17.02.2004

The New Panda


A vehicle with original styling that is striking in its dynamism. Once you climb aboard, the same car conveys all the practicality and comfort of a higher category car. This, in brief, is the spirit of the new Panda, recently crowned 2004 Car of the Year and 2004 European Car of the Year, critical acclaim that has been matched by success in the marketplace.
The credit goes to a design that has generated a car of compact external dimensions gifted with a comfort level to which larger cars have now accustomed us; designed as a thrifty consumer but not for this less sparkling; ideal in city traffic but at the same time eager to tackle longer journeys, with the guarantee of a relaxing drive for passengers. All these features make the Fiat Panda a 'little big' car which, among other things, offers top value for money thanks to its combination of features, running cost and residual value.
And so Fiat will take its rightful place as leader of this growing segment where so much history bears its name: from the first 600 to the 500, from the 126 to the first Panda and from the Cinquecento to the Seicento. The first people to discover the car as an irreplaceable means of individual mobility drove Fiat city cars. And they learned how to appreciate cars that could be good-looking, reliable and fun to drive at low cost despite their lack of space, and low weight and cylinder capacity.
Now the baton passes to the New Panda.
Our aim: to focus on the perennial winning attributes of Fiat city cars. When it built its new supermini, Fiat was able to call on the great engineering and design heritage that it has built up over the years and the unique know-how of a company that has always led the European market in this segment. This unbroken success reveals how Fiat has always succeeded in the mini segment in terms of sheer numbers but also and above all by winning the trust of its customers: trust in the Fiat brand and in the experience of its designers.
The new model's ambitions do not stop here. With the New Panda, Fiat is determined to take quality levels into a different league as far as comfort, safety, engineering and equipment are concerned. Its aim is to interpret its age-old supermini know-how in the light of changes undergone by the customers of this market band and the rosy prospects for future growth.
Renewed interest in this type of car mirrors changes in the market. The mini segment is now a fast-changing universe that attracts customers who traditionally buy such cars but also motorists from other market bands. In this sector we must also consider a very diverse demand determined by different car applications (mainly around town but also over medium-long distances), different annual mileages and different personal requirements. All these customers share the fact that they choose a supermini as a response to certain needs. These are not restricted to a need for saving but also a need for a relationship with the car that must be entertaining and practical, relaxed and environmentally friendly, fun and economical.
The latest addition to the Fiat family represents the state of the art in this particular category. It is the most advanced current response to people who want a car with compact exterior dimensions that is equipped with all the comforts that bigger cars have led us to expect; designed for low fuel consumption but no less of a lively performer; ideal in town traffic but still perfect over longer trips, always able to assure its occupants a relaxed drive.
Its very ability to meet different needs, however conflicting, allows the New Panda to stand as a benchmark for those who experience the car in complete freedom and appreciate its everyday usefulness. Down-to-earth, smart customers who do not fall into the trap of following the latest fashion but instead prefer to achieve the right balance between new styling and true practicality.
As far as such customers are concerned, the new model is a veritable mix of different car types. On the one hand, it offers all the roominess, flexibility and modularity of an MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle). On the other, the driver's seating level in relation to the ground is high and it has the all-terrain look of a small SUV. The New Panda also borrows from conventional saloons all the driving satisfaction and on-board wellbeing that can be assured by a host of devices and systems, some absolutely unique to the supermini spectrum. All in all, the New Panda sets new standards of comfort and practicality in this category. Yet it still offers appealing, original styling and an impish air that will raise an answering grin from anyone who is forced to tackle the heavy traffic, lack of space and frenetic pace of life typical of town centres. The New Panda is bound to arouse continual surprise for its ability to adapt to different situations and the needs of its driver. A model that offers four different motoring experiences that make the car unique in the motoring world:

  • flexibility and practicality
  • style and character
  • technology and innovation
  • substance and quality.

