Fiat Panda (2012): the latest scoop

Published: 26 July 2011

Fiat will show off the new Panda city car at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show in mid September. Our artist’s impression shows a remarkably close vision of the new third-generation Panda.

All Fiat Pandas to date owe a debt to 1980’s Giugiaro original, one of the timeless, simple-but-boxy designs of recent years. The new 2012 Panda will be no different, keeping the distinctive third side window and monobox silhouette of today’s successful model.

Fiat Panda (2012): the lowdown

The new Panda will be around 10cm longer than today’s model, yet sits on the same wheelbase. It’s also a tad wider, to make more interior space.

In terms of positioning, the Panda won’t change much; it’s Fiat’s Twingo rival, but now injected with a dose of 500 style – particularly around the front grille and headlamps.

The wheelarches are said to be distinctively blistered for a squat stance, but the surfaces are if anything rounder than today’s slab-sided Panda.

The engines in the new Panda

Fiat is rolling out its excellent TwinAir engines to the new 2012 Panda. The petrols will be offered in 65bhp and 85bhp forms, plus there’s a bigger 1.2 four-cylinder mustering 69bhp.

Diesel fans on the Continent will be served by a 1.3 Multijet derv, cranking out 95bhp.

Go to Italy and you’ll see countless Panda 4x4s serving the rural community. The new one carries over the four-wheel drive system from today, and we’ll see the new Panda 4x4 at the end of 2012.

The Panda is based on a similar architecture to the inhouse minis the 500 and Ypsilon. That means manual transmisisons, or the choice of a Dualogic robotised manual ‘box.

When can I buy the new Fiat Panda?

After its Frankfurt debut, the new Panda will roll into showrooms in spring 2012. Prices won’t be much changed from today’s levels.

Going by the success of the current Panda, the new one should be one of the most promising small cars of next year.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet