New Fiat Panda (2022) To Sit Below 500 in New Look Line-Up


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Nairrk

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An all-new Fiat Panda is set to arrive by the start of 2022, joining an all-electric 500 in the Fiat line-up and helping to kickstart a major recovery by the Italian manufacturer in some of the family car market sectors that it helped to invent.

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After years of under-investment in the Italian brand, as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) focused on its more profitable Jeep brand, Fiat is poised to rapidly expand its line-up through the first half of this decade. This process will start with the production version of the Centoventi concept that was revealed at last year’s Geneva Motor Show. Boss Olivier François says ruthless focus on cost will be at the heart of the new model’s creation – just as it was with the original Panda back in 1980.

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That means key concept elements, such as a very limited range of colours but personalisation through optional wraps, and chunky plastic rubbing strips to protect against urban scrapes, are likely to be retained. Our images here show how the vehicle could be translated into production.

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The Panda is likely to become the first Fiat model to use components sourced from PSA – the group that includes Peugeot and Citroen – assuming the proposed merger between the French company and FCA is completed in early 2021.

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New Fiat Panda SUV set for launch by 2023 with electric option

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Fiat is planning a new “affordable electrification” product offensive. It’ll be rolled out over the next five years – and the Italian brand will establish the 500 and a range of practical vehicles based on the Centoventi concept as key pillars for its growth within Stellantis.
Fiat’s CEO Olivier Francois recently told Auto Express that this strategy would shift the paradigms of his company’s line-up. Now, the 500 will become the style-focused offering in the brand’s portfolio, while the upcoming Centoventi-based models will forgo swoopy styling in the name of outright practicality.

These new entry-level vehicles will also be economically priced, retaining a similarly ruthless focus on production costs and the same rugged character as the original Panda from the 1980s. So far, Auto Express understands there’ll be a “Panda” supermini and a new “Panda SUV” (previewed above) – but more are on the way.

We asked Francois directly if Fiat’s new line-up would have two pillars, built on the 500 and the conventions set out by the Centoventi concept – and he replied: “Exactly, you’re right.” He stopped short of confirming any nameplates, but he did suggest that the larger Panda-influenced models could use classic Fiat badges.

Francois walked us through his thought process for naming his entry-level Centoventi-based model, though, saying: “What is sure is now I have the possibility to invent a new name, or to tap into some fabled name of the past. I’m leaning more towards the second one, because we really have these favourable templates, with a lot of happy customers.

“So I’ll do a B-segment [supermini], and then is it going to be a new Punto? Is it going to be a super Panda? I don’t know. We will find out. What is very important, and this is where you have my total commitment, is that obviously at the first glance – even with no badging or branding – you’ll recognise it as a Fiat.”

The “Panda supermini” will be a rugged, boxy city car – and it’ll be the closest thing Fiat will launch to a follow-up for the current Panda. Then, there’ll be at least one, (but probably two), scaled up models which will likely use the same Stellantis CMP architecture as Fiat’s new sister brand Peugeot uses under the 208 and 308 hatchbacks.

The “Punto” Francois mentions above could be a boxy supermini, but the name could also refer to our pictured “Panda SUV,” becoming a jacked-up extension of the original Centoventi concept. This vehicle will give Fiat a more practical foil to the next 500X and, in effect, a replacement for the unloved 500L MPV.

Fiat has already pencilled in an as-yet-unspecified small SUV for its Tichy factory in Poland (currently home to the older 500 and Lancia’s Ypsilon) from 2023. That’s the year Francois expects his new vehicles to start arriving.

The model, which should be previewed this year, is expected to be built alongside Alfa’s baby SUV, as well as a small Jeep – and all three cars would use the firm’s CMP and e-CMP platforms to offer a choice of petrol or electric drive.

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