The all-new Fiat Panda Cross is set to make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show on March 4th, 2014. The new Panda Cross will offer more all-terrain capability, thanks to a host of new features, better performance and improved ground clearance.
Key to the additional off-road ability of the Panda Cross is its standard ‘Torque-on-Demand’ transmission system, which utilises the vehicle’s ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) and advanced ESC (Electronic Stability Control) systems to manage the engine’s torque delivery in difficult driving conditions. The advantages of this system are that it is both fully automatic and requires zero maintenance and it is controlled by the new Terrain Control selector, which offers the driver three driving modes depending on the driving situation:
- AUTO – Automatic distribution of drive between the front and rear axles in accordance with the available grip
- LOCK – 4WD is optimised for off-road use at speeds of up to 30mph, with distribution of torque controlled by braking slipping wheels and thus transferring the drive to those with the most grip
- HILL DESCENT – For optimum handling of particularly steep hill descents or when driving down extremely bumpy laneways
The Panda Cross is also fitted with oversized all-season 185/65R15 tyres, larger than those fitted to the standard Panda 4×4, which were developed specifically to combine drivability and traction in low-traction situations with positive on-road handling on both wet and dry surfaces.
Two engines will be offered in the new Panda Cross, both with Start&Stop as standard and both offering a five horsepower boost compared to the standard Panda 4X4. The new 0.9 TwinAir Turbo engine now produces 90hp at 5,500 rpm and 145Nm (107 lb ft) of torque between 1,900rpm and 3,000rpm, or 100Nm (74 lb ft) at 2,000 rpm in ‘Eco’ mode. This engine, on the combined cycle, offers an impressive fuel consumption figure of 57.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 114g/km, and comes equipped with a six-speed manual transmission with a unique first-gear ratio that was specifically engineered with off-road driving in mind.
The 1.3 MultiJet II turbo-diesel delivers a maximum power output of 80hp at 4,000rpm and generous 190Nm (140 lb ft) of torque at just 1,500 rpm but thanks to its low weight of just 140kg there are no ride or handling compromises, on or off road. On the combined cycle, the 1.3 MultiJet II engine returns 60.1mpg and its CO2 emissions are just 125g/km.
The front end of the Panda Cross features new light clusters, a new bumper and new fog lights integrated into front facia. New LED DRLs are also built into the skid plate, which is finished in a satin titanium colour with perforations that recall the Panda’s signature “squircle” motif.
From the side, wheel arch extensions, side mouldings with the ‘Cross’ logo and new roof bars with a satin titanium finish set the FIAT Panda Cross apart from its siblings, while its new 15-inch alloy wheels sport a five-spoke V design and a burnished metal finish.
The rear end is also revised with a new bumper with under-body protection, echoing the design of the front skid plate, a new rear light cluster and a chrome tail pipe. Finally, new tow hooks finished in brilliant red emphasise the off-road character and complete the look of the new Panda Cross.
Inside, the new Panda Cross features unique fabric/eco-leather upholstery and a new dashboard finish with a distinctive copper fascia, while standard equipment includes a leather-trimmed steering wheel with remote controls; a leather-trimmed gear knob; automatic climate control; Blue&Me connectivity; electric door mirrors; a height-adjustable driver’s seat and, of course, the new Terrain Control selector.
The new Fiat Panda Cross is due to go on sale in the autumn with pricing, final UK equipment specifications and technical details to be announced closer to its launch.