04 mrt. 2014
Fiat op de autosalon van Genève
Fiat has picked the Geneva stage to present to the international press for the first time, the new Panda Cross and Freemont Cross and the latest news for the 500 family: Model Year 2014 of the iconic 500, including the Cult version - the top of the range - and the refreshed Fiat 500L together with the special series 500L Beats Edition. The stand also features two show cars: Fiat 500L Trekking 'Street Surf' and Fiat 500 'Vintage 1957'.
New Panda Cross
- in just 370 cm, it provides all the exclusivity offered by the SUVs of higher segments
- 'Torque on demand' all-wheel drive and Electronic Locking Differential function as standard with Terrain Control, the selector for lovers of off-road driving
- Available with the boosted versions of the 80HP 1.3 MultiJet II and 90HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo, the latter with specific 6-speed transmission with shortened first gear
- 'City Brake Control' on request, the active safety system that brakes automatically to avoid collision which won 'Euro NCAP Advanced 2013'
Show car Fiat 500L Trekking 'Street Surf'
- Designed in collaboration with Wheelrun, well-known maker of 'longboards'
- Made of bamboo mirror covers, side protections, sill plates, hub caps, gear lever knob, parking brake grip and boot platform
- Two new boards were exclusively developed: a cruising board about 140 cm and a slalom board of about 95 cm in length
Fiat 500 'Vintage 1957' show car
- It is a tribute to the iconic Fiat 500 designed by Dante Giacosa which was presented in Turin on 4 July 1957
- Two-tone livery (blue and white roof) with white door mirrors and 16" hub caps
- Elements with a retro flavour are also found inside: the upholstery in leather with white inserts for instance
- The multi-award-winning 0.9 Twin Air 85 HP engine is fitted on the show car
The New Panda Cross
- Distinctive style and compact size are the terms that describe the Panda Cross top-of-the-range version: all the exclusivity offered by the off-road vehicles of higher segments in just 370cm
- 'Torque on demand' all-wheel drive and Electronic Locking Differential function as standard
- Dedicated Terrain Control selector for lovers of off-road driving
- Available with the boosted versions of the 80HP 1.3 MultiJet II and 90HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo, the latter with specific 6-speed transmission with short first gear
- 'All Seasons' 185/65R15 tyres and generous ground clearance (16 cm)
- Compared to the Panda 4×4, the Panda Cross boasts better approach and departure angles (24° and 33°)
- 'City Brake Control' on request, the safety system awarded with the prestigious 'Euro NCAP Advanced 2013'
- In European showrooms starting from the autumn
For young and dynamic customers, the Panda Cross immediately conveys solidity and robustness owing to its typical SUV style, with all the advantages that only a compact car can offer.
Style and dimensions
Every detail of the Panda Cross has been designed to make it immediately recognisable and distinctive, with a stylistic language typical of an SUV.
The front-end features a brand-new look, thanks to the new bumper, which features a generous skid plate in a satin titanium colour for the protection of mechanical components with a design of holes which reinterprets the Panda's characteristic "squircle" motif. The robust, off-road character is highlighted by tow hooks with an immediately recognisable new design in a brilliant red. The light clusters too are brand new, thanks to the headlights and new fog lights integrated with the logo holder bonnet trim, and to the new DRLs with LED technology, built into the skid plate.
From the side, certain specific elements, such as the pronounced wheel arches, mouldings with 'Cross' badge and the new roof bars which both take up the finish of the skid plate, stand out. The 15" alloy wheels feature a 5-spoke V design and a burnished metal finish.
The rear end too is characterised by a highly distinctive look, a new bumper with under-body protection which takes up the design and finish of the front skid plate, a new burnished light cluster and the chrome tail pipe.
Taken as a whole, these details lend it an extremely sophisticated appearance and immediately communicate dynamism and agility.
On the inside, the Panda Cross is also characterised by a refined passenger compartment with great personality. The seats have a flamed natural fabric with a technical appearance featuring brown ecoleather side containment strips to match the trim on the door panels. The front seats are characterised by the burnished Cross wording on the backrest, obtained with a polyurethane insert.
The dashboard fascia comes in a new copper colour to set off the striking new satin titanium finish of the dashboard. The same finish is used for the central console, on two levels, where the brand-new Terrain Control selector is fitted. The equipment is competed by the steering wheel, with built-in controls, and the leather gear knob.
Thanks to five doors and its passenger room of a higher segment, the new Panda Cross is an authentic City SUV, in that it efficiently combines its smaller external size - 370 centimetres long, 167 centimetres wide and 166 centimetres high - with a surprising internal volume. Suffice it to say that the boot is one of the biggest in its segment (225 litres) and there are as many as 15 storage compartments, including the practical two-level central tunnel console, an exclusive of the 4x4 and Cross versions.
