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Mike Stevens | Aug 30, 2012

Fiat has revealed a new high-riding version of its 2012 Panda, hitting the international scene as the only crossover offered in the sub-light city-car segment.

Booked in for a Paris Motor Show debut next month, the online unveiling of the Panda 4x4 follows the overseas launch of the regular third-generation Panda last year.

Visually, the Panda 4x4 stands apart from its lower stablemate thanks to its greater ground clearance, rugged plastic body mouldings and skid plates at both ends.

The 4x4 also gets new 15-inch alloy wheels and a pair of new colour choices: Sicilia orange and a military-looking Toscana green.

Inside, there's new colour-coded highlights, along with a more offroad-styled upholstery and door trim. A new storage space has also been added to the centre console.

Mechanically, the Panda 4x4 gets a torque-on-demand transmission system with two differentials working as a permanent all-wheel-drive system.

The suspension package includes MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam layout at the rear, developed specifically for the Panda 4x4.

Powertrain options include a 62kW 0.9 litre TwinAir Turbo petrol engine and a 55kW 1.3 litre MultiJet II diesel. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, along with Start&Stop technology.

Fiat will also introduce a new 'Trekking' variant that combines the 4x4 model's looks with an enhanced version of the regular model's FWD setup.

 

Australia

While under control of former distributor Ateco, the Panda was not expected to make an Australian debut. Now controlled by the new Fiat Chrysler Group, it is known that the Panda is now under consideration for a local launch.

Whether the Panda 4x4 will join the regular model, however, is unclear.

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