Little soft-roader gets ready to scurry along the dusty trail to the Paris Auto Show.
Bigger isn't always better. That's the point that Fiat - which makes small cars better than most - is evidently hoping to drive home (or that customers will) with the new Panda 4x4. Set to debut at the Paris Auto Salon next month, the Panda 4x4 fills the gap left by the previous model, only based on the recently updated Panda platform. It stands as the only 4x4 in its class (that being the European A-segment), and its compact size is what separates it from larger SUVs on the market.
Powering the off-roading Lilliputian are two available engines: Fiat Powertrain Technology's celebrated 900cc TwinAir Turbo, packing just 85 horsepower from two cylinders, or a 75hp 1.3-liter MultiJet II diesel. Both drive a torque-on-demand all-wheel-drive system and electronic locking differential through a six-speed manual and are equipped with stop/start ignition for improved fuel economy. The off-road gear is complimented by a toughened take on the Panda's styling, including lower body cladding, metal skid plates and wheel-arch extensions. Buyers can also opt for two colors exclusive to the Panda 4x4: the pictured Toscana green and Sicilia orange.