Fiat’s latest-generation Panda, set for a Frankfurt show launch in September, will grow in size to make space in the range for a smaller Topolino city car, due in 2014.
The length of the new Panda will increase from 3540mm to around 3650mm, although its wheelbase will remain unchanged at 2300mm.
Engines include a base 65bhp 1.2-litre petrol unit, while Fiat’s two-cylinder 875cc TwinAir unit will be offered in 65bhp normally aspirated guise and as a hybrid 85bhp turbocharged version. The latter unit uses an electric motor housed within a new double clutch gearbox developed specifically for the two-cylinder engine. It is being developed to handle torque loads up to 103lb ft.
A 105bhp version of this engine is also being considered for a range-topping Abarth model.
Following the standard five-door Panda’s April 2012 UK showroom debut will be a 4x4 version in late 2012, which will feature a six-speed manual gearbox
Panda production is switching from Poland to Alfa Romeo’s old Pomigliano factory in Italy, which Fiat has spent £560 million on modernising. Production capacity there will total around 280,000 units per year.