Not a Kung-Fu panda, but a "Super Panda." That's what Fiat is calling the third-generation, four-wheel-drive A-segment five-door hatch, which is apparently "ready to tackle mountain mule tracks and the urban jungle with the same cool." If that sounds like your kind of beast, this 4x4 wears all manner of elements to let others know you mean business: black trim and skirting with contrasting skid plates front and back, different fog lights, 15-inch alloys on chunky tires, and the muffler has been raised so that it's tucked within the bodywork.

The six-speed transmission has a low-range first gear. Power is routed to all four wheels, permanently, with an electronically-controlled coupling managing the differentials, with an Electronic Locking Differential further managing the spin at each wheel by applying the brakes when slip is detected. The suspension is MacPherson up front and ditches the semi-trailing arms for a torsion beam at the rear.

Both available engines improve on the previous 1.2-liter Fire that had 68 horsepower and 75 pound-feet of torque, with the new 1.3-liter, 75-hp MultiJet II diesel bettering torque by 30 percent and the 0.9-liter, 85-horsepower TwinAir Turbo raising that number by 40 percent. Both are fitted with start/stop.

The new Panda 4x4 has also got more colorful, with Toscana green metallic and Sicilia orange joining the exterior palette, and three-color seats placed inside. The cabin also gets more eco-leather detailing, remote central locking, rear headrests, a CD and MP3 player and more storage, since you never know what you'll find on those mule tracks.

When the it is introduced at the Paris Motor Show next month it will be joined by two more additions to the Panda line: the Trekking and Natural Power times. Trekking gives the front-wheel-drive Panda the look of the 4x4 and Fiat's Traction+ system that works off the electronic stability control programming to provide better grip. The Panda Natural Power uses the 0.9-liter TwinAir Turbo adapted to run on gasoline and methane. There's more info to feed your Panda fix in the press release below.
Show full PR text
Fiat Panda 4x4 debuts in world preview at the Paris Motor Show

- The only 4WD car in its segment
- The Fiat mini-SUV has an original style and compact dimensions
- "Torque on demand" four-wheel drive and Electronic Locking Differential function
- Two engine versions available: 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and 75 HP 1.3 MultiJet II
- New suspensions for top-in-class comfort
- The most comprehensive range in the category: Trekking and Natural Power versions coming soon

Turin, 29 August 2012 -- The new Fiat Panda 4x4 - the only A segment four-wheel drive model - will be making its debut at the forthcoming international Paris Motor Show.

The successor to a bestseller which first appeared almost 30 years ago, today's third-generation four-wheel drive Panda is a perfect interpretation of the spirit of the times, proving itself able to unite consolidated off-road capabilities with a refined design and compact, efficient architecture. The Panda 4x4 is the superlative expression of the model's great versatility, a genuine "Super Panda", ready to tackle mountain mule tracks and the urban jungle with the same cool.

In addition to standard equipment able to satisfy the most demanding of customers, from a technical point of view, the new Panda 4x4 improves itself once again and reasserts its admirable capacity to compete with off-road cars of much greater dimensions (as well as much higher prices).

Style and dimensions
With five doors, the car is 368 centimetres long, 167 centimetres wide and 160 centimetres high. The wheelbase is 230 centimetres long. It has a front track of 141 centimetres and a rear track of 140.

For the look of the new Panda 4x4, Fiat Centro Stile designers started from the idea of consolidating its purely functional design features, adding small details that convey the image of an extremely sophisticated multifunctional mini SUV. Looks are strongly characterised by the marked geometric lines of the front and rear bumpers with aluminium colour cosmetic inserts to underline the presence of metallic protection under the body.

Unlike the previous generation, the tailpipes of the new Panda 4x4 seamlessly follow the lines of the body and ensure complete protection for the lower part of the car. Two body colours now complement the existing colour palette to enhance its 4x4 looks: Sicilia orange (pastel) and Toscana green (metallic).

The interiors pick up the solutions adopted on 4x2 versions with some important innovations: a new green fascia variant framing the instruments and the large storage pocket, fabric seats with a special design in three colour variant (green, beige, orange) and eco-leather details, front and rear door panels also with eco-leather inserts and finally a high console over the central tunnel which adds a further storage compartment to the 14 already present on 4x2 versions.

"Torque on demand" four-wheel drive and ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function
The Panda 4x4 is equipped with a "Torque on demand" transmission system with two differentials and electronically controlled coupling. This is a permanent four-wheel drive system managed by an electronic control unit which, by analysing vehicle signals, distributes traction on the front and rear axle homogenously and proportionally according to road grip conditions. The advantages of this system are entirely automatic operation and no maintenance.

The Panda 4x4 features the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system with ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function as standard. This system provides additional assistance while driving and setting off uphill on slippery terrain (snow, ice, mud etc.). More specifically, the ELD acts by braking the wheels with poor grip (or those slipping more than the others), thereby transferring the drive force to those which have more grip on the ground. This function can be activated manually by pressing the button behind the gear lever and operates below 50 km/h.

Engine versions
Two engine versions for the Fiat Panda 4x4 will be available, both with Start&Stop: the new 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the 75 HP 1.3 MultiJet II diesel. With respect to the 1.2 Fire of the previous generation, the TwinAir Turbo has 40% more torque. This in combination with the special six-speed gearbox with low-range first gear ensures much better uphill starts, quality when starting, flexibility and pick-up. A similar improvement is found on the MultiJet II engine, where torque is increased by 30%.