"Torque on demand" all-wheel drive and ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function
The Panda Cross is a vehicle with strong personality, which knows how to win over the most demanding customers, lovers of adventure and life in the open air. For those customers, the new version uses a "Torque on demand" transmission system, with two differentials and one electronically controlled coupling. This is a permanent all-wheel drive system managed by an electronic control unit which, by analysing vehicle signals, distributes traction on the front and rear axles homogeneously and proportionally according to the road grip conditions. The advantages of this system include fully automatic operation and zero maintenance.
The Panda Cross features the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system with ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function as standard. This system provides additional assistance while driving and setting off on slippery terrain (snow, ice, mud etc.).
Dedicated Terrain Control selector for lovers of off-road driving
As on top-of-the-range SUVs and all models with a decidedly off-road vocation, the Panda Cross too offer lovers of off-road driving the possibility of selecting four-wheel drive according to the driving conditions, with a choice of three modes:
- AUTO - Automatic distribution of drive between the two axles in accordance with the grip of the road surface
- LOCK - The four-wheel drive is always active for optimal off-road use, with distribution of torque among the four wheels, achieved by braking the wheels that are losing grip (or slip more than the others) and thus transferring the drive to those with the most grip. This function operates under a threshold of 50km/h.
- HILL DESCENT - For optimum handling of particularly steep hill descents or when going down extremely bumpy routes.
To ensure maximum grip on any road surface, the new model benefits from 'All Seasons' 185/65R15 tyres - larger than those of the Panda 4x4 - developed specially to ensure optimum drivability and traction on snow-covered roads, along with extremely responsive steering, for driving pleasure on wet and dry surfaces, as well as excellent off-road performance.
The suspension system of an all-wheel drive car has two main tasks to fulfil. It must ensure all typically 2WD features such as passenger comfort, handling, road holding and safety, and at the same time it must provide better characteristics for tackling any type of terrain, particularly off-road. Engineers worked to reach both objectives. Levels of absolute excellence have been reached with a particular eye to comfort and off-road performance. For this reason, two tried and tested layouts were chosen: an independent MacPherson arrangement at the front and an interconnected wheel with torsion beam layout at the rear, specifically developed for the all-wheel drive version. With respect to the semi-trailing arm solution of the previous generation, the rear suspension is lighter and provides better ride and acoustic comfort with the same off-road performance as before.
The Panda Cross is at ease on rough and challenging terrain, as demonstrated by its generous ground clearance (16 cm) and by its excellent typical off-road angles: 24° (approach), 33° (departure), 20° (ramp break over) and 31.5° (70%) of climbable gradient. In particular, compared to the Panda 4×4, the approach angle has been improved by 3 degrees, so it can tackle a greater inclination of the ground without touching with the front of the car, and the departure angle by 1 degree.
The Fiat Panda Cross is available with two engine options, both with Start&Stop: the new 90 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the 80 HP 1.3 MultiJet II diesel.
Both offer an additional 5 HP compared to the equivalent units on the rest of the Panda range, to ensure greater performance while highlighting the top-of-the-range positioning of the Panda Cross.
The forerunner of a new family of Fiat two-cylinder engines, the 0.9 TwinAir Turbo engine deploys maximum power of 90 HP (66 kW) at 5500 rpm and a torque of 145 Nm at 1900 rpm (constant up to 3000 rpm). In addition, for more "eco-friendly" driving and reduced fuel consumption, you can simply press the ECO button on the dashboard, which limits torque to 100 Nm at 2000 rpm. This engine, in a combined cycle, offers consumption of 4.9 litres/100 km and CO2 emissions of 114 g/km.
Again with a view to respect for the environment coupled with driving satisfaction, the new Panda Cross can be equipped with the 1.3 MultiJet II turbodiesel with DPF as standard, which delivers a maximum power of 80 HP (59 kW) at 4000 rpm and generous torque of 190 Nm at just 1500 rpm. A masterpiece of technology in miniature - complete with all its accessories, it weighs approximately 140 kg - the diesel engine belongs to the second generation of MultiJet power units and is equipped with a fixed geometry turbocharger with intercooler, optimised for torque delivery at low rpm. In the combined cycle, the 1.3 MultiJet II engine records just 125 g/km of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of 4.7 litres per 100 km.
Specific 6-speed transmission
Together with the TwinAir Turbo engine, a specific 6-speed transmission is offered on the new Panda Cross. This transmission has a short first gear to accentuate the model's off-road characteristics, ensuring optimum setting off during hill starts. The short first gear is also useful in tackling more difficult terrain, as it allows the vehicle to proceed at a very low speed with the engine idling, ensuring the maximum vehicle control typical of off-road models.
