Fiat's Panda grows up

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Fiat has given the world its first look at the latest incarnation of its tiny Panda city car, releasing the first images August 30.

The Panda, which has been a hit for Italy's biggest automaker for over 30 years, is set to be updated next month at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, with Fiat opting for a gentle, rounder restyling of its familiar face.

The little car, Fiat says, "has now reached full maturity," with space for five despite the 3,650 mm length and a bigger trunk than its competitors.

The model, which will vie for attention with the new VW Up! at the Frankfurt show, will be offered with a 1.2-liter engine or an 875cc version with optional turbo, and a 1.3-liter diesel version.

Inside, the interior has been treated to a significant revamp and will be available in a variety of interior styles designed to accentuate new features such as a rear bench seat and a sophisticated telematics system provided by TomTom and Fiat's own Blue & Me.

Fiat has sold over 6.5 million Pandas since they were first introduced in 1980, making it an important car for the brand - all eyes will be on how the sales figures stack up against competitors such as the Ford Ka when it goes on sale next year.

The Frankfurt motor show runs September 15-25 in Frankfurt, Germany.


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