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Fiat to launch Panda Cross off-roader at Geneva

Thu, 20 Feb 2014

The Fiat Panda Cross will make its public debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show next month.

Based on the Fiat Panda 4x4, the Cross is pumped up with bigger tyres, extra body cladding, raised suspension and myriad technologies to help the little off-roader keep moving when the going gets tough.

New off-road technology for the 2014 Fiat Panda Cross

As standard, the Fiat Panda Cross comes with a ‘torque-on-demand’ transmission that uses the car’s electronic locking differential (ELD) and advanced electronic stability control (ESC) to send torque to the appropriate axle when slip is detected.

New LED daytime running lights are built into the skid plate

Another feature on the Panda Cross is the new Terrain Control selector, which lets the driver select from three driving modes depending on the situation, with automatic, 4WD and hill descent modes.

All-season tyres are fitted to the 15-inch wheels, which Fiat says “combine drivability and traction in low-traction situations with positive on-road handling on both wet and dry surfaces”.

The tyres, combined with a suspension system comprised of independent MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam layout at the rear, result in an improved ground clearance of 16cm for the MultiJet II version, and 15cm for the TwinAir Turbo.

Improved approach and departure angles of 24° and 33° respectively, combined with a break-over angle of 20°, means the new Fiat Panda Cross is more than just an urban crossover.


Exterior tweaks for the 2014 Fiat Panda Cross

The exterior is crucial to the success of any new wannabe-SUV, though – which is why the Panda Cross features a bold new front bumper that incorporates tough-looking cladding, new fog lights, LED daytime running lights and a suitably rugged skid plate. This is finished in a satin titanium colour, with perforations featuring the Panda’s “squircle” motif.

Wheel arch extensions and side mouldings add to the Cross’ pumped-up look, as does the new rear bumper with under-body protection. There are also bright red towing eyes, just in case drivers do venture a little beyond the Panda’s off-road capabilities...

2014 Fiat Panda Cross price and specs

The engines available are the same as those of the regular Fiat Panda 4x4, so there's a choice of a 0.9-litre turbocharged petrol engine or a 1.3-litre turbo-diesel. Both, however, receive a power boost of 5hp compared with the standard 4x4. CO2 emissions and fuel consumption remain the same – returning up to 60.1mpg.

We’ll find out more about final specifications closer to autumn, when the Fiat Panda Cross goes on sale in the UK. With prices of the standard Fiat Panda 4x4 starting at £14,995, we predict the Panda Cross will cost in excess of £16,000. This or a Dacia Duster? Tough choice...

Fiat Panda 4x4 review (2012 onwards)
On Bing: see pictures of the Fiat Panda Cross
Find out how much a used Fiat Panda costs on Auto Trader

By Andrew Brady, contributor, MSN Cars