Revealed: 2012 Fiat Panda

2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

Fiat has unveiled their newly redesigned Panda just ahead of the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Official photos and details of the newly redesigned 2012 Fiat Panda have just been revealed. The third generation of the popular European hatchback is now more muscular with a sort of a square with rounded edges design theme throughout. According to Fiat, the new Panda has made a "qualitative leap in comfort, technology and safety equipment." It will only come as a five-door, as it has more passenger room and trunk space than before. Obviously, it's larger than its predecessor and the rear seat splits and slides for more flexible space and seating.

In fact, the front passenger seat backrest can be folded into a table. Power will come from a range of efficient engines that have been designed for city-like driving. There will be three gasoline engines, including a new 2.0-liter 875cc TwinAir turbo unit with 85hp and a 65hp naturally aspirated version. The third option will be a 1.2-liter 69hp engine. There will also be a 75hp 1.3-liter diesel that'll have standard start-stop technology. In the near future, two hybrids will be added to the lineup: a gasoline/methane version of the 0.9-liter turbo and a gasoline/LPG engine that's based on the 1.2-liter naturally-aspirated unit.

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Reportedly, Fiat is also considering an Abarth-badged version. Although it's not yet available, another upcoming interesting feature is a new braking system that can supposedly detect obstacles at close range and can even stop the Panda automatically at speeds below 20mph. Fiat says that official fuel consumption and emissions figures will be announced at Frankfurt, but production will begin this November with sales set to begin in the spring across Europe.

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