches, mouldings with 'Cross' badge and the new roof bars which both take up the finish of the skid plate, stand out. The 15" alloy wheels sport a 5-spoke V design and a burnished metal finish. The rear end too is characterised by a new bumper with under-body protection which takes up the design and finish of the front skid plate, a new burnished light cluster and the chrome tail pipe. Taken as a whole, these details lend it an extremely sophisticated appearance and immediately communicate dynamism and agility.
The new Panda Cross guarantees extensive passenger room, the convenience of five doors and a large modular space, all contained in just 370 centimetres. Additionally, the passenger compartment offers specific fabric trim, leather-lined steering wheel and gear knob and distinctive trim for the dashboard. Of particular interest among the standard equipment are the automatic climate control, radio CD/MP3 with Blue&MeTM system with steering wheel controls, special 15" alloy wheels, electric door mirrors, height-adjustable driver's seat and 'All Seasons' 185/65R15 tyres.
And standing out among the wealth of equipment available on request, there's the innovative City Brake Control, the system that received the 'Euro NCAP Advanced 2013' award and which recognises the presence of other vehicles or obstacles in front of the car, braking automatically if the driver fails to intervene directly to avoid collision or mitigate its consequences, active for speeds up to 30 km/h.
Two engine versions are available, both with Start&Stop standard and boasting higher performance than the versions on the Panda 4x4: the 80 HP 1.3 MultiJet II turbodiesel and 90 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo petrol, the latter with specific 6-speed transmission with shortened first gear. What's more, compared to the Panda 4×4 from which it is derived, the new car offers enhanced performance. With its 24° approach angle and 33° exit angle plus its larger special 'All Seasons' 185/65R15 tyres, the Panda Cross ensures ever surprising performance off the road and exceptional comfort on the road.
The distinctive personality, compact size and agility of the Panda Cross will attract attention when travelling down city streets, and will capture the hearts of those who love adventure and life in the open air owing to its outstanding off-road performance. That's without mentioning its possession of all the dynamic and comfort characteristics that allow it to complete long and challenging routes with ease, in part thanks to the tried-and-tested suspension layout: an independent MacPherson system at the front, while a system with wheels interconnected via torsion beam specially developed for the all-wheel-drive version was considered more suitable for the rear.
The new Panda Cross will be marketed starting from the autumn in the major European markets, and a three-layer orange livery of enormous impact will be offered for the occasion.
New Freemont Cross
The Swiss show will also be graced by the new Freemont Cross, the top-of-the-range crossover targeted at a diverse, wide-ranging public with an eye on new developments and looking for the best balance between functionality and design.
Devoted to all those who love to be able to choose their own road, whatever the distance or weather to be tackled, the Cross version depicts the outdoor spirit of the Fiat crossover. The Freemont Cross is characterised by a tough, distinctive appearance thanks to the brand-new front and rear bumpers with Platinum Chrome details, the front glossy black grille, five-spoke 19" Hyper Black wheels and Platinum Chrome-coloured side skirts. The black frames of the front and rear light clusters give the Freemont Cross an even more audacious personality, stating a readiness to tackle any road.
Fiat Freemont Cross also offers an exclusive interior with new leather seats complete with sports mesh inserts and light ardesian grey top stitching, interior finishes in the shade of Liquid Graphite, plus standard features like the 8.4" Uconnect touchscreen satellite navigator, rear parking camera and Premium Alpine audio system with six speakers, 368 W amplifier and subwoofer. And there's more: electric heated and folding door mirrors, six airbags, illuminated cup holders, Keyless Entry and Keyless Go with starting button and audio and driving speed regulation controls on the steering wheel.
Fiat Freemont customers can also configure the interior as they see fit, thanks to the 32 seat configurations and more than 20 storage compartments spread throughout the entire passenger compartment, reaching a total capacity of 140 litres, practically the same boot space of a city car. A load volume of roughly 1.5 cubic metres can be created by folding down the second and third rows of seats.
The new top-of-the-range version is available with the 140 HP 2.0 MultiJet II engine, with 6-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive, and the 170 HP 2.0 MultiJet II, both in a 4×2 version with manual gearbox and an active AWD version teamed exclusively with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
In detail, the active AWD (All-Wheel Drive) is 'on demand' type, with an electronic control unit that uses sensors to measure the grip of the four wheels and decides when to transfer drive to the rear. The electronic system modulates torque transfer through the use of the ECC (Electronically Controlled Coupling) and, operating only when necessary, contributes to limiting fuel consumption.
The new Freemont Cross will be available in European showrooms starting from Autumn 2014.
Cross: the superior choice for two winning models
These two important developments extend the Panda and Freemont ranges so that new commercial opportunities in segments experiencing growth can be seized, as well as building on the highly positive response of the European public to the two Fiat models.
Specifically, the new Panda Cross enters one of the major rapid-growth segments in Europe, a particular category of top-of-the-range 4×4 mini-SUVs that the Panda itself invented in 1983 and further developed with the second generation in 2004 with the 4×4 versions and in 2006 with the Cross, another high-end Panda version. Over 30,000 Panda Cross vehicles have been registered in six years
Eight years later the Panda Cross presents itself with an even stronger personality and offers more equipment, enhanced individuality and even better off-road performance. The Panda has reinforced its leadership position in the off-road segment even more with this new model that completes the innate, winning qualities of the other two city car-SUV variants launched in 2012: the Panda Trekking with Traction+ and the Panda 4x4 with all-wheel drive. The two versions have already met with success in a little bit over a year, as proven by the over 26,300 units registered and the score of awards received, like the authoritative SUV of the Year 2012 conferred by the British magazine Top Gear. The Panda 4x4 is one case of success. In its 30-year-long history, it invented a new segment and convinced more than 500,000 customers across Europe.
The new Panda Cross will help to consolidate the superior results achieved by the entire Panda family: in 2013, its first full year after the range update, the new Panda was Italy's best-selling car for the second year running in addition to being second in its segment in Europe, after the Fiat 500. And together with the 500, the Panda led Fiat to a position of undisputed leadership in the A segment in 2013 with more than 27% of the share in Europe.
The success of the Panda model lies in its extraordinary range, the most extensive and diverse in the category. It is the only one to boast engine versions ranging from turbodiesel to turbo petrol, from LPG to methane (the TwinAir Turbo Methane was named 'Best Green Engine of the Year 2013'); the first to offer the City Brake Control safety system which won it the prestigious 'Euro NCAP Advance award'; and the only car to combine the compactness and handling of a city car with the 4x4 performance of an authentic off-road vehicle. ;;
With the same end in view, the new Freemont Cross, the exclusive top-of-the-range version of Italy's best-selling 7-seater crossover, is launched today. In Europe too, the model is among the most highly regarded in its segment thanks to a multi-faceted spirit. It is a modern crossover perfect for a contemporary and dynamic family that contains the best of a variety of product categories: MPV, SUV and station wagon, without foregoing a dynamic and captivating style.
A significant contribution to the Fiat Freemont's excellent commercial performance was made by the top-of-the-range Lounge and Park Avenue trim levels, which represent more than 75% of sales, and which will be further reinforced by the recent introduction of the Black Code version and the AWD version, which represents more than 50% of sales. In total, in two and a half years on sale, the Fiat Freemont has achieved a share of more than 60,000 units registered in Europe. And today it's the turn of the new Cross version to raise the bar of exclusiveness and technology in the world of crossovers.