The Fiat Panda is an iconic car for the brand. While people think of the 500 when they think Fiat, the Panda has been around as a name within the brand for 40 years. It’s always been a no nonsense city car with the brand focusing on 4×4 models rather than performance models. By contrast, the 500 has had lots of models with the Abarth brand. But what would an Abarth Panda look like? Thanks to artist Matthew Parsons, we have a good idea.
The Panda has never really had a performance model. The closest it came to one was in 2006, with the introduction of the Fiat Panda 100 hp. A sportier take on the Fiat Panda. It wasn’t exactly a hot hatch however, especially for today’s standards. It did 0-60 in 9.5 seconds and had a top speed of 115 mph. This was slower than main rivals such as the VW Lupo GTI; which produced 123 hp and did the 0-60 sprint in 8.2 seconds. However, the Panda 100 hp wasn’t about the speed. It had much more character than the Lupo ever did thanks to those classic Panda looks. However, thanks to a body kit it did look more aggressive. Fiat didn’t go over the top though and that’s why this car was great. It concentrated on the fun of driving rather than all out speed. That’s something I myself don’t like about current hot hatches. Some just seem a little too clinical. They concentrate on all out speed rather than making the car enjoyable.
The last Panda 100 hp was made in 2010 due to stricter emissions laws coming into play. So that was the end of that. We have never had a sporty Panda since. Abarth have never been able to get their hands on one either sadly for us. However, thanks to Matthew Parsons render, we can see what the car could look like if Abarth did make their own Panda.
Its called the 200 hp and on first inspection, it looks ‘interesting’. This is hardly a subtle car unlike the 100 hp was. The wheel arches have seen a large extension and, in those wheel arches, we see large black wheels. They look fantastic I have to say. The car has been lowered, and a rear diffuser along with a new bumper and front grill have also helped give the Panda a sporty look. Interestingly, the roof rails that you would find on a normal Panda have made it over to the render. Whilst I love them, I don’t think they would make it if Abarth made this a reality.
So the name, 200 hp. Whilst it would be possible to put an engine producing 200 hp in a Panda, sadly I doubt it would happen. I think the range would be similar to the Abarth 595 and 695 range. So power would range from 145 hp to 190 hp. Power would probably come from the same 1.4 litre engine from the 595 and 695. Along with power reductions, I would also expect Fiat to tone down the body. It looks fantastic don’t get me wrong, but a fast Panda should be subtle in my view.
I really hope in the future we could have a Panda 100 hp replacement. If it came in the shape of an Abarth it would be fantastic. However, sadly it is something that will probably stay as a render. I can’t see Fiat making a fast PAnda anytime soon and that’s a bit of a shame…