2013 Fiat Panda 4x4 live at 2012 Paris Motor Show reveal

Fiat has already dropped all of the info for its new Panda 4x4 mini utility, but the Paris Motor Show allows us to finally see this prospective future Jeep in the flesh. Claimed to be the only four-wheel-drive offering in Europe's A-segment, the 2013 Fiat Panda 4x4 promises to be a proficient off-roader in a very small package.

From the sounds of it, this latest Panda 4x4 is no softroader, with permanent four-wheel drive that maximizes off-road capabilities through a torque-on-demand system that features a pair of differentials. The Panda 4x4's electronic locking differential can apply the brakes to wheels losing grip and transfer that power to other wheels for optimal traction. Power comes from either an 80-horsepower, 0.9-liter TwinAir Turbo engine or a 1.3-liter diesel.

While giving off the rugged vibe with all its black plastic cladding, the Panda 4x4 still has a cute exterior design that displays its kinship to the Fiat 500. Speaking of the 500, the Panda 4x4 rides on the same 90.6-inch wheelbase as Fiat's iconic hatchback – despite having four doors – and it's also longer, taller and wider than the standard Panda.

We doubt the U.S. will ever see the Panda or the Panda 4x4, but it could very well be the basis for a new sub-Compass model in the Jeep lineup, so it will likely pay to keep a close eye on Fiat's cuddly little dirtmonger. Scroll down for the official press release with more details.
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FIAT PANDA 4X4 WORLD PREVIEW AT THE PARIS MOTOR SHOW

The new Fiat Panda 4x4 – the only four-wheel drive model in the A segment – will make 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, uniting 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 in the same assured manner.

In addition to standard equipment capable of satisfying the most demanding of customers, from a technical point of view the new Panda 4x4 has been further improved to reassert its capacity to compete with off-road vehicles of much greater dimensions and higher prices.

The 5-door Panda is 368 centimetres long, 167 centimetres wide and 160 centimetres high. The wheelbase is 230 centimetres and it has a front and rear track of 141 and 140 centimetres respectively.

The Panda 4x4 is equipped with a torque-on-demand transmission system with two differentials and an 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 that it is entirely automatic in operation and requires no maintenance.

The Panda 4x4 features an ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system with an 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 a button behind the gear lever and operates below 30mph.

Two engine versions of the Fiat Panda 4x4 will become available, both with Start&Stop: the new 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the 75 HP 1.3 MultiJet II diesel. Compared with the 1.2 Fire of the previous generation, the TwinAir Turbo has 40% more torque. In combination with a special six-speed gearbox with low-range first gear, it ensures better uphill starts, flexibility and pick-up. A similar improvement is found on the MultiJet II engine.

The new car's rear suspension is lighter than its predecessor and provides better ride and acoustic comfort, with the same off-road performance as before.

Elegant looks are combined with impressive off-road credentials. New Panda 4x4 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 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 either its urban or off-road use, as required.

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 provides the link between 4x2 and 4x4 versions; 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 low running costs and eco-friendly advantages of methane with Turbo TwinAir technology for excellent fuel consumption, low emissions and optimum performance values.