Standard equipment and options
The new Panda Cross is the top-of-the-range model as its complete and unique standard equipment demonstrates. This includes: automatic climate control, CD/MP3 radio with Blue&MeTM system with steering wheel controls, specific 15" alloy wheels, electric door mirrors, central locking with remote control, rear headrests, height-adjustable steering wheel, fog lights, steering wheel controls, leather steering wheel and gear knob, height-adjustable driver's seat, ESC system complete with ELD and 'All Seasons' 185/65R15 tyres. Moreover, a vast range of optional equipment and accessories is available, to further enhance its mainly urban or off-road use as required. These include the heated windscreen, the privacy windows and the innovative City Brake Control system which last year received the 'Euro NCAP Advanced 2013' award.
The Panda Cross offers the innovative 'City Brake Control' on request. This active safety system detects the presence of other vehicles or obstacles in front of the car and automatically brakes if the driver fails to intervene promptly to avoid collision or mitigate its consequences. Winner of the prestigious 'Euro NCAP Advanced 2013' award, the device was designed to assist city driving and always operates when the car speed is between 5 and 30 km/h. Active every time the car is started, the system can be disabled and enabled at the request of the driver.
In detail, the 'City Brake Control' system employs a LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) laser sensor, positioned on the upper part of the windscreen, which dialogues with the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system. Depending on certain parameters (such as road surface conditions, vehicle dynamics and trajectories, position of obstacles and condition of the tyres etc.), by cutting in the system can completely avoid or mitigate the consequences of a collision.
The sophisticated device integrates three functions: Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Prefill and Brake Assist. While respecting the driver's wishes, who remains in full control of the car, the AEB activates emergency braking when a collision appears inevitable and the driver fails to react, thereby actually anticipating their reaction. The "Prefill" function, on the other hand, prefills the braking system to provide a quicker response both when Automatic Emergency Braking intervenes and if the driver brakes. Brake Assist, last of all, identifies emergency situations and, if collision is imminent, the system becomes more sensitive, lending power to the braking action to permit a reduction in stopping distance.
Cross, 4×4 and Trekking: the different off-road interpretations of the Panda model
The Fiat Panda Cross is the top-of-the-range version that, together with the Panda 4x4 and Panda Trekking models, forms a city SUV offer which is unique in its segment. Three spirits which offer varying interpretations of the city SUV concept, capable of meeting numerous usage and mobility requirements: from those who choose it for city use, to those who want it as a 'travelling companion' for outings as well as for the most extreme adventures. What all three models have in common is innovative design, advanced technology made accessible to all and smart solutions to simplify and improve on-board comfort.
In particular, awarded the prestigious 'SUV of the Year 2012' title, the Panda 4x4 is the only four-wheel drive city car on the market and is the successor to a best-seller, which from 1983 to date has sold in more than 500,000 units, 3 generations and various successful special series, just like the brand-new Panda 4x4 Antartica, launched at the end of 2013 to celebrate the model's 30th anniversary. A worthy competitor to off-road cars much larger in size (and with higher prices), the Panda 4x4 is fitted with the 'torque on demand' transmission system, which is activated automatically when needed and features the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system complete with ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function as standard. It is also the only city car that offers specific 175/65 R15 84T 'All Seasons' tyres that increase traction capacity on low-grip surfaces by 20% as standard.
The link between the 4×2 and the 4×4 version, the Fiat Panda Trekking represents a point of entry to the world of the Panda city SUV, combining the practicality of a 5-door car measuring less than 3.7 metres with the typical off-road look of the Panda 4×4 and, unique to its segment, smart front-wheel drive thanks to "Traction+" technology. The innovative traction control system improves the vehicle's handling on low-grip terrain, guaranteeing excellent performance when setting off and permitting great light off-road performance. Available with the 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the 75 HP 1.3 MultiJet II as standard, "Traction+" is therefore perfectly in tune with the Panda concept: a car for doing whatever you want. That's what makes the Panda Trekking the perfect solution for those who mainly use their vehicles in the city, but want to travel in complete safety on surfaces with poorer road grip during all their outdoor activities.
The Fiat 500L Trekking 'Street Surf' show car
- Certain items of the car are made of bamboo, for example mirror covers, side protections, sill plates for doors and luggage compartment, hub caps, gear lever knob, parking brake grip and luggage compartment platform
- Designed in collaboration with Wheelrun, well-known maker of 'longboards' which has developed exclusively for Fiat two distinct boards: one for cruising about 1.4 m in length and a slalom board of about 0.95 m.
In Geneva, the public can see up close the Fiat 500L Trekking 'Street Surf' show car which has been developed in collaboration between Fiat, Mopar and Wheelrun, a well-known maker of 'longboards'. This is not just a simple after-market personalisation, but an actual design project that has led to the building of a unique and highly appealing car without sacrificing the distinctiveness of the original models.
