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by Matt Campbell

Forget cumbersome large off-roaders: the tiny 2014 Fiat Panda Cross has been revealed, with dozens of new images and further details about the rough-and-tumble mini SUV.

The most rugged and hardcore model of the Fiat Panda range, the four-wheel drive baby SUV is designed to give buyers a city-sized alternative to larger off-road vehicles on the market, and is due to be rolled out across European showrooms from September 2014.

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The Fiat Panda Cross was originally revealed at the 2014 Geneva motor show in March this year, and its all-wheel drive underpinnings do away with the semi-trailing arm suspension in favour of a torsion beam rear-end that Fiat says helps cut weight and improve the car’s ride quality. The raised suspension allows up to 160mm of ground clearance.

The Panda Cross debuts a Terrain Control system, too, with three driving modes available (Auto, Off-Road and Hill Descent).

Inside is a unique interior trim with fabric and leather finishes, a revised dashboard, leather trimmed steering wheel and gearknob, climate control and electric side mirror adjustment.

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The Panda Cross is powered by a choice of a TwinAir 0.9-litre two-cylinder turbo with 67kW and 145Nm of torque with claimed fuel consumption of 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres, or a 1.3-litre turbo diesel with 60kW and 190Nm and 4.7L/100km. Both cars are offered with a manual transmission as standard in Europe.

Fiat Chrysler Group Australia senior manager of communications Andrew Chesterton told CarAdvice: “While there’s no immediate plan to add the Panda Cross to the Australian line-up, all international models are always under consideration and nothing is ever absolutely ruled out.”

Click the Photos tab above for more images of the new Fiat Panda Cross.




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