The 2012 Paris Motor Show is going on and the Italian auto manufacturer has unveiled the all new variant of the Fiat Panda with the four wheel drive mechanism. The company claims that it is the only vehicle in the A segment to have this mechanism. This new 4×4 Fiat Panda is based on the regular Panda, which is a 5 door hatchback. However the new variant will definitely look more stylish and tough than the standard hatchback. Recently unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month, we can also expect the vehicle to arrive in India soon, mostly at the beginning of the year 2013 with an expected price range of Rs 8-10 lakhs.
The new Panda comes with a completely new & sporty looks. Being the successor to the company’s bestselling car first released 30 years ago; this third-generation four-wheel drive Panda is an awesome example of a car that unites off-road capabilities along with refined design as well as compact & efficient architecture. The designers at Fiat have worked very well to even add small details in the car that gives the Panda a sophisticated multifunctional mini SUV looks. The strong geometric lines on the front and rear bumpers with cosmetic aluminum colour gives a bold look to the car. This 5-door Fiat Panda measures 3.68 m in length, 1.67 m in width and 1.60 m in height.
The new Fiat Panda does not only have elegant looks from the outside but also have impressive interiors. It is definitely going to be a benchmark in this particular market segment, all thanks to its refined style, detail attention and exclusive equipments. All these are illustrated by a complete and unique range of standard equipments like the ESC with ELD, CD/MP3 radio, manual climate control system, 175/65 R15 M+S tires attached with 15 inch burnished alloy rims. Electric rear view mirrors, central locking system with remote control and rear head restraints. The seats gets special fabric covers with designs that too in three colour variants namely green, beige and orange. Also the vehicle has provision for optional equipments and accessories in case the vehicle has to be further enhanced for its urban or off-road use.
The 4 x 4 Panda will be available with two engine options, the first being 875 cc Twin Air petrol engine that produces a power of 84 bhp and the second being the 1.3 Litre Multijet diesel engine producing 74 bhp. The company claims that the present petrol engine is capable of producing 40% more torque than the previously used 1.2L engine. A similar kind of improvement is also known to be there in the diesel variant too. The vehicle gets a torque-on-demand transmission with two differentials and an electronically controlled coupling system which after analyzing the vehicle signals distributes the traction onto the front and rear axles as per the required road grip conditions.
Inspite of being newer and technologically more advanced than the previous version, the new Fiat Panda lags some of the important safety features. The first problem being that despite the passenger compartment remaining stable in the frontal test, it was seen that the steering column and ignition barrel were not supposedly reducing the risk to the drivers of different sizes and to those who sat in different positions. Also during side impacts, the indications from the rib compressions of the dummies indicate that the protection is marginal or weak. And that’s the reason why the Panda didn’t meet Euro NCAP’s standard.