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.
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.
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.