As auto show season begins to ramp up, automakers have an increasingly difficult time keeping the lid on their latest creations. Others debut an all-new vehicle ahead of its official debut simply because it cannot wait. You can put Fiat in the latter category, as the Italian automaker has revealed the all-new Panda 4×4 before its official debut in Paris later next month.
The all-new Fiat Panda 4×4 will be available with two different powerplants (and we use “power” generously), a raised suspension, and other minor exterior styling tweaks seen when compared to the front-wheel drive Panda already serving overseas. To the naked eye, it’s tough to tell the difference between the two- and all-wheel drive Panda. The all-new Panda 4×4 features a square grille and different foglights than those seen on the other Panda model. Other styling tweaks include a faux aluminum skidplate on the rear bumper. Black rocker sills, “4×4” badges, and 15-inch wheels complete the Panda 4×4’s styling outside; on the inside, no notable changes were made with the exception of an additional storage compartment.
While Fiat’s latest version of the Panda has “4×4” in it, both two- and all-wheel drive will be offered. For the better part of the Panda 4×4’s life, the front wheels will be responsible for powering the Italian compact but an electronic lock differential will spring into action when needed. The driver also has the option of controlling when the all-wheel drive is used with the simple flip of a switch. However, this can only be done when traveling under 32 mph.
About those engines. The all-new Fiat Panda 4×4 will rely on a TwinAir 0.9-liter turbocharged two cylinder that lays down a blistering 82 horsepower. Another version of the same engine will also be offered but is capable of running on both gasoline or natural gas, and is rated at an even meeker 80 hp. A diesel engine will also be offered in the form of the 75-hpMultiJet II 1.3-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder. A six-speed manual transmission will be your guide to rowing through the Panda 4×4’s gears.
So, why do we care about some European-model Fiat? Don’t forget the Chrysler connection. While it’s unlikely that we’ll see the actual Fiat Panda 4×4 on our shores, we will get the 500X Fouristrada, based on the same car. Another spin-off from the Panda 4×4 will be an unnamed Jeep vehicle that’s smaller than anything offered today.
What say you? Would you prefer the Fiat Panda 4×4 over the 500X and an all-new Jeep model? Tell us what you’re thinking in the comment section below.