Head of EMEA Heritage Roberto Giolito calls the Panda “Fiat’s most rational, most accessible and most democratic car”, one which incorporates “smart solutions” for practicality, versatility, and ease of life, all in an affordable package.
First, there was the deceptively ample interior. Right of the bat, Fiat wanted for their small car not to feel cramped and partly managed this by making the panels and dashboard as uncluttered as possible. All furnishings were eliminated, as well as the roof lining, and springs for the rear seats, the latter replaced with a tension canvas hanging on metal bars.
Visibility was another of the original Panda’s strong points, achieved with large flat glass windows and narrow frames to give an almost uninterrupted 360 degrees view from the diver's seat. A tailgate light was added to ease parking in low visibility conditions.
But a Panda is nothing if not affordable. To reduce weight and costs, non-vital elements like the rain gutters were removed, and the front grill was simply cut into the steel sheet on the first generation.
The list of technologies first introduced by the Panda to the affordable car market does not stop there.
The 2013 model was the first small car to use braking assist with Fiat’s City Brake Control. This employs a LIDAR to detect when an impact is imminent at a range of up to 40 ft (12 m) and applies the brakes accordingly. Quite a bit of tech for the Panda’s price range!
The latest feature to grace the Panda is a new full spectrum sanitizing system, making an appearance just this May amidst the height of the Cglbal health crisis. The D-Fence contains an air purifier, UV lamp, and passenger compartment filter.
Truly, the Panda is ever in step with the times. May it see many birthdays for years to come!