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New Fiat Panda (2012) arrives

Tue, 30 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

New Fiat Panda 2012 - arrives at Frankfurt

The Fiat Panda has always been simple motoring, in many ways much more the keeper of Fiat’s heritage than the funky Fiat 500.

True, there is, in the current iteration, the Panda 100hp which is a long way from basic and probably the most fun there is to be had on four wheels in a city. But even the Panda 100hp keeps it simple.

So we worry a bit that Fiat might have turned the 2012 Panda in to just another small car, with promises of a “…qualitative leap in comfort, technology and safety equipment‘ sounding like the end of the basic, simple philosophy of the little Fiat.

But when you start to look at what the 2012 Panda offers, it’s a bit more reassuring. Yes, the Panda has grown, but it’s only 112mm longer (4.5″) and 62mm wider (2.5″), so it’s not turned in to a bloater.

And nor has the 2012 Panda suddenly acquired a big diesel lump. It will actually get small, efficient engines at launch including a pair of 875cc 2-pots – an 85bhp TwinAir turbo and a non-turbo with 65bhp – and a 1.2 litre with 69bhp. There will also be a 75bhp 1.3 Multijet diesel on offer. Fiat are also planning on adding a pair of hybrids to the range at some point.

With the reveal of the 2012 Panda comes the news that the Panda will only be available as a five-door, which probably precludes an equivalent of the Panda 100hp. But there is perhaps salvation in the rumour that Fiat are planning an Abarth version of the 2012 Panda.

Interestingly, it is said that Fiat are planning to use the 875cc 2-pot turbo, but turning the wick up to deliver more than 100bhp and mate that to an automated manual ‘box. Which sounds like it will be a blast.

More details at Frankfurt - performance, economy, emissions, etc. –  and the 2012 Fiat Panda will go on sale next Spring at not much more than the starting point of the current Panda – £8,445.

(5 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)


By Cars UK