Fiat will unveil a 4x4 version of the new Panda at the Paris Motor Show promising better fuel efficiency than the outgoing model.
The Panda will be fitted with a permanent 4x4 system that automatically detects a loss of grip and distributes traction to the front or rear axles according to conditions.
As standard the Panda 4x4 also comes with an electronic stability control (ESC) system with an electronic locking differential (ELD) function.
The ELD applies the brakes to wheels with poor grip and transfers the power to those with more grip on the ground, helping to keep the Panda moving on slippery terrain or set off uphill. This function can be activated manually by pressing a button behind the gear lever and operates below 30mph.
The new Panda 4x4 will also be fitted with an improved suspension over its predecessor providing a better ride over uneven surfaces.
It will be available with two engines, the new 0.9 twinair turbo and the 1.3 multijet diesel. The Twinair turbo has 40% more torque than the normally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine fitted to the previous Panda 4x4. A six-speed gearbox is fitted with a low-range first gear.
For those not wanting a full 4x4 version of the Panda, Fiat will also debut a Trekking version of the Panda at the Paris show. The Trekking combines the looks of the 4x4 version with front-wheel drive and an innovative traction control system.
Author: Andrew Brady