Firstly, the new model is a flexible and practical car. Its attributes of roominess and ergonomics, for example, set it at the top of its category while the extensive range offers everyone the version that best meets their needs. The New Panda is just the first member of a family that is destined to grow in time: the 4x4 version and the outgoing off-roader, will be the next to follow it.
Style and character. Evident from its original, dynamic, informally elegant line. Plus new design interiors that confirm the impression of great quality that the model conveys at first glance. An appealing car that may be customised with the wide array of accessories on offer. Technology and innovation are the key words that define the New Panda experience. Hence the new car comes with engines that are lively performers but decidedly thrifty when it comes to fuel consumption (the results are among the best in the car's category) and represent an effective solution in and out of town. Pride of place goes to the 70 bhp 1.3 16v Multijet engine, the best automotive engineering can offer in the small turbodiesel field. These power units are combined with reliable, innovative gearboxes such as the Dualogic (available only with the 1.2 petrol version). The new Fiat city car is also one of the safest superminis in its category. The credit goes to the many sophisticated devices and systems adopted to ensure preventive, active and passive safety. Not to mention the fact that once you climb aboard, you discover the great pleasure of driving and travelling due above all to the automatic air conditioner and Sky-dome sunroof.
Lastly, the New Panda is a car of substance and quality. It was created using robust design technology for which Fiat deployed its best resources and most sophisticated procedures. The result is a reliable, top-quality car that boasts exclusive equipment within the safety and comfort field. For example, the torsional stiffness of the bodyshell is among the best in its segment (70,500 daNm/rad), while the New Panda is the only car in its category to have 99% of its interior surface lined. And more. The new supermini has passed the toughest tests to ensure maximum protection of driver and passengers.

The elegant, all-purpose Panda 4x4
Fiat will be presenting the new Fiat Panda 4x4 at Geneva. This is a car that immediately evokes the wish to travel in complete freedom, even in places that are not very accessible to traditional cars. But without detracting in any way from the enjoyment of negotiating the narrow streets of an old town centre.
In a word, it is ideal for all those who want manoeuvrability and aesthetic elegance as well as off-road attributes.
The Panda 4x4 can be considered (and enjoyed) as a real off-road vehicle, or as a friendly car with which to slip through the gymkhanas of urban traffic. A car with a dual personality, which communicates youthfulness and good humour, as well as solidity and sturdiness. All with an extra touch of elegance compared to the SUV version.
When they created it, the Fiat designers drew on the enormous store of technical and design skills that they have accumulated over the years, and the expertise that only a company which has been a leader of the compact car market for over seventy years can develop. The result is the New Panda 4x4, which takes on board both the many ways in which the customer has changed and the excellent prospects for growth.
The new version has small dimensions (it is 357 cm long, 159 cm wide and 162 cm high) and excellent handling, and is also higher off the ground than the conventional model: about five centimetres more, but enough to make a significant difference, increasing the already excellent visibility and the way the driver dominates even difficult roads, thanks to a turning circle of just 9.1 metres.
Plus the fact that the generous 185/65 R14 tyres and a minimum ground clearance (standard A) of 150 millimetres make it look like a real off-road vehicle. An impression that is reinforced by a number of styling features that have a specific 'off-road' function. For example, the bumpers (front and rear) are fitted with protective shields, and the sides are protected by large rubbing strips, which match the special wheelarch moulding and the engine shield.
Inside, the new version of the Panda certainly has not eliminated the large luggage compartment that is one of the model's strong points. With the one or two-piece rear seat folded down the volume increases from a minimum of 206 to a maximum of 860 dm3 (up to the roof). If a split, sliding rear seat is fitted, these values are respectively 235 (with the seat fully forward) and 786 dm3.
The Panda 4x4 is a car with a strong personality that will meet the wishes of customers with different tastes and needs, including the growing number who enjoy adventure and life in the open air. With them in mind, the new version has been fitted with a permanent 4-wheel drive system, with viscous joint and two differentials, which cuts in automatically when necessary and enables the driver to get out of any situation without difficulty. An extraordinary 'explorer' that is quite at ease on uneven or difficult ground, as the 'ramp angles' underline. First of all, the 'approach angle', which is the maximum front angle that an off-road vehicle can negotiate without touching the bodywork. The second value is the 'departure angle', the maximum gradient negotiable in reverse, starting from a horizontal plane. The last is the 'camber angle', i.e. the largest angle that the base of an (isosceles) triangular hump can have for the vehicle to pass over it without scraping. The values of the new model are 26° (front), 45° (rear) and 19° (camber). The maximum gradient negotiable is over 50%. Visitors to the Geneva Motor Show can see it in action on the special platform set up on the Fiat stand.
Driving the Panda 4x4 is extremely comfortable, thanks to the specially calibrated, tried and tested suspension system. Independent all round, with MacPherson struts at the front, transverse wishbones anchored to a subframe and a roll-bar connected to the damper. And trailing arms at the rear anchored to a special frame with a roll-bar.
There is a choice of two engines: the well proven 1.2 which delivers a maximum power output of 60 bhp (44 kW) at 5000 rpm, and torque of 10.4 kgm (102 Nm) at 2500 rpm; and the revolutionary 1.3 Multijet that delivers 70 bhp (51 kW) at 4000 rpm and torque of 14.8 kgm (145 Nm) at 1500 rpm. With the former, the Panda 4x4 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 19 seconds and reaches a top speed of 145 km/h. With the second generation turbodiesel, the same values are 16 seconds and 155 km/h. It should be pointed out that after being the first to introduce Multijet technology engines into the compact segment, Fiat is now the first to make this engineering heritage available in compact 4x4s.
The equipment on this particular version of the Panda includes Dualdrive electric power steering and an excellent braking system with 240 mm discs (ventilated at the front).

