Typically, 4x4s are rather large affairs, but the Fiat Panda stands resolutely against the trend. And what's more, it's done just that for 30 years now, over the course of which Fiat has rolled out three successive generations and sold over 400,000 examples of the little off-roader that could. So to celebrate three decades of the Panda 4x4, Fiat is rolling out this special edition.

Called the Fiat Panda 4x4 Antartica, it's set to debut next week at the Frankfurt Motor Show alongside a new Black Code trim for the Freemont (known to us as the Dodge Journey) and an anniversary edition Abarth 595. Fiat has based this special edition on the Panda 4x4 Rock and upgraded it with two-tone paint, 15-inch diamond-finish alloys, orange trim, fog lights, tinted glass and special badging. Inside, it's got gray and orange upholstery, and European buyers can order it up with either the 85-horsepower 900cc TwinAir engine or the 75hp 1.3-liter diesel.

A limited run will reach European showrooms by the end of the year. But we wonder... should Fiat consider bringing the Panda Stateside to share floor space with the diminutive 500? Have your say in our informal poll below, and feel free to read through the press release, too.

Show full PR text
Fiat Panda 4x4 Antartica

- A special series to celebrate 30 years of success for the only 4x4 in the city car segment
- Two-tone bodywork and orange detailing for an attractive and distinctive look
- On sale by the end of the year in a limited edition


More than 400,000 units sold, 3 generations and various successful special series: from its launch in 1983 to the present day, the Panda 4x4 is a unique concept that stands out from the crowd. To celebrate its 30th birthday, the new Panda Antartica will make its debut in Frankfurt: a Limited Edition based on the 4x4 Rock trim level, a vehicle which is beating the sales records of previous generations with a mix of 15% in Europe.

The new special series is characterised, on the outside, by its two-tone bodywork - white with a black roof - as well as several distinguishing features which give even more personality to the little 4x4 city car: grey diamond finish 15" alloy rims, orange hub caps, fog lights, Privacy windows, orange mirror fairings and a special badge on the central pillar.

The interior features stylish grey and orange upholstery, with the Panda's well loved versatility and passenger compartment comfort once again guaranteed by the 3 seater rear seat with 60/40 folding backrests and the height adjustable driver's seat as standard.

On sale in this limited edition by the end of the year, the Fiat Panda 4x4 Antartica will be available with the 0.9 TwinAir Turbo 85 HP and the diesel 1.3 MultiJet II 75 HP engine options, both fitted with the Start&Stop system.

Of course, the Special Series features all of the strengths of the 4x4 model, which last year was awarded the prestigious title of 'SUV of the Year 2012' by the UK's Top Gear magazine. Starting with the adoption of the "torque on demand" drive system, which is activated automatically when needed, so you can tackle any driving situation in complete cool. The Panda 4x4 also 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 on slippery terrain.

The Panda Antartica offers all the dynamics and comfort you need to complete long and challenging routes, thanks above all to the revised suspension - an independent MacPherson wheel arrangement at the front and interconnected wheels with torsion beam layout at the rear - and to the 6-speed gearbox with low first gear combined with the TwinAir Turbo engine, to accentuate the model's off-road features, ensuring optimum set-off during hill starts.

To ensure maximum grip on any surface, the new model benefits from specifically developed 175/65 R15 84T M+S winter tyres and is the only city car to offer them as standard. The special Snow Flake tyres are designed to be used not only on ice and snow, but on roads and dirt tracks as well. This means that traction capacity on poor-grip surfaces is 20% better than the previous model. And it should be noted that this ultimate flexibility of use does not affect fuel consumption or running costs since, in pure 'Simply More' style, the Panda 4x4 Antartica customer does not have to worry about replacing the set of tyres with every change of season.


