Some cars are designed to perfection in a way that they rule the city roads. Not only do these cars become an ultimate seduction for every city person but sometimes their glimpses can be seen in the suburbs as well. Fiat Panda is one such wonderful city car which has long been Fiat’s flag bearer in this segment. From 1980 to 2003, it bedazzled everyone with its reliability and extreme comfort.
The previous version is sometimes called the old Panda while the latest model in 2003 is called the new panda. The new version was so impressive that it immediately won the ‘European car of the year’ award within 1 year of its launch.
Scratching back into the history, we find that Fiat Panda was actually designed to become a peasant car. It was cheap, reliable and was manufactured with the most basic configuration. A 650-700CC engine was more than enough for any city car. It maintained an aura around itself from the very first year of its launch. The box like structure became a basic design for almost every fiat design that was launched between the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Though it was considered to be a basic vehicle, still it had some astounding qualities. It had a 7 position adjustable rear seat which was a rare comfort in those times. A full length roll back canvas roof was yet another asset. The first version which was launched in 1980 came equipped with a four cylinder hydro-cooled engine. It could produce an astounding power of about 21 bhp. The awesome cooler helped to keep the temperatures low. Such a design was extremely robust and reliable as well.
The next generation of Fiat Panda was kicked off in 1986 when the older version went under a series of mechanical upgrades and the engine configurations were enhanced upto 990 CC. The interiors as well as the physical structure remained almost the same. In the same year, Fiat launched the panda in the diesel version too. A solid 1300 CC engine backed by 4-cylinder water cooled internal system was a perfect combination.
In 1996, Fiat decided to expand and venture out in various parts of Europe. This time Panda was slowly phased out of Europe. Since the designs were old, Panda could not conform to the various Euro pollution norms. Its glorious span of 23 years on the roads makes panda one of the most cherished cars in the history of automobiles.
The second generation Panda which was introduced in 2003 came with all latest technical in-builds. Its production was carried out from Poland and it once again became one of the hottest selling models on road.
With prototypes such as Alessi, Jolly, Terramare 4, Luxury, Hydrogen, MultiEco etc; Panda is truly a wonderful vehicle which has increased the Fiat’s brand equity to a whole new level.