The suspension system of an all-wheel drive car has two main tasks to fulfil. It must ensure all typically 2WD features such as passenger comfort, handling, road hold and safety, and at the same time it must provide better characteristics for tackling any type of terrain, particularly off-road. Engineers worked on these parameters to reach both objectives. Levels of absolute excellence have been reached with a particular eye to comfort and off-road performance. For this reason, two tried and tested layouts were chosen: an independent MacPherson arrangement at the front and an interconnected wheel with torsion beam layout at the rear, specifically developed for the four-wheel drive version. With respect to the semi-trailing arm solution of the previous generation, the rear suspension is lighter and provides better ride and acoustic comfort with the same off-road performance as before.

Elegant looks combined with real off-road mechanics. Here is, in brief, the spirit of the new model which continues the extraordinary success of the previous Panda 4x4 and is destined to be the benchmark in this particular market segment thanks to its refined style, attention to detail and comprehensive equipment. This is demonstrated by a complete and unique range of standard equipment: ESC system with ELD, manual climate control system, CD/MP3 radio, 15" burnished alloy rims, 175/65 R15 M+S tyres, electric rear-view mirrors, central locking system with remote control and rear head restraints. A vast range of optional equipment and accessories is available, to further enhance its mainly urban or off-road use as required.

Trekking and Natural Power: the Panda family gets bigger
The Panda has the most extensive, versatile range in its category, and to confirm this two important new Panda family members will be making their debut in Paris: the Trekking and Natural Power versions. The first is the link between the 4x2 and the 4x4 version by combining off-road looks with smart front-wheel drive by implementing Traction+ technology. This is an innovative traction control system, which improves handling on slippery terrain guaranteeing excellent performance when setting off. There is also the new Panda Natural Power equipped with a dual fuel (methane and petrol) 80 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo engine to combine all the running cost and eco-friendly advantages of methane with Turbo TwinAir technology for excellent fuel consumption, emission and performance values.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope Fiat/Jeep bring the TwinAir engine to the US!
      • 2 Years Ago
      very cool looking little car. This could have been brought to the States alongside the 500.
      • 2 Years Ago
      My question guys...Do you think it would sell better in the USA as a Fiat or JEEP? of course it would be reclad with signature JEEP markings. Who has the best chances of getting it?
      William H
      • 2 Years Ago
      At one point I thought I read where there was a possibility for a small entry level vehicle that would be the Jeepster. If so, this seems like it would be a perfect fit for that vehicle.
      • 2 Years Ago
      That back end looks a bit funky... and not in a good way.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wouldn't be supprised if this is what the new vehicle that is replacing the Jeep Liberty will be based off of.
        EXP Jawa
        • 2 Years Ago
        Considering that this is an A-segment vehicle, I'd sooner think that a mini Jeep, either a Compass/Patriot replacement, or an even smaller sibling is what Jeep would use this for. Liberty is substantially larger.
          EXP Jawa
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EXP Jawa
          I realize that - C segment vs A, essentially. My point was that if Jeep used this platform, it would either be the basis of a larger variant to step in for the Patriot, or they would simply bring a smaller-yet vehicle to market. Interestingly, an A-segment Jeep based on the Panda would still be a bit bigger than, say, a CJ-2A...
      • 2 Years Ago
      They are Mickey mouse cars, I see them screaming in Brazilian roads on my trips to that country. They remind me of a Yugo, so light that if they were stuck, the 4wd is rendered worthless in a deep mudpuddle! Brazilian authorities being lacks on crash-worthy requirements, most FIATs are deathtraps especially the plebian Panda with the 3rd row seats!
      Evan Hayden
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm kind of wondering why they just didn't bring this to the US, instead of the 500L. Don't get me wrong, I love the 500, but it would be nice to see more Fiats come out in the states than just variations on the 500. If they brought the Panda out, it would be more differentiated from the 500 than the L is, thanks to the 4x4, and would add a little variety to the range. (It's also more attractive than the L, if you ask me) I'd also love it if they brought the Punto to the states as well... I'm not sure the 500 alone is enough for a brand here. I'm worried they might fall into the same situation that MINI has with having too many variations of a similar vehicle.
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      It looks like a Fiat Panda had sex with a moss green ATV and this came out. I love its looks, its rugged enough to let you know its not the regular Panda, but its not trying to fool anyone either. I especially like the knobby tires the one in the photos has :) I would buy the hell out of this thng, especially if they put the 130HP 1.4T in it!!
      Mark S
      • 2 Years Ago
      Will the Jeep version be Trail or Rubicon rated? Even then, the Jeep faithful will kvetch and probably call it a another bastard child.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really like this car. Fiat still do small and fun really well. And you still see the original 4wd Panda doing the rounds at the foot of the Alps in Italy with great frequency. So despite their reputation, they've got durability nailed too (it was always the bigger cars that were a problem). I reckon if I was buying a new small car tomorrow, this would definitely make the short list.
    • Load More Comments

    From Our Partners

    2015 FIAT 500
    MSRP: $16,645 - $22,395
    2015 FIAT 500c
    MSRP: $20,145 - $26,395
    2015 FIAT 500e
    MSRP: $31,800 - $31,800