Fiat Panda 4x4 | Part Three

Fiat Panda 4x4

Fiat Panda

Not to mention the fact that the authentic off-road look makes for a minimum ground clearance of 165 millimetres for the Panda 4x4 Climbing (160 mm for the basic version). This impression is reinforced by certain exterior features that also perform a specific off-road function: for example, the bumpers (front and rear) come complete with protective shields while the side strips are large and coordinate with special strips on the wings plus a guard under the engine. Two different tyres are also available: the Climbing version comes with 185/65-14 (M+S) tyres suitable for any type of application; the first specification, on the other hand adopts 165/70-14 (M+S) tyres that are specially reinforced with a tread designed for low grip surfaces.

Inside, the Panda 4x4 offers a distinctive and sophisticated interior that benefits from special fabric trims offered in two colour matches: grey/red and grey/yellow. The new 4x4 version also retains the big luggage capacity that has always been one of the strengths of this model. With the one-piece split rear seat folded down, the space increases from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of 855 dm3 (measured to the roof). If the rear seat is split and also slides, the figures are 230 dm3 (with the seat fully forward) and 780 dm3 respectively.

The Panda 4x4 is a car of huge personality that will be able to satisfy customers with different needs and tastes, including the growing number of drivers who seek adventure and an open-air life. The new version offers such customers a permanent four wheel drive system with a viscous coupling and two differentials that come into play automatically when required to tackle any situation with ease. This extraordinary explorer is quite at home over rough and difficult terrain, as borne out by the ramp angles in standard A.

Firstly, the front incidence angle, a measure of the maximum front angle that may be undertaken by an off-road vehicle without the body touching the ground. The second value is the 'rear' incidence angle, i.e. the maximum slope that can be taken in reverse starting from a horizontal surface. The last one is the slope angle, i.e. the maximum possible angle at the base of a triangular slope (isosceles) if it is to be driven up without the bottom of the car touching the ground. The Climbing specification of the new model records the following values: 24° (front), 42° (rear) and 24° (slope), that become 26°, 44° and 23° respectively for the 4x4 specification. The maximum climbable gradient is more than 50%.

continues... | Part Four
Published 14 September 2004 Melanie Carter

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