Fiat Panda 4x4 is 'SUV of the Year 2012'

Thursday, December 06, 2012

  • The 'TopGear Awards 2012' judges gave the important award to the new Fiat 4x4 city car praising in particular its ride, comfort and off-road ability.
  • "Torque on demand" all-wheel drive and Electronic Locking Differential to tackle any situation with ease.
  • The combination of the TwinAir Turbo 85 HP engine and the special six-speed gearbox with low first gear was especially appreciated by the British magazine's experts.
  • Excellent typical off-road angles: 21° (approach), 36° (departure) and 20° (ramp breakover).
  • Generous ground clearance: 16 cm for 1.3 MultiJet II and 15 cm for 0.9 Twinair Turbo.

The new Fiat Panda 4x4 has scooped its first major international award being named 'SUV of the Year 2012' by the judges of TopGear Awards 2012, promoted by the prestigious magazine with 1.9 million readers in the UK, 9.2 million readers worldwide, 17 million Facebook fans and 600 thousand Twitter followers. Founded in 1993 and associated to the BBC TV programme of the same name, the magazine counts over 25 international editions in several countries, including China, Sweden, Italy, Middle East, New Zealand, Malaysia, Russia, Portugal, Holland, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The TopGear panel of journalists put the new Fiat Panda 4x4 ahead of many capable - and more expensive - competitors, particularly praising its ride, comfort and off-road ability. A special mention was made of the New Panda's revolutionary two-cylinder 0.9 litre TwinAir Turbo engine which is coupled with a manual six-speed transmission and low first gear to give excellent off-road traction and phenomenal grip on slopes.

"It's good off-road. Sure, it might not have fancy locking diffs, but there's a clever electronic traction system, ample ground clearance and a low first gear," says the TopGear judging panel. "Traction on slopes is remarkable, partly because the tyres are suitable, and partly because the Panda is light enough that there isn't much gravitational pull to defy. But it's got other talents. Long motorway hauls aren't torture if you opt for the six-speed TwinAir version. And it's so compact it'll weave between trees and rocky obstacles that defeat the gallumphing full-size off-roaders".

The Fiat Panda 4x4 is the only 4WD model in the A segment. Successor to a best-seller which first appeared 29 years ago and made its name as the smallest and most interesting 'explorer' in its class, today's new four-wheel drive Panda is a Jack-of-all-trades, ready to face mountain mule tracks and the urban jungle with the same cool. In addition to standard equipment able to satisfy the most demanding of customers, from a technical point of view the new Panda 4x4 has bettered itself once more and proven its admirable capacity to compete with off-road cars of much greater size (and much higher price).

Designed for the most demanding motorists who love adventure and outdoor living, the new Panda 4x4 fits "Torque on demand" traction which cuts in automatically when needed to tackle any situation with ease. The Panda 4x4 features the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system with ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function as standard. This system provides additional assistance while driving and setting off on slippery terrain.

The Panda 4x4 also offers all the dynamics and comfort you need to complete long and challenging routes, thanks above all to the revised suspension - an independent MacPherson wheel arrangement at the front and interconnected wheels with torsion beam layout at the rear - and to the six-speed gearbox with low first gear connected to the TwinAir Turbo engine, to accentuate the model's off-road features, ensuring optimum setting off during hill starts.

Finally, to ensure maximum grip on any surface, the new model benefits from specifically developed 175/65 R15 84T M+S tyres. The new car is at ease on rough and challenging terrain, as demonstrated by its generous ground clearance - 16 centimetres for MultiJet II version and 15 centimetres for Twinair Turbo version - and by its excellent typical off-road angles: 21° (approach), 36° (departure) and 20° (ramp breakover).

The Fiat Panda 4x4 is available with two engine options, both with Start&Stop: the new 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the 75 HP 1.3 MultiJet II diesel. The TwinAir Turbo has 40% more torque than the 1.2 Fire of the previous generation. This, in combination with the special six-speed gearbox with low first gear, ensures much better uphill starts, higher quality start-up, greater flexibility and pick-up. Similar improvement is evident on the MultiJet II engine, where torque is increased by 30%.

The car offers a wealth of standard equipment, including: ESC system with ELD, manual climate control system, CD/MP3 radio, 15" burnished alloy rims, 175/65 R15 M+S tyres, electric door mirrors, central locking system with remote control and rear headrests. The available optional equipment and accessories include an innovative "City Brake Control" system, sliding rear seat and Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE.

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