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The Fiat Panda 4WD Returns in 2023 with an EV Option

Italian carmaker Fiat is set to release two new electric vehicles this year, one of which is expected to be a small SUV under the Fiat Panda badge. The announcement is part of parent company Stellantis’ plan to push for more EVs in Europe. The company’s European EV portfolio is set to increase from twenty-two to thirty this year and up to forty-two models by the end of 2024.

In an earnings call, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares mentioned that one of these new EVs will be built alongside the new Jeep Avenger at the Stellantis Tychy plant in