An entertaining, extrovert SUV
After its successful world preview at the 60th Frankfurt Motor Show, the Fiat Panda SUV now travels to Geneva. This extrovert 'off-road' vehicle is derived from the Simba, the concept car that aroused so much curiosity at the 28th Bologna Motor Show. So this is a significant event, the protagonist of which is a model whose very styling speaks of travel and adventure. But it is just as ready to take on our everyday traffic. It is a revolutionary SUV for its original design and versatility, a car that opens up new horizons in the mini segment. As a matter of fact it is the first European 'Sport Utility Vehicle' that is small in size but still capable of combining off-road features with the comfort and performance of a conventional car. In other words, it is the best possible expression of the Panda's great versatility, an SUV that will surprise even the most blasé of young drivers.
Offered with five doors, the model is 359 centimetres long, 160 cm wide and 163 cm high. It has a wheelbase of 230 cm, and overhangs of 743 mm at the front and 546 mm at the rear; the track is 137 cm at the front, and 136 cm at the rear. The car has particularly clean lines and a two-tone body, as well as the equipment typical of an SUV: large round headlights and aluminium protective elements for the chassis and engine. This 'all-terrain' look is highlighted by the generous 185/65 R15 wheels and a ground clearance of 170 millimetres. There is no difficulty that the New Panda SUV cannot tackle, thanks to its permanent four-wheel drive system with viscous joint and two differentials: the system cuts in automatically and enables the car to negotiate a maximum gradient of over 50%.
There will be a choice of two engines on this particular version: the 60 bhp 1.2 and the 70 bhp 1.3 Multijet. The former takes the car to a top speed of 145 km/h and accelerates 0 to 100 km/h in 22 seconds. The performance of the revolutionary 70 bhp 1.3 16v Multijet engine, the smallest and most advanced second generation common rail diesel, is also excellent. The new model has a top speed of over 155 km/h, and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 16 seconds. The Panda SUV is the only small off-road vehicle powered by a diesel engine with a capacity of less than 1900 cc.

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