December 5, 2022

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Fiat Panda 4×4: Leaves the scene, but the legend is immortal

Unlike the Fiesta, whose production exit, next summer, was announced by Ford with a very romantic small video tribute that circulated across the web in a few hours (over here History of the blue oval city car), and Fiat Panda 4×4 It disappeared from online price and component lists for the home of Turin on tiptoe. With delivery of the new model specified for the period 2023-24)over here To learn more, it is difficult to imagine an heir that follows the “soul” and mechanical approach. elegantly refreshed,”Bandino” to me Four-wheel drive From the current generation goes back nearly ten years. But the legend has its origins much further than that: in 1983 when Giorgetto Giugiaro’s wonderful little car first ventured off-road, showing traction and resistance to fatigue usually the prerogative of larger, “specialized” vehicles and thus enjoying tremendous success, today it has turned into a genre It’s a tribute (and not just for fans of the genre). Here is the short story in pictures of a small and large car that we will miss very much.

The beginning of the legend – the first Fiat Panda 4×4 For the first time at the end of June 1983. Conceived for all intents and purposes as one Off-road mini vehicleIt is powered by the same 965cc inline four-cylinder engine as the Autobianchi A112. Despite the strengthening of the chassis that Fiat will extend to the rest of the range at the same time with the introduction of the all-wheel drive version, the car is very light (740 kg empty) and unusually agile. The advantage of being able to go anywhere is also from Powerful four-wheel drive Insertable is produced by the Austrian company Steyer-Puch, which supplies the Turin-based company with a complete transmission: clutch, gearbox, transmission shaft (divided into three parts) and the rear axle with differential and brake. However, without a real gearbox, the Panda 4×4 boasts a unique feature: the so-called “primino”, a ratio of first gear short enough to allow it to overcome the most difficult slopes with a certain ease.

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Some signatures… – Based on the new “Supernova” version of the Panda, which will remain in the Fiat price lists From 1986 to 2003with restyling in 1991, in September 1985 Fiat launched a special limited series of its small off-road vehicle: produced in only 5,000 units, the “new Panda 4×4“It has minor changes inside (which are still very minor, according to the off-road vehicle’s mission) and the exterior is recognizable at a glance by the additional driving lights, luggage rack and decorative strips on the sides.

Legendary Flames arrive with a new look – “Modernization” 1991 in style panda It also relates to 4×4 versions, which from the following spring of the following year was instantly recognizable by the large “Panda 4×4” written directly on the sheet-metal tailgate and benefited from a major renovation also on a mechanical level. Under the hood finally appears, lighter, more advanced and more effective fire engine (abbreviation for Fully Integrated Automated Drive), produced starting in 1985 and first installed on the Autobianchi Y10. With a displacement of 1108 cc and an output of 50 hp, the new four-cylinder engine abandons carburetor power in favor of a more modern electronic injection system offered by Bosch and equipped with an exhaust system with a three-way catalytic converter. lambda probe. “Basic” and “S” versions of Panda 4×4 Surrounded by the delicious Val d’Isère (reserved for the French market), Trekking and Country Club.Tilt on the dashboardA very useful tool in off-road driving, as it allows you to measure the angle of inclination of the vehicle. At the beginning of 1995, the “1100” gained 4 hp, but the performance remained fundamentally unchanged, with a top speed of about 130 km / h in fifth gear. In August 1998, the range was reduced and in the Italian list, until the arrival in 2002 of the new Climbing, which additionally provides a free-wheel device at the rear, leaving only Trekking.

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The legend has been renewed – Presented in 2004The Fiat Panda 4×4 Based on the second-generation model (the model that replaced Giugiaro’s Panda in 2003 and remained in hack until 2012), it re-proposes the off-road compact form of the popular predecessor. The vehicle is always grounded on a reinforced, raised platform (ground clearance is 160mm for the regular 4×4, 165mm for more precise climbs) and to provide greater traction on the toughest surfaces it relies on a permanent wheel Fully mechanical drive system equipped with viscous couplings (replaced in 2008 Haldex electro-hydraulic clutch. Under normal conditions, traction is almost exclusively on the front wheels, but once the latter loses traction, within a few moments and without the need for any driver intervention, torque is gradually transmitted to the rear axle as well. The look is made more “adventurous” with the protective strips made of raw plastic on the sides and reinforced bumpers, which are also equipped with an unpainted bumper in body color. Two engines are available: a 1.2 petrol with 60 hp and, since the end of 2005, a 1.3 multijet diesel with 69 hp, a unit that decisively contributed to making the Panda 4×4 the best-selling off-road car in Italy for three consecutive years. In 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Lots of adventure – with the Fiat Panda CrossPresented at the Bologna Motor Show 2005 Inspired by the Simba concept, the Turin-based company is immersing itself in the world of SUVs for the first time. The mechanics are those of the regular Panda 4×4, on which a redesigned chassis rests in the front (with new shaped bumpers and two pairs of round headlights), in the sides (reinforced with a gray plastic strip that also protects the fenders) and at the rear (it also features round lamps). and plastic protection). The only engine available is a 69 hp 1.3 Turbo Diesel. Standard equipment is completely complete, with manual climate control, alloy wheels and electronic stability control.

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The last heir? – for sale from 2012the current generation of Panda 4×4 It continues the tradition of Fiat’s small off-road vehicles that its more distant predecessors opened in 1983. Above the ground, it benefits from a different combination of steering, gearbox, suspension and brakes, all to enhance the great climber skills and off-road agility that made previous models a fortune. The permanent all-wheel drive system is electronically controlled and equipped with an electronic self-locking differential: called ELD (Electronic Lock Differential), it allows the distribution of driving force between the wheels of the same axle when one or both of them begin to lose control. Highly appreciated by the public and critics, in 2012 the British magazine Top Gear named it the best SUV of the year. Even the latest Panda 4×4 was rejected in the most aggressive version cross: Launched in February 2014 at the Geneva Motor Show, it has a sharper off-road look and thanks to some chassis tweaks, it has significantly higher attack and exit angles than the regular model.