2012 Fiat Panda UK Specs


The new-look Fiat Panda goes on sale in UK picking up where its successful predecessor left off.

Three engine options will be offered at launch, headed by Fiat’s award-winning TwinAir Turbo. This 875cc unit has the lowest carbon dioxide emissions of any quantity production petrol engine in the world, and won International Engine of the Year 2011 courtesy of its unique combination of power, flexibility and economy. With 85hp, 67.3mpg economy (Combined Cycle), and a characterful throaty sound track, this engine has cemented Fiat’s position at the forefront of modern combustion engine development.

All this means the car is not only good at what it does as a small hatchback, it’s also fun to drive and fun to live with. That’s a hard trick to pull.

Fiat Panda 2012 Fiat Panda UK Specs

Complete details and specs in the press release below:

As well as new engines, the Fiat Panda has revised dimensions that make it longer, wider and taller than the car it replaces, with more space for passengers and their luggage. But it still maintains sufficiently diminutive exterior dimensions to sit firmly in the city car category. Most of the Panda’s growth in length is in the rear overhang to increase the new car’s boot space as well as offer more legroom to rear passengers, who will also benefit from a rear sliding seat option for the first time. The new Panda is also 66mm wider, which means it can seat three passengers comfortably in the rear. Most class rivals have room for only two passengers in the back.

For improved passenger comfort and driver enjoyment there is all-new suspension and a body that’s significantly more rigid than its predecessor. These attributes further improve the Fiat Panda’s already impressive safety credentials. With up to six airbags (four of which are standard), ABS anti-lock braking, optional ESP (Electronic Stability Program), and an active anti-whiplash head restraint system standard equipment throughout the range, the Panda will be one of the best-equipped cars of its kind in safety terms. Unusually for a car of this size, it will also feature a new innovation as an option, the Low Speed Collision Mitigation system. This reads the road ahead and when it detects an obstacle in the car’s path it applies the brakes automatically.

The Fiat Panda’s helpful features aren’t just reserved for the driver. To maximise space inside, the all-new interior is packed with useful equipment. There are 14 storage compartments including an open one on the dashboard. The rear seat bench can be specified to slide backwards and forwards. Other options include a front passenger seat that folds into a table, while access to the interior has been further improved.

As with every other Fiat in the current range, the new Panda can be ordered with the Blue&Me connectivity system to allow owners to sync music players and mobile phones with the car. This enables hands-free control of devices using either voice activation or steering wheel-mounted buttons. The new Fiat Panda also offers the latest Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE as an option. This navigation device has a 4.3-inch touch screen, and as well as routing, this includes up-to-the-minute weather and traffic information.

The new Fiat Panda is available in three trim levels: Pop, Easy and Lounge. Even the entry level Pop model is well equipped for this city car class, while features such as Low Speed Collision Mitigation, which is available on medium and high grade cars, is new to this segment.

DESIGN: HEART MEETS HEAD

The Fiat Panda has long been seen as an embodiment of rational and emotional values and its ‘friendly’ design has reflected that. Now entering its third generation, the new Panda combines the best of the first and second generation models with a character of its own that allows Fiat to move the Panda legend forward once again.

Centro Stile Fiat designers claim the new design portrays an even stronger vision of the combination of utility and personality than the car it replaces. In creating this evolution of the existing model, designers wanted to emphasise that the Panda is a timeless classic while also being an integral member of the Fiat Automobiles family.

Comprehensive restyling has resulted in the Panda’s lines being made more rounded than the model it replaces. This softening combined with the absence of corners conveys solidity and sophistication and makes the car appear bigger than its city car dimensions might suggest. The sleek new look has also been designed to give the passenger compartment a welcoming and protective feel, and an additional benefit is a drag coefficient of 0.32, one of the lowest in the  class.

The softening of lines continues within the overall shape. Side windows have been shaped to maximise outward visibility for added safety, while giving the cabin a perception of airiness. All windows have rounded-off corners and the third window at the sides, a signature of the second-generation Panda, remains but is less angular. These also merge with the rear light clusters, which are set higher to reduce the possibility of damage from minor knocks, while making them more visible.

Bumper strips that follow the rounded motif have been added for extra protection from parking knocks. And in a nod to the first generation car, there are optional side mouldings (standard on Lounge versions) to give a rugged look. This is further accentuated by flared wheel arches and roof bars on Easy and Lounge versions.

