Johannesburg - Fiat’s latest Panda will officially launch in South Africa in mid August, but we’ve managed to scrounge up some more detail on the upcoming range, along with pricing, ahead of its official introduction.
Actually, it's technically a relaunch, as the current generation was introduced to SA in 2013, but it was expensive and failed to gain any real momentum in the market.
Now it's back for a second attempt with a range of duty-dodging hatch and crossover derivatives, all powered by Fiat’s 875cc two-cylinder turbo engine (the same in the 500 TwinAir).
While we don’t yet have specific information about standard and optional features, we do know that the new Panda will come in four derivatives with three distinct body styles.
At the bottom is an entry-level Easy model with front-wheel drive, and likely to be kitted with only the essential comfort features. Next is a mid-level Lounge, also with front-wheel drive, followed by a Panda 4x4 and finishing off with 4x4 Cross as the range-topper.
The first two derivatives share a basic five-door hatch body style, while the base 4x4 is beefed up with some added ground clearance, chunkier black cladding and a side decal down the doors.
The top Panda Cross takes styling to another level, with even more ground clearance, a metal-look front skid plate, bigger roof rails and a completely different front fascia with integrated fog lights.
As for engine tuning, the bottom three are specced at 63kW and 145Nm, while the Cross gets a bit more at 66.2kW with the same torque. The front-wheel driven Pandas are equipped with 5-speed manual gearboxes and the 4x4s get six forward gears.
|Panda Easy||R184 900|
|Panda Lounge||R199 900|
|Panda 4x4||R229 900|
|Panda Cross 4x4||R249 900|