Motoring News

Fiat’s cuddly Panda gets new claws for 40th birthday

THROUGHOUT its 40 years Fiat’s Panda has (and says it will continue to be) the queen of ‘smart’ automotive solutions. This video to celebrate the car’s 40th anniversary tells the story of all these solutions…

FOR 40 years Fiat’s Panda has maintained a reputation for being a car – and indeed a van – for any occasion thanks to its versatile and functional nature that makes it suitable for a wide range of uses – and the most varied adventures.

Owners through those four decades chose a Panda for its compact size, character, accessibility, affordability, and fun and its many advantages, all rolled up into a small, right-angled, box.

Luca Napolitano (right), head of EMEA Fiat, Lancia and Abarth brands, plays host to Roberto Giolito, head of EMEA FCA Heritage, to explain how Panda has always been a car for any occasion. The video is available via Fiat’s social media channels, at this link

To find out more about the creation of all the smart solutions that have made it such a success Luca Napolitano, head of EMEA Fiat, Lancia and Abarth brands, travelled to the Heritage Hub at Mirafiori in Italy for a chat with Roberto Giolito, head of EMEA Heritage.

Napolitano explained: “The video takes a step back in time to discover why Panda has become known as ”the car with the ‘smart solutions”.

“Generation to generation, this Fiat city car has known how to impress – its original features were conceived and designed to improve road travel with a balance of form and function. The modular seats, the tail door, the flat cargo space, are a few of the ‘smart solutions’ that have made Panda such a resounding success in every way.

”The Fiat Panda is the top-selling car in the Italian market and competes with the Fiat 500 across Europe for the lead in the small city-car segment. We often say Panda is the functional icon in our line-up – Fiat’s most rational, most accessible, most democratic car – and now we can understand why.”

READ MORE Fiat features on Carman’s Corner

Giolito’s turn: ”Space, compactness, character, versatility, affordability, fun, functionality are what people look for in a car. Panda has all that but it is also an archetype – a benchmark model in terms of practicality and usage. Just think of the interiors: ‘full of nothing’. It’s a space to fill the way you want.

THE FULL RANGE: Fiat’s Panda comes in many shapes for many uses. Image: Supplied

”For example, the brilliant open compartment in the fascia of today’s Panda. Complex as a design perspective but so very easy to use. And the car’s windows allow a 360° view.

”We hear a lot these days about autonomous driving, but the Panda has had a ‘blind-spot monitor’ for ages. The only difference – it’s analogue.”

It was also important to note, he said, that the Panda was the first city car with emergency braking, first with a cradle cellphone holder, first with built-in Waze satnav in the Panda UConnect app.


”The newest feature is the ‘D-Fence by Mopar’ pack – a high-performance cabin-air filter/purifier and an ultra-violet lamp to sanitise the cabin and kill bacteria. The small city cars were also the first to become a mobile hotspot.

”Now in the mix is a Panda Easy Hybrid that has all the benefits of an efficient, compact, light and accessible hybrid drive that’s perfectly in line with Fiat becoming a pioneer of technology and an innovator in mobility through the past 120 years.


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