Refreshed Fiat Panda, 4x4 and Cross

 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) presents the refreshed 2017 Fiat Panda, with the range including the 4x4 and Cross versions for the first time in nearly a decade.

Since launching locally in 2013, the Panda range has expanded from the Easy and Lounge versions in conventional front wheel drive (4x2) for the city car, to include the highly anticipated 4x4 and Cross versions, so-called City SUVs.
 Fiat Panda represents personality and comfort developed to emphasise different expressions of the model; city car, 4x4 and Cross, all united by functionality and simplicity. The compact exterior dimensions coupled with clever interior space, meet the buyer’s every requirement.
 
Design
The design of the Fiat Panda is as fashionable and versatile as ever. It is still the same size: 3,650mm long, 1,640mm wide and 1,550mm high. The wheelbase is 2,300mm long. It has a front track of 1,410mm and a rear track of 1,400mm. 
 
New features are the two fresh body colours and the two novel rim patterns. The two contemporary liveries perfectly reassert the different expressions of Panda. The pastel Amore Red emphasises the dynamic nature of the city car, and the metallic Colosseo Grey, with its modern technical undertones, highlights the all-rounder mood of the city-SUV range.
 
The hub cap design on the 15” steel rims, which are standard on the Easy and Lounge trim levels, confers dynamism and robustness, while the 15” alloy rims on the 4x4 and Cross derivatives combine elegance and character. 
 
Engines
The engine line-up features Fiat’s unique two-cylinder 900cc3 TwinAir petrol engine producing 63kW of power at 5,500 r/min and 145Nm of torque at 1,900 r/min driving the front wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission on the Easy and Lounge versions and a 6-speed manual transmission on the 4x4. The Panda Cross features a slight power increase with 66kW driving through a 6-speed manual transmission.
 
Panda 4x4
As the only 4x4 model in the A-segment, the new Fiat Panda 4x4 is the successor to the International best-seller which first appeared almost 30 years ago. Today, the third generation Panda 4x4 comes of age, offering improved quality in terms of space, comfort, functionality, technology and safety features.  The Panda is the perfect blend of a first and second car without trading the space and the comfort of a five-door compact, made even more exciting by the adoption of a 4x4 system which offers maximum freedom of use. 
 
In short, the Panda 4x4 is the optimum expression of the model’s versatility, a genuine “Super Panda”, ready to tackle mountain tracks, the urban jungle  as well as larger and more expensive off-road vehicles with the same cool “Goes Everywhere, Parks’ Anywhere attitude. 
 
'Outdoor' spirit with 'off-road' mechanics
The Panda 4x4 is a vehicle with outstanding personality, which knows how to win over the most demanding customers, lovers of adventure and life in the open air. For those customers, the new version uses a "Torque on demand" drive system, which is activated automatically when required. The Panda 4x4 is perfect for any road surface, and even has the capacity to easily traverse slippery or muddy surfaces as well as gravel. The Panda 4x4 also offers all the dynamics and comfort needed to complete long and challenging routes, thanks to the revised suspension, the 6-speed gearbox with shortened first gear and the specific 175/65R15 tyres.
 
Panda Cross
The Panda Cross defines a new type of vehicle in the segment. As its name implies, the Panda Cross is able to traverse difficult terrain thanks to its all-wheel drive and its Electronic Locking Differential. The Panda Cross customer is looking for a vehicle with large off-road vehicle credentials, yet the advantages a compact size vehicle can offer. 
 
For this reason, although the Fiat Panda Cross has a distinctive style, making it recognisable and, it has been designed to optimise off-road performance with a stylistic language typical of an SUV. All the style details serve to protect the mechanical parts, making it more robust and secure. Moreover, the Panda Cross is designed to tackle all terrain types, even the most challenging, yet move around in city traffic and, more importantly, to park anywhere. 
 
The front features a brand-new bumper incorporating a generous skid plate in a body colour is standard on the Cross but customers have the option of ordering the Cross Plus package that consists of skid plates and door protection panels in silver ultrashine colour as well as alloy rims and red tow hooks. 
 
The Cross also features new light clusters and new fog lights integrated with the logo holder bonnet trim, and new DRLs with LED technology, built into the skid plate. 
 
