Fiat New Panda
Launched in September 2003, the New Panda (known as the Gingo before launch, or 169 internally) is a car which takes Fiat back to its roots. A versatile, practical and stylish small car, the Panda follows in the footsteps of the old 500 and suchlike. At just over 3.5 metres long, Fiat have concentrated on maximising the interior space whilst giving the cabin a versatility to enable it to meet all requirements. (images of the interior) The four doors give good access (no 3 door version is planned) including the rear, where the standard car comes with two seats, a third (to make the car a 5 seater) being an option. Externally the styling (mostly the work of Bertone) has been influenced by the popular SUV culture of recent times, seen more overtly in the roof bars and detailing.
Underneath the skin the New Panda gets most of the raft of new developments which Fiat has been following, including the 1.3 16v MultiJet diesel engine and the 'Dualogic' automatic/sequential transmission. Other engines include the venerable 1108cc (54bhp) and 1242cc (60bhp) 8v petrol units. Chassis-wise it follows the conventional route with a transverse front engine, MacPherson struts at the front with a trailing beam at the rear and a front disc/rear drum braking setup.
As is the trend today, more features are becoming available in ever smaller cars, and the New Panda is no exception, with automatic climate control, double glass sunroof, stereo controls on the steering wheel (for the HiFi system available), sliding rear seat and safety items such as six airbags, ABS with EBD and ESP.
The summer of 2004 saw the new Panda 4x4 launched (high resolution images). Shown earlier at various motorshows, this features a permanent four wheel drive system which controls the distribution of drive automatically through the use of a viscous coupling. In normal conditions, 98% of the drive goes to the front wheels, with increasing amounts to the rear when there is a lack of traction at the front. The engine remains the same 1.2 60bhp unit, although the brakes are uprated to discs all round for additional control. It is visually distinguishable by the additional plastic protection around the wheelarches, along the sides and inserted into the front and rear bumpers as well as the larger wheels and tyres and unique interior trims. It is a very capable off-roader, suprising journalists by its exceptional ability - helped also by its small size and light weight, making it much more manoeuvrable and agile.
Also officially announced is another version, the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle). This also features the 4x4 transmission with more significant external modifications to differentiate the car more. A sporty diesel version is also rumoured, and a diesel powered rallycar protpotype was shown in 2003. The latter has a modified 1.3 MultiJet producing 102bhp. In 2004 the Panda Kit car was revealed, using the 1242cc engine but now with 120bhp and front wheel drive. This is used in an Italian rally championship.
Late in 2003 the New Panda was announced winner of the prestigious "Car of the Year" award for 2004, judged by numerous European motoring journalists. It has also won a variety of other awards, especially in the UK.
The New Panda went on sale in Italy and various markets around Europe from the autumn of 2003 and got off to a flying start with exceptional sales, the factory having to increase production volumes to meet the demand. The 4x4 and MultiJet diesel versions were launched in the second half of 2004, whilst the MultiJet 4x4 emerged in 2005. A limited edition version developed in conjunction with the famous Italian designer Alessi, the Panda Alessi, was also shown at various shows around Europe in 2004. Also shown were various two-tone cars with the upper bodywork being a different colour to the lower part. The 500,000th Panda emerged ffrom the factory in Poland in October 2005.
Late 2005 saw the SUV finally released, called the Panda Cross. Mechanically a MultiJet 4x4 with the addition of a locking rear differential, it is visually quite different with new two-tone colour schemes, redesigned headlights and tailights, bigger (15") alloy wheels and various additional trim. Internally some details were changed and new fabrics and colours introduced. At the 2005 Bologna Motorshow a limited edition based on the Cross was also shown, the Panda Monster. All in black, a total of 695 (the engine capacity of the Ducati Monster) were built.
Continuing the evolution of the species, 2006 saw more new versions of the Panda arrive on the scene. The 100HP saw the arrival of a sporty version. With 100bhp from its 1.4 16v engine (which revs to 7,000rpm) driving the front wheels through a six-speed transmission, the performance is excellent. Coupled to improved brakes and suspension and a new, sporty interior, the 100HP also benefits from various exterior design changes, including new front and rear bumpers, sideskirts and a rear spoiler. See a video of the 100HP in action here (4.2MB). This also led to a development of the Panda Rally car, known as the Evoluzione, with a 1.4 8v engine, in rally car form generating 157bhp. Debuting late in 2006, with Group A brakes and suspension, it proved exceedingly fast. See a video of the Evoluzione.
