Radical new Fiat Panda revealed with EV and petrol power

All new 2024 Fiat Panda front

The new Grande Panda will rival Dacia Sandero and Jeep Avenger

New Grande Panda is a retro, rugged supermini that’s tipped for a £15k start price

The all-new, fourth-generation Fiat Panda has been revealed as a retro, rugged urban family car with a totally new look and the option of electric power.

Called the Grande Panda to reflect a footprint that is larger than that of its predecessor (see separate story, below) the new hatchback is closely related to the recently launched Citroën C3, with which it shares Stellantis’s value-minded Smart Car platform.

Originally engineered for developing markets, that platform has been adapted for global models and can accommodate both internal combustion and battery powertrains.

The Grande Panda will offer both, most likely sharing the C3’s 124-mile and 203-mile electric systems and mild-hybrid 99bhp 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine.

The production car stays true to the blocky, retro proportions of the Panda concept that Fiat revealed in February even retaining the prominent Panda branding along its sides – a nod to its bare-bones 1980s namesake.

The minimalist, rugged look reflects Fiat’s new brand values of “strength and uniqueness” and sets the tone for the design of all upcoming models in the Panda family, including the pixel-style headlights, which were supposedly inspired by the windows of Fiat’s old Lingotto factory in Turin.

A number of cues nod to the Panda’s utilitarian roots and emphasise what Fiat calls its “UV [utility vehicle] attitude”, including the chunky front skidplate, roof rails and black lower-body cladding.

However, while the brand acknowledged the influence of the original Panda 4×4, it stopped short of hinting at plans for a four-wheel-drive version of the Grande Panda. It’s some 0.3m longer than the previous Panda, at 3.99m, but that’s still “below the 4.06m segment average”, claims Fiat. T

he five-seat cabin hasn’t been revealed yet, but Fiat said it would be “perfect for comfortable family living and contemporary urban mobility”.

Previously released sketches suggest the brand has completely rethought its approach to cabin design, with upcoming cars due to adopt a minimalist, futuristic new look that heavily references the old Lingotto factory.

Ovals will be a prevailing theme, in a nod to the 1920s building’s famous rooftop test track, and efforts to reduce the weight and cost of various elements will lend an airier, more spacious feel, Fiat has suggested.

After the Grande Panda, Fiat will expand the Panda family with a new derivative every year until 2027. Previous concepts suggest these will include a Dacia Duster-sized SUV, a coupé-crossover, a rakish, ‘lifestyle’ pick-up truck and a utilitarian MPV-cum-camper van.

Importantly, the Panda family will be distinct from the rest of Fiat’s portfolio, which has the 1950s-inspired 500 at its heart, although the brand hasn’t indicated plans for any additions to that family beyond the 600 crossover and the hot Abarth versions of each.

Fiat expects to begin UK deliveries early next year, and while it’s quiet on pricing, the Grande Panda is expected to be one of the most affordable cars on sale, starting at around £15,000 in petrol form and about £22,000 as an EV.

Current Panda lives on to 2027

The current Panda, which is now also referred to as the Pandina, will remain in production until “at least” 2027, Fiat has confirmed.

It plans to boost output by 20% to cater to sustained demand, even in the baby hatch’s 13th year on sale.

A subtly updated version of the car, featuring new active safety functions, an upgraded driver’s display and a new steering wheel and touted as the “most technological and safest Panda ever” is due on sale this summer.

Source: Autocar

Leave a Reply