Following on from this much-needed gush of momentum, Fiat boss Olivier Francois has confirmed that the revitalised fourth generation of the globally treasured Panda will be revealed on the 11th July 2024 on the date marking the Italian firm's 125th anniversary. To commemorate this landmark occasion, Francois has promised that the new Panda’s reveal will be “very special” and “will surprise” potential customers.
The Panda has long been one of the most adored vehicles in Fiat’s battery and is currently in its third generation. However, this iteration of the Panda has been roaming the roads since 2011 and has understandably become increasingly weary and grizzled, whilst similarly aged models have either been defibrillated with rigorous makeovers for the purpose of modernisation or have been deserted to rust in the history books. Thus, to stave off this depressing fate for the cheerful and family-friendly Panda, what better solution than to electrify the model and renovate it with a handful of the Fiat Centoventi concept’s retro and certainly very interesting styling.
By inserting the new Panda at the B-segment, crossover rung of the motoring ladder, Fiat are clearly envisaging for the model to be as democratic and accessible as possible, making it an ideal companion for the 600 upon its release. This need for mass appeal is accentuated by the fact that a majority portion of Fiat’s total 1.2 million sales in 2022 was claimed by the South American market. Therefore, the 2024 Panda will need to be inviting for consumers outside of Europe, while preserving Fiat’s famed Italianness and commitment to customisation that are what distinguish the brand.
To accomplish this, the 2024 Panda will recycle the same e-CMP2 underpinnings as the 600 and Jeep Avenger, which would make a range of around 220 miles and a 54-kWh battery pack seem logical. Additionally, in order to be a practical choice in the regions of the world that lack sufficient charging infrastructure but have substantial market shares controlled by Fiat, the Panda will most likely also be available with either an internal combustion engine or hybrid powertrain, although these variants may not make it to the UK, where, similar to the 600, it could be marketed exclusively as an EV.
According to Fiat, the 2024 Panda will embody the “simple clever” spirit that other manufacturers such as Skoda are legendary for, with Francois teasing that the vehicle will be “cool, popular, affordable”. Though Francois has admitted that the Panda will not be as cheap as initially planned due to the rigidity in the expenses of EVs, the removal of the financially unfeasible swappable battery technology piloted in the Centoventi (which will be the Panda’s muse) should place it between the 500e and 600 in terms of cost.
The 2024 Panda, in conjunction with the 600 and compact Topolino, is the future of Fiat and will be instrumental for the firm in acquiring a slice of the EV pie and reclaiming their crossover crown. It will sit at around 4 metres in length and therefore do battle with the Peugeot e-209 (yet another branch of Fiat’s parent company, Stellantis), and the Vauxhall Corsa Electric.