With its name freshly on the mailbox at the Chrysler Technical Center, Fiat took its turn on the stage for Fiat Chrysler's five-year plan. Unlike the other members of FCA, though, the maker of the mustachioed minicars didn't have a great deal to talk about.
Fiat already offered its compact Panda in a slightly off-road oriented 4X4 trim, but at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show it's debuting the Panda Cross that takes the style even farther. The Panda Cross is meant to be a utilitarian hatchback that drivers can use in the dirt if the need arises.
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.
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.
Naturally, you'd expect a massive automaker like Fiat to have an in-depth plan to exit the current European-market doldrums, and you'd expect that plan to include plenty of new vehicles to attract those precious buyers that still remain despite the financial downturn. And you'd be right, though Fiat does seem to have a few unexpected twists up its corporate sleeve.
As far as product portfolios go, Abarth is about as small as they come. The performance arm of Fiat, Abarth bases its entire line on two models: the 500 and the Punto. And even within that, only the 500 is offered Stateside. But that could change.
If the results of our totally informal, completely unscientific poll are anything to go by, Americans are eager to get their hands on small utility vehicles like the Fiat Panda. And it's easy to see why – accessibility, relatively low price and 4x4 capability are traits that ought to work in America just as in the rest of the world. Indeed, Fiat has sold 500,000 or so Panda models over the past 30 years all across Europe.
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.
Much like Mini at its launch, Fiat remains largely a one-model make (here in the United States, that is). While that may not change anytime soon in the U.S., there are rumblings that the model lineup in Canada could expand.
Recognize that tag line? It was used in the first ad for the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, a 90-second spot devoted to resetting our image of Jeep and, subtly, America itself. Chrysler parent Fiat evidently thinks so much of the tagline that they've taken it to Italy for use in the ad campaign for the 2012 Fiat Panda.
When a new vehicle arrives, the previous model is usually consigned to the history books. But that isn't always the case. Volkswagen, for example, has continued production of outdated models in South America and other markets years after they've been replaced. Jeep did the same with the XJ Cherokee in China, and now Fiat has taken a page out of the same playbook with the Panda Classic.
Fiat has prepped an all-new Panda, and the high-riding city car is set to make its world debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The 2012 Panda represents the current zenith of the front-wheel-drive compact's evolution. This third-generation Panda features a restyled exterior paired with an updated interior design and a handful of engine choices.
Italian automaker Fiat has added a pair of Euro 5-compliant engines to its Panda city car lineup. The clean burning engines are a welcome addition to the Panda, as both offer a bump in top speed, stronger acceleration, reduced fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions when compared to the newly retired engines.
Though the relaunch of Fiat in North America has centered around the 500, that's not the only model that the Italian automaker offers. Not by a long shot. And we're not even talking about rebadged Dodge models like the Freemont/Journey.
It's no secret that Fiat products are economical. For the third year in a row, Fiat has been recognized as Europe's most environmentally-friendly brand with average CO2 emissions of just 127.8 grams per kilometer. Thus, it really shouldn't come as a surprise that a Fiat product was chosen out of 241 competitors as the most economical in the land. The German Automobilclub (ADAC) carried out testing on fuel-powered vehicles to find out just how far €30 (about $36 U.S. at the current exchange