In a nutshell: FIAT PANDA MILD HYBRID
- New Panda ‘Easy’ mild hybrid unveiled by FIAT.
- Features 1.0 litre petrol engine married to 12 volt electric motor for more power and better fuel economy.
- On sale now, priced at £11,840 on the road.
- Crucially, that’s cheaper than the more expensive, and larger-sized, Panda City Cross, which got the hybrid treatment back in January this year.
- The Panda - the most popular city car in Europe - is also celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2020.
Yes, it’s been four decades since the Panda first graced UK roads, taking over as it did from the outgoing Fiat 126.
And it’s a city run-around with plenty of admirers - The Grand Tour’s James May being one of them, describing his own beloved Panda as a ‘proper car for normal people’.
The Panda - now in its third generation - is already available in three trim levels - basic ‘Pop’, mid-range ‘Easy’ and top-spec ‘Lounge’.
Now, rather than opting for the 1.2, 69 hp petrol engine that used to be the only option in ‘Easy’ trim, you can now plump for a mild-hybrid with increased power and better fuel economy - turning the peoples’ car into an even friendlier package.
What’s more, there’s further reason for your finances to celebrate.
Previously the only hybrid tech in a Panda variant was with the more expensive Panda City Cross, with prices for that vehicle starting at £14,230.
The new traditional Panda hybrid, however, costs just £11,840 on-the-road - saving you almost three grand while also giving you access to the ground breaking tech advances.
Speaking of the tech, you get a 3-cylinder, 1.0 litre petrol engine married to a 3.6kW Belt-integrated Starter Generator (BSG) electric system and an 11Ah lithium battery.
This gives the lightweight Panda - the most popular compact car in Europe - power of 70 hp while allowing it to return up to 52 miles to the gallon.
CO2 emissions on the road are reduced by approximately 10 per cent compared with the standard petrol engine - bringing them down to between 122-129 g/km.
Owners even enjoy Stop & Start mode to avoid burning excess fuel.
As with other mild hybrids, the system bolts straight to the engine, doesn’t need charging, and recovers energy during braking and deceleration, stores it in a lithium battery with a capacity of 11Ah, and uses it, at a maximum power of 3,600W, to restart the engine in Stop & Start mode and to assist it during acceleration.
FIAT explains: “This technology allows the internal combustion engine to switch off by shifting into neutral, even at speeds below 18mph. The dashboard, which displays information on the hybrid system, prompts the driver when to shift.”
The new power unit sits 45mm lower than the traditional car, which actually gives it a lower centre of gravity and better handling.
The Panda Easy hybrid is also decently specced, including air conditioning, DAB radio, Bluetooth functionality, audio controls via the steering wheel, USB socket, 15-inch dark metal alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers, adjustable door mirrors, fully-adjustable driver’s seat, four airbags, and electronic stability control with hill hold assist.
A FIAT spokesperson adds: “The Panda, together with the 500, leads the city car segment in Europe and it has been the best-selling car in Italy for eight years running. This year, the Panda also celebrates its 40th anniversary. The secrets of its popularity include its compact exterior dimensions, the large interior space that can be configured to specific transportation requirements, and its wide range of engines. In fact, the Panda is the only car available in the small car segment with a full line-up of powertrains, from 4x2 and 4x4 petrol to hybrid, CNG and LPG. In total, more than 7.8 million customers have been won over by the simplicity and charm of the model, a true stalwart of the Fiat brand.”
The Panda mild hybrid is available to order now.
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