Fiat has confirmed a new Panda city car will make its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
The new generation Fiat Panda – only the third in the model’s 31-year history – is set to maintain the compact practicality that has always made it popular, while improving its style, quality and efficiency. View our preview guide to the Frankfurt Motor Show.
New Fiat Panda: compact but capable
The new Panda remains one of the most compact vehicles on sale.
At 365cm long it is only slightly bigger than the car it replaces; with a width of 164cm and a height of 155cm, Fiat claims it will comfortably seat five, however, and offers one of the biggest boots in the city car sector. It also includes a multitude of interior storage options, including the trademark dashboard cubby that harks back to the 1980s original.
See our review of the current Fiat Panda here
New interior options include Blue&Me TomTom LIVE, which takes Fiat’s now familiar Bluetooth and USB interface and adds a portable TomTom sat nav system. Fiat will also offer an automatic city braking function for the first time within the first year of sale; this will automatically stop the Panda at speeds below 18mph if a collision is imminent.
Two-cylinder TwinAir and a wide range of spec
The new Panda will be offered in three trim levels, 10 body colours, four ‘interior environments’, and with a choice of wheel finishes.
The exact line-up for the UK is yet to be confirmed, but it’s likely all four engine options will make it our way. These consist of 64bhp non-turbo and 83bhp turbo versions of the two-cylinder 0.9-litre TwinAir petrol that debuted in the Fiat 500 last year, plus a conventional (and cheaper) 68bhp 1.2-litre petrol and a 74bhp 1.3-litre MultiJet II turbodiesel.
Efficiency will be the name of the game here, with start-stop likely to feature heavily – if perhaps not on the 1.2. Front-wheel drive only will be offered at launch, but another Panda 4×4 is destined for cult status when it joins the range a short while after.
Taken altogether, Fiat reckons there are more than 600 possible spec combinations for the new Panda. More details soon.
Fiat Punto TwinAir and 90g/km diesel also debut
Elsewhere on the Fiat stand at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, visitors will be able to see the new Fiat Freemont in production guise (a re-engineered version of the Dodge Journey), various iterations of the Fiat 500 – including byAbarth trim packs – and the 2012 model-year Fiat Punto
Changes to the Punto include the apparent absence of the Evo part of the current name, plus the introduction of the Punto TwinAir. This sees the 83bhp two-cylinder turbo make the transition into a larger car for the first time; you won’t miss it, since the launch colour is bright ‘Verde Lime’ with a gloss black roof.
A revised 1.3-litre MultiJet II – now with start-stop and intelligent alternator control – also sees the 2012 Punto achieve CO2 emissions of just 90g/km.
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