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Home » Green Car News » Fiat Eco Cars

New Fiat Panda 4x4

18 January 2013

 

The latest Fiat Panda 4x4 is successor to a best-seller that first appeared over 29 years ago. The third generation Panda 4x4, on sale in January 2013, has the same fun character, versatility, style, functionality and legendary use of space as its predecessors, but with the best of todayís  quality, comfort, technology and safety features. Itís a smart solution for drivers who want city car features without trading the passenger room and comfort of a five-door, or the go-anywhere ability of a full SUV.
Despite the obvious advantages of having four-wheel drive in a compact five-door city car shape, the Panda 4x4 remains unique. By linking an automatic four-wheel drive system to a choice of advanced, economical engines in a car with raised ground clearance, Fiat has created a true city car with genuine 4x4 credibility.

The innovation doesnít end there. Sitting between the 4x4 and the regular two-wheel drive version is the Panda Trekking, the worldís first CUV or City Utility Vehicle. This version features the Panda 4x4ís raised ride height but combines front-wheel drive with a sophisticated traction control system to enhance its remarkable abilities over slippery surfaces.

 

The Fiat Panda 4x4 and Trekking have the same friendly, stylish shape as the regular Panda but with design accents to convey the impression of a sophisticated, multifunctional SUV. Compared to the previous generation model the latest Panda is longer, wider and taller. On 4x4 and Trekking versions those dimensions increase slightly, but the cars still retain the requisite diminutive exterior proportions to remain firmly in the city car category. Inside, a modern design combines with high quality materials, plentiful equipment, modular interior space and one of the largest luggage compartments in its class.

The increased ride height of the Panda 4x4 and Trekking give them improved ground clearance for enhanced ability over rutted or uneven terrain. A body thatís significantly more rigid than previous versions sits on all-new suspension that has been optimised for a combination of on-road comfort and off-road aptitude.

Under the bonnet, Panda 4x4 and Trekking versions offer a choice between the award-winning 875cc TwinAir Turbo and the 1.3-litre MultiJet 2 turbo diesel. Both engines come with Start&Stop and a Gear Shift Indicator (GSI) which suggests to the driver the optimum point to change gear in order to achieve the best economy.

0.9-litre TwinAir

The Fiat Panda 4x4 and Trekking versions offer a choice of two engines: one petrol and one diesel. The two-cylinder 85hp TwinAir Turbo takes downsizing to a new level by combining a small capacity engine with a responsive turbocharger. The result is the International Engine of the Year 2011, with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions of any mass produced production petrol engine in the world. This manifests itself in terms of remarkable performance and flexibility, particularly at low RPM where itís notably more responsive than a conventional normally aspirated engine. And of course thereís a characterful throaty soundtrack to maximise driver enjoyment.

The TwinAir Turbo generates 145Nm of torque at 1900rpm, which represents 40 per cent more pulling power than the previous generation Panda 4x4ís 1.2-litre FIRE engine. Fiatís revolutionary MultiAir technology that lies at the TwinAirís heart is the secret of this success. It employs a new electro-hydraulic valve management system. By controlling the flow of air into the engine directly via the inlet valves rather than using the throttle, airflow can be managed cylinder by cylinder, cycle by cycle, phase by phase depending on the driverís requirements. Thanks to this rigorous control of the combustion process, pumping losses of around 10 per cent are eliminated, while emissions are reduced and driveability boosted through improved throttle response.

Power output is up by 10 per cent on a regular engine of the same size and the emissions are lowered by around 10 per cent too, in this case to 114g/km. To boost economy around town, an ECO switch on the dashboard limits maximum torque to 100Nm at 2000rpm and helps contribute towards an official Combined MPG figure of 57.6mpg.

The TwinAir Turboís thermo-dynamic efficiency and fluid dynamic configuration have been finely tuned. Special attention has been paid to the refinement of the unit so thereís good anti-vibration performance, which is achieved by a balancing countershaft which maintains optimal low vibration levels across all operating conditions.

This remarkable engine also benefits from a new six-speed gearbox with an especially low first gear ratio, which helps to enhance the carís off-road characteristics by improving take-off during hill starts. It also aids off-road driving by allowing the vehicle to proceed slowly at engine idling speed, thus enabling the driver to maintain maximum control in critical situations, such as steep descents.

1.3-litre MultiJet 2

The diesel engine in the Fiat Panda 4x4 has been described as a miniaturised masterpiece of technology. Itís Fiatís1.3-litre MultiJet 2 and itís certainly small. Complete with all its ancillaries it tips the scales at a mere 140kg and is less than 60cm long and 70cm high. However itís big on performance, delivering a maximum power output of 75hp and 190Nm of torque at just 1500rpm, which is up 30 per cent over its predecessor. And it has been optimized for economy and eco-friendliness with CO2 emissions of just 125g/km and official Combined Cycle  fuel consumption of 60.1mpg.

Second generation MultiJet technology features faster injectors which can execute multiple injections in rapid succession, giving up to eight injections per cycle. This leads to greater speed, flexibility and precision in the various combustion phases. It permits Ďrate shapingí which means two injections that are so close together that they generate a continuous but modulated supply of fuel to the cylinders. The ability to do this improves the combustion process which in turn makes for a quieter engine and one thatís more efficient in terms of particulate and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

A close coupled Diesel Particulate Filter and a built-in Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system improve the control of temperature and gas flow and guarantee lower emissions plus reduced fuel consumption, enabling the engine to meet strict Euro 5 standards. The injectors also help cut running costs by possessing 40 per cent fewer components than their predecessors.

eco:Drive Mobile

The eco:Drive system is available on all Fiat cars equipped with Blue&Me and enables users to analyse their skills at the wheel. It then gives tips on how to make their driving more efficient, save money and lower CO2 emissions.

The new eco:Drive Mobile is a free smart phone application that enables users to sync the eco:Drive on their car with their mobile phone. By downloading the application, then pairing the phone with Blue&Me and connecting it to the carís USB port, acceleration, deceleration, gear shifts and speed data can be downloaded. The phone will connect with the eco:Drive server and within seconds, graphs and data related to driving style will be displayed.

The analysis of information taken from the car gives drivers a personal eco:Index between one and 100. Drivers then receive tips on how to improve their performance; it can track trips on a map and even be configured to post results on Facebook or Twitter. This new social element within eco:Drive enables drivers to have fun with other eco:Drive users, providing rankings according to acceleration and economy.                       

     

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