2006 also saw the launch of the new Panda Panda, which is a dual-fuel car which can run on both petrol and CNG. Using the chassis of the 4x4, the gas tanks are mounted under the floor, thus limiting their intrusion into the interior space.
The launch of the PanDakar (images) , or Panda designed for the Paris-Dakar off-road rally, was also made in 2006 at the Bologna Motorshow in December. Using the 1.3 16v MultiJet tuned to produce 105bhp and driving the 4WD system through a six-speed gearbox, it also featured significantly upgraded brakes and suspension as well as all the necessary protection. See a video of the PanDakar in action here (4.2MB). Finally, late 2006 saw the entire Panda range receiving an interior facelift, with all the fabrics, colours and trims being replaced with a new range of higher quality materials with greater choice (images). In September 2007 the one millionth new Panda rolled off the production line in Poland.
Driveline transverse engine at front with front wheel drive (or permanent four wheel drive) Engines 1108cc (70x72mm) 8v 4 cylinder sohc with 54bhp @ 5,000rpm
1242cc (70.8x78.86mm) 8v 4 cylinder sohc with 60bhp @ 5,000rpm
1368cc (72x84mm) 16v 4 cylinder dohc with 100bhp @ 6,000rpm
1248cc (69.6x82mm) 16v 4 cylinder dohc turbo diesel with 70bhp @ 4,000rpm (75bhp when fitted with DPF)
Suspension front : MacPherson strut with telescopic dampers and coil springs plus anti-roll bar
rear : trailing beam
track (front/rear) : 1366mm/1357mm
wheelbase : 2299mm
Brakes front : discs (240mm solid) or discs (257mm ventilated)
rear : drums (180mm) or discs (240mm)
The 4x4 and 100HP have discs all round
handbrake operating on the rear via a cable
ABS (optional on some versions in some markets)
Gearbox 5 speed manual or 'Dualogic' sequential/automatic (clutchless) unit
6 speed manual with the 1.4 100bhp engine
Steering Rack and Pinion with electric power assistance (optional on some versions) Dimensions Length : 3540mm ; Width : 1578mm ; Height : 1540mm
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There is also a list of all our picture galleries (including museums, motorshows and various events).
Wallpapers/Desktop Backgrounds of numerous Fiats also available to download.
Panda 100HP (4.2MB)
Panda 4x4 offroad (2.4MB) and interior (5.6MB)
Panda Dakar (4.2MB)
The Supergara website (Panda rally)
New Panda comment form
The new Panda is a revelation. It copes well on the open road as well as around town, all at 45mpg. Its the ideal car for a single person or young couple, as the back isn't that roomy, although from the drivers seat you would think you were driving a much bigger car. (Kieron, UK)
What a brilliant car, I have never really got over having to say goodbye to my old style 4x4 Panda, and now at last I can have a new one! (Chris H, UK)
Hi, Have just taken a Panda Multijet for a few days on test - first impressions are the engine is all it claims to be ( I normally drive a 130 TDI Seat Alhambra) - the body is a bit on the tight side but only in places - lifting one's foot off the footrest to use the clutch means catching it under the centre console - rear knee room is not too good for average size (5' 10") but it is not planned to have all four kids and one wife on board ! As the ad says, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Pity the rear seat does not split as on my '99 Fiesta - Progress ! (B.J.K, Ireland)
Had my Panda Dynamic for 9 months....a truly faultless car...it's a little head-turner too!...the gorgeous metallic blue and alloys help, there's really nothing quite like it on the road... roll on the 'Sporting' or 'Abrath' version...0-60 times under 9 seconds will make the Panda a complete all rounder. (Steve, UK)
I love my new Panda! It has to be the best car that i have ever driven. Its perfect driving ability handles town life like it's been around your years, whilst still holding the kick that it needs on motorways.
Just got a new Multijet, one word, fantastic! Highly recommended car. (Derek, Scotland)
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