In particular, the 500L Trekking 'Street Surf' show car is the star of a video installation, set up at the Fiat stand, which brings a skate park to mind. The aim of this original installation is to relate the car's "street surfing" soul, the natural habitat for the Fiat 500L Trekking 'Moparized'. Moreover, the model 500L favours extremely modern and current interpretations, towards a young, innovative and original world.
One peculiarity of the 500L Trekking 'Street Surf' is that bamboo was used for several car components. The Wheelrun team made some laminar composites - in distinct layers of caramel and cream bamboo - with which it covered the side mirror covers; the side guards and the sill plate; the hub caps; the gear lever knob; the parking brake grip and the luggage compartment load platform.
Wheelrun developed two distinct types of longboard with the same natural material for Fiat on an exclusive basis: a cruising board about 1.4 m in length and a slalom board about 0.95 m in length. The longboards are equipped with trucks (steered wheel supports) designed and produced in aircraft-grade aluminium worked from solid by Wheelrun, and they will be presented to the public for the first time on the 500L longboards.
The show car Fiat 500 'Vintage 1957'
- This is a tribute to the iconic Fiat 500 designed by Dante Giacosa which was presented in Turin on 4 July 1957
- A Vintage look that recalls certain features of the historic car such as the livery (blue and white roof) with white door mirrors and 16" hub caps
- Elements with a retro flavour are also found inside: the upholstery in leather with white inserts for instance
- The multi-award-winning 0.9 Twin Air 85 HP engine is mounted in the Fiat 500 'Vintage 1957' show car
The Fiat 500 'Vintage 1957' show car makes its debut in Geneva, paying a tribute to the Made in Italy icon of 1957 through the contemporary reinterpretation of some stylistic features which made it famous in the '60s and '70s. Starting with the 'Light Blue' body colour that goes perfectly with the white roof, door mirrors and 16" hub caps, the latter especially unequivocally recalling those mounted on the historic 500.
Similarly to the exterior, the interior of the Fiat 500 'Vintage 1957' show car is the result of a modern reinterpretation of certain peculiarities of the historic 500 as shown by the white environment and the sleek leather upholstery with white inserts.
The end result is a striking show car with a vintage aspect that confirms that for Fiat 500 colour is not merely a question of aesthetics, but an integral part of a product philosophy founded on character, style and maximum scope for personalisation.
Of course, beyond the retro appearance, the Fiat 500 'Vintage 1957' show car offers the best of everything available in the field of technology, safety and comfort on board. This is shown by the air conditioning, the Blue&Me system, the CD+MP3 radio, the ABS with EBD, 7 airbags, the Start & Stop system and the ESP complete with ASR/MSR, HBA and Hill Holder. In addition, it is fitted with the multi-award-winning 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir engine that stands out for the brilliant temperament and low levels of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
So, with the 'Vintage 1957' show car the model 500 continues to cause a stir as an icon of Made in Italy, yesterday and today, able to satisfy all those who love to have fun and go anywhere behind the wheel of a car full of glamour, excitement and history. Besides, some of the objects resulting from the creativity of the Italian post-war period, such as the 500 or the Vespa, cannot be judged simply by their appearance nor merely represent good engineering practice in which form serves function. They are instead powerful chemistry, revolutionary in design and concept which redefine the common points of reference and comparison to be rooted forever in our collective memory. When this happens, essential masterpieces are introduced in the history of industry. The Fiat 500 is one of these, a history lived twice.
The first is the history of a very large number of owners, fans and enthusiasts who have promoted the image of a good car, reliable and economical, but who have also elevated it to be an expression of a part of their lives, the best part, evoking joy and light-heartedness. The 500 is linked to memories, great friendships, first loves; it evokes images of a positive past that somehow many want to rediscover. In fact, with the arrival of Dante Giacosa's 500, on July 4, 1957, closing a cycle of rebirth after the devastation of war, a period of radical change in the Fiat range ended, opening up a series of successes over the next decade, a period that can be considered as one of the brightest of the centennial history of the brand.
There is a clear parallel with the new 500 which in 2007, thanks to its technological and stylistic values, represented the beginning of a new era of the Fiat brand. It is here that history starts again. It would be simplistic to confine the phenomenon of the new 500 to a simple, nostalgic exercise in re-interpretation. Fiat's aim was not in fact to design a car that "resembled" the 500, but indeed "was" the 500 all over again. In fact, the 2007 model respects the original concept in form and function and evokes, as it should be in these cases, all those emotions, memories, values that make all "iconic" objects eternal, elevating them beyond the dimension represented by the category. But the focus must highlight above all the innovations that the new model has brought about for the first time to this product level: the first car in its segment to win the 5 EuroNCAP stars, the first to offer such a rich range, the first to offer all Euro5 engines, the first to launch the revolutionary two-cylinder 0.9 Twin Air.