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  • 47 Comments
      TRAILbrake
      • 1 Year Ago
      My wife and I saw many Panda in Europe and we we're hoping the US bound 500L would be a 500 with 2 extra doors; approximately the same size as a Panda. Nope. Not even close. The Panda is a Spark competitor. Given the success Chevy has had with their 5-door city car I would hope Fiat would at least consider selling a FWD Panda in North America! It really is an awesome car in person; dorky yet full of charm.
      askroon
      • 1 Year Ago
      See I'd actually consider this - the 500L, not so much.
        CSM101
        • 1 Year Ago
        @askroon
        keep in mind that this car is very small: it is just a bit more bigger than a 500.. but its "cubic" look gives much more inner space.
      Travis C. Vasconcelo
      This could be a very good replacement for the Suzuki SX4. In the north east, they are still lamenting the loss of Suzuki and that little car. Come to think of it, wasn't the SX4 a joint Fiat/Suzuki design with Fiat selling the came car as the Sedici? Why not just bring over the Sedici and service the old Suzuki's as well....talk about an instant market share!
        CSM101
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Travis C. Vasconcelo
        Well.. the fiat Sedici is actually the same car of the Suzuki SX4... and it is BIGGER than the panda 4x4. Fiat would have no interest in producing both cars, otherwise.
        foxtrot685
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Travis C. Vasconcelo
        This will not replace an SX4, the SX4 is a Suburban compared to the Panda 4x4. I don't think most people realize just how small this car is in the flesh. Its not much bigger than a 500, the small one, not the 4-door 500L.
      domingorobusto
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sure, bring it over, it could fill the hole left by the SX4s departure. Some people need a small hatchback but also need 4wd capability occasionally, for snow or whatever. The only thing though is that it really is too slow in its current form to be accepted by the American populace. But that would easily be solved by putting the 1.4 turbo engine out of the 500 turbo in it. And that would lead to the possibility of an Abarth version. A 2400lb AWD 160 hp hot hatch? Sounds fun to me.
        benjamin_braddock
        • 1 Year Ago
        @domingorobusto
        In Europe it is offered with a truly super frugal 1.3 diesel engine. It may be slow, but it is dirt-cheap to keep running, and not as noisy as you would expect too.
          Joe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @benjamin_braddock
          There is a market for low cost of ownership vehicles even if they're slow. Around here the town speed limit is always 35 mph so it wouldn't make any difference. Highways are 75 mph once you leave, but I wouldn't be using this kind of a vehicle for a long trip anyway. As a diesel lover I welcome the option.
          domingorobusto
          • 1 Year Ago
          @benjamin_braddock
          I'd love to see the diesel over here, but it almost certainly wouldn't work as well. American emissions restrictions are tighter, meaning it would almost certainly lose some power, and when its 0-60 is already pushing 13 seconds, it can't afford to lose anything. And diesel is MUCH more expensive relative to gasoline over here, so no one would buy it besides me and like 4 other people. I really think the 135 hp 1.4T would be the best engine choice for the US market. It'd give it plenty of power and torque, it would maintain decent fuel economy on regular fuel, and it's already certed for the US.
          TRAILbrake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @benjamin_braddock
          I don't know what part of the US you're from but diesel fuel is only $3.80/gallon versus $4.10 for 91 octane gasoline here in SoCal!
      Devil_X
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Panda is a Solid little car............. but it is SMALL It is a bit bigger than the regular 500 (not even close to the 500L) I think Fiat should make the PandaL, that would sell more than the 500L both in US and Europe.
      steve m
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bring it over w/ the diesel and manual trans, please
      Felipe Politano
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's too small and too simple for America, believe me. It's smaller than a Fiesta or a Sonic and built to be really cheap - say, one step down from the Fiesta-fighting Punto.
        DK
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Felipe Politano
        Not sure why you are getting voted down, because you are correct, this thing is really small compared to what people are thinking.
        Felipe Politano
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Felipe Politano
        People are comparing it to the Encore, the Countryman, the 500L... those cars are WAY bigger than the tiny Panda. Looks can be deceiving folks!
        Devil_X
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Felipe Politano
        I can confirm the Panda is slightly bigger than the 500 (not the 500L)
      Master Austin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not sure if it's done on purpose, but if they are naming it after the continent then it's spelled "AntarCtica",
        Pengo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Master Austin
        In italian it's correctly spelled...
          Pengo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Pengo
          Hmmm, glad to know you know italian better than an italian, in italian it's called Antartide or Antartico: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antartide
          Mike Pulsifer
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Pengo
          Uh, Aaron, not all languages use the Latin alphabet.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Pengo
          [blocked]
      benjamin_braddock
      • 1 Year Ago
      Historically, the Fiat Panda 4x4 has been a great product. The new one just looks brilliant. I think there is a chance that both the 500 and the Panda 4x4 would complement each other. Both are aimed at different target markets.
      KaBoomBOX
      • 1 Year Ago
      There's one car that could give the Kia Soul a run for it's money, and that's the Panda.
        DK
        • 1 Year Ago
        @KaBoomBOX
        Pretty big difference in size between the two. The Panda is almost 2 feet shorter than the soul. I would still like to see the Panda here though.
        benjamin_braddock
        • 1 Year Ago
        @KaBoomBOX
        Not everyone will agree, but I really do think the Panda is better looking than the Soul.
      mdrieling
      • 1 Year Ago
      I live in an area where it snows quite a bit and need a smaller car (other one is a 3/4 ton pickup) to get around town in. I have kids so I need a 4 door and the 4 wheel drive option on a proven vehicle would be perfect. I\' would like over 100 horsepower though.
      Fernando Fiore
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would say it fills the void of no SX4 anymore... perfect small car for the great white north!
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