All-new Fiat Panda revealed

Cute and funky Fiat Panda enters its third generation with all new TwinAir equipped model at Frankfurt 2011

Fiat has pulled the wraps off its overhauled Panda. September’s 2011 Frankfurt motor show will see only the third all-new Panda in the model’s 31-year life. Similar to the new Porsche 911, also unveiled at Frankfurt, then… The new car makes big steps forward in comfort, technology and safety equipment, says Fiat, though without giving up its ‘roguish and ready-for-anything soul’. Good. Interior space is improved by slightly larger dimensions – at 365cm long, 164cm wide and 155cm high, the new Panda is 11cm longer, 6cm wider and 1cm higher than the car it replaces. Front-wheel drive is standard with four-wheel-drive models to follow. There’ll be four engines at launch – 64bhp naturally aspirated and 84bhp turbocharged versions of the 875cc two-cylinder TwinAir petrol engine shared with the Fiat 500 and Alfa Romeo Mito, plus the familiar 68bhp 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol and 74bhp 1.3-litre Multijet four-cylinder diesel from the outgoing Panda.  The choice of three trim levels, ten body colours, four interior options and four wheel designs leads to 600 possible combinations of Panda. Among the technology available will be Fiat’s acclaimed ‘Blue&Me’ Bluetooth system with added TomTom connectivity plus an active braking system that senses obstacles in sub-20mph traffic and automatically halts the car. Other tech includes a Skydome sunroof, daytime running lights, stop/start and the option of Fiat’s Dualogic robotised manual gearbox. Production begins at the end of 2011 in Naples, so expect UK sales from early 2012 and subtle price hikes, with the range kicking off below £9000.  It will share Frankfurt stand space with the new 2012 Fiat Punto, which gets a restrained restyling and the 84bhp version of the two-cylinder TwinAir engine, which thanks to 98g/km CO2 emissions, will be road tax and congestion charge exempt.

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