Fiat's new Panda 100HP impressed our road testers this week - but we can reveal that a hotter Abarth version is on the cards, after all.The Italian manufacturer's baby hot hatchback had been tipped to adopt the Abarth badging. But when it emerged from development, it used the engine's power output for its name instead. However, Autocar understands that an even more powerful Panda is already undergoing trials in preparation for a debut in 2007.
The Panda Abarth should use one of Fiat's new turbocharged 1.4-litre engines, producing around 120bhp. The chassis is said to be even stiffer than the 100HP's, itself 25 per cent more rigid than a standard Panda chassis.
Given the 100HP's prowess - "brilliant", according to Autocar's tester Jamie Corstorphine in his first drive - we like the idea of a more powerful version. If Fiat gets the pricing right, it could have another Panda winner on its hands.