Side-on, certain specific elements stand out, such as the pronounced wheel arches, mouldings with ‘Cross’ badge and the new roof bars that mimic the finish of the skid plate. The 15" steel wheels feature a unique hubcap design ensuring damages done to the rims off road do not cost a great deal. The rims feature 185/65R15 all-season tyres.
 
The rear end is characterised by a distinctive look, a new bumper with under-body protection continuing the design and finish of the front skid plate, the protected light clusters and the chrome tail pipe. 
 
Inside, the Panda Cross is characterised by a refined passenger compartment offering standard equipment such as automatic climate control, CD/MP3 radio with Blue&Me™ system with steering wheel controls, rear head restraints, height-adjustable steering wheel, fog lights, leather steering wheel and gear knob and height-adjustable driver’s seat. The fabric seats have a technical appearance featuring brown eco-leather side strips that match the trim on the door panels. The front seats are characterised by the burnished Cross wording on the backrest. The dashboard fascia comes in a new copper colour, as does the central console, where the brand-new Terrain Control drive selector is fitted. The equipment is completed by the leather steering wheel, with built-in controls, and the leather gear knob. 
 
"Torque on demand" four-wheel drive and ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function
The Panda 4x4 and Cross versions are equipped with a "Torque on demand" transmission system, with two differentials and one electronically controlled coupling. On the 4x4 derivative, this is a permanent four-wheel drive system managed by a control unit which, by analysing vehicle signals, distributes traction to the front and rear axles according to the road conditions. The advantages of this system include fully automatic operation and zero maintenance. 
 
Compared to its 4x4 sibling, the Panda Cross takes the 'Terrain Control' a step further by offering selector-controlled AWD features based on the driving conditions.
 
The 'Terrain Control' lets the driver select three different modes:
AUTO – Automatic distribution of drive between the two axles in accordance with the grip levels of the road surface
LOCK – The four-wheel drive is always active for optimal off-road use, with distribution of torque among the four wheels, braking the wheels that are losing grip (or slip more than the others), and thus transferring the drive to those with the most grip.
HILL DESCENT - For optimum handling of particularly steep hill descents or when going down extremely bumpy routes.
 
The Panda 4x4 features the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system with ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function as standard. This system provides assistance while driving and setting off on slippery terrain. The ELD acts by braking the wheels with poor grip, thereby transferring the drive to those with more grip. This function can be activated manually by pressing the button behind the gear lever and operates below 50 km/h.
 
Suspension
The suspension system of an all-wheel drive car has two main tasks to fulfil. It must provide typically 2WD features such as passenger comfort, handling, road-holding and safety, whilst providing optimal characteristics for tackling any type of terrain, particularly off-road. 
 
Engineers worked on these parameters to reach both comfort and off-road performance objectives.  Two proven layouts were chosen; independent MacPherson strut at the front and interconnected torsion beam layout at the rear, specifically developed for the four-wheel drive version. The rear suspension is lighter than the previous generation, providing better ride and acoustic comfort with the same off-road performance. 
 
Specific 6-speed gearbox
Connected to the TwinAir Turbo engine, a 6-speed manual transmission makes its debut on the new Panda 4x4 and Cross. This transmission has a shortened first gear to accentuate the model's off-road features, ensuring optimum hill starts. The shortened first gear is also useful in tackling more difficult terrain, allowing the vehicle to proceed slowly at engine idling speed, ensuring the maximum vehicle control typical of off-road models. 
 
Typical angles
Panda 4x4 and Cross are at ease on rough and challenging terrain, thanks to their generous ground clearance – 150mm and 161mm respectively - and by their excellent off-road approach, departure and break-over angles. 
 
Panda's new 4x4 model features an approach angle of 21°, a departure angle of 36° and break-over angle of 20°. Due to its design differences, the Cross version features an approach angle of 24°, a departure angle of 34° and break-over angle of 21°. Panda Cross can even tackle a maximum gradient of 70% and a lateral gradient of 55%, values close to those of pure off-roaders and higher than those of the leading SUVs on the market. 
 
Panda Cross is a true off-road vehicle featuring under body protection with steel shields allowing it to tackle even the roughest ride, with no damage to the lower mechanical parts. In addition, the engine intake duct is 711 mm from the ground enabling the Panda Cross to easily traverse gullies and streams.
 

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