INTERIOR: BUILDING ON AN ICON

The Fiat Panda has always been synonymous with style, practicality and usability, and this latest version builds on those ‘pillars’. Although just 365cm long with a wheelbase of 230cm, the newcomer can comfortably seat five people and has one of the biggest boots in its class.

Functionality is another of the Fiat Panda’s hallmarks and the new model is no different. The five-door design makes cabin access easy. Internal space is 26mm wider at the front and 5mm wider at the rear, while overall, the cabin is 20mm longer compared with the model it replaces. New slim seat technology yields 23mm more entry space at the front and 6mm at the rear which allows back seat passengers more leg room while those in the front benefit from improved seat travel which is now an impressive 21cm fore and aft. Allied to vertical adjustment of 6cm for the driver’s seat, the front passenger’s can be specified with a backrest that folds down like a table on Easy and Lounge models.

Two rear seats are standard while a middle seat, head restraint and seat belt can be specified as an option. The sliding back row is optional from September 2012. This moves by 16cm, increasing boot space from 225 to 260 litres in its fully forwards position. And the rear backrest folds down to create 870 litres of boot space, 36 litres more than the second generation model, and a platform that’s more than 2m in length. On top of that, a rear backrest that splits 60/40 can be specified. If the sliding rear seat is ordered, the backrest splits 50/50.

The seat material is new too. This employs squares that are electronically welded to the backrests in order to improve airflow between the occupant’s back and the seat, improving comfort in warm weather.

Further improving cooling when temperatures are high, the new Panda has an improved climate control system. This centres on a revised control unit that ensures the required temperature is reached as quickly as possible, a particularly desirable feature in extreme weather conditions. Life on board has been further improved by working to reduce all types of noise. This has resulted in a 4dB noise reduction compared to the previous generation model. This effectively means road noise has been halved.

The dashboard has undergone a radical rework. Harking back to the first ever Panda, it boasts a roomy storage pocket ahead of the front passenger. There’s also a more conventional locking glovebox in the lower part of the dash.

Other clever internal innovations include redesigned door panels, allowing the speakers to be positioned higher, which improves sound quality while also enabling the door pockets to be made wider and more usable. The hand brake has been redesigned too. Making it shorter has released storage space in front, behind and underneath the lever. In total, there are 14 storage spaces including a mix of open and closed, and there’s even an optional glasses holder above the driver’s side window.

TECHNOLOGY: BIG CAR FEATURES

Modern cars are about so much more than getting around, and as with every current Fiat the new Panda is big on communication. Consequently it features the award-winning Blue&Me infotainment system.

Based on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile for Automotive, Blue&Me allows Bluetooth equipped devices such as phones and MP3 music players to be linked into the car. Occupants can then take control using voice activation via a display panel that works with a microphone in the roof, or steering wheel mounted buttons.

It’s easy to use and therefore safe as drivers can keep their hands on the wheel, and their phones in their pockets/handbags. The latest generation voice recognition system allows immediate interaction because it doesn’t have to go through a learning phase. And phonebook contents can be transferred to the car’s display panel. Music that’s stored on a USB device, media player or the latest Apple systems can be played via the car’s sound system with track information shown on the display panel.

Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE opens the doors to connectivity further still. The connector and accompanying unit for this can be specified as an option on Easy and Lounge models. This has all the features of the regular Blue&Me system combined with satellite navigation and accurate traffic information that updates in real time.

This portable navigation device slots into a holder in the middle of the dash. There are no unsightly wires but the device can be removed for safe keeping. It features a 4.3-inch touch screen display, stores detailed maps of 45 European countries and has the same LIVE services as the latest generation TomTom navigation devices. This includes mobile and fixed speed camera locations, points of interest updated by Google Local Search, current weather forecasts and detailed traffic information, updated every two minutes. A year of free LIVE services is included when the vehicle is purchased.

Teamed with Blue&Me is Fiat’s widely acclaimed eco:Drive system. It enables users to download information about their driving to a USB stick. This can then be uploaded to their computer and by accessing Fiat’s eco:Drive website, acceleration, deceleration, gear shifts and speed are analysed to give drivers a personal eco:Index of between 1 and 100. The eco:Drivers then receive tips on how to improve their performance and can become part of the eco:Ville on-line community. This has so far enabled 64,000 users to save 4300 tonnes of CO2 by improving their driving styles.

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