We have never gotten the Fiat Panda in North America, but the little city car has represented the entry level into the Fiat range in Europe since 1980. Unlike many of these foreign subcompacts, it was also offered in the 4X4 trim level with a higher ride height and all-wheel drive. The Italian brand will take that idea even further at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show on March 4, with the new Panda Cross.
Fiat Panda 4x4
In 1948, Willys-Overland, the forbearers of Jeep, built a vehicle called the Jeepster. It was a funky little thing, designed as a mix of the more rugged Jeeps that came before with what was then a modern car, which arguably makes it the world's first crossover. The name was later revived from 1966 to 1972, which means for Jeep enthusiasts, it has some history.
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.
No, this is not some creation from the backwoods of Georgia. Fiat actually partnered with Mercurio Cinematografica to wed a Panda 4x4 with a Jeep CJ7. The result is the plucky face of the Panda astride a set of 59-inch tractor tires. The whole contraption sits 12.8 feet tall and took just over two weeks to build from start to finish.
Big changes are in store for the Jeep brand, bringing in models from both the Dodge and Fiat brands, according to an Automotive News report. In addition to new powertrains aimed at improving fuel economy, it appears that Fiat models will underpin new vehicles that will replace some less-capable offerings from the iconic off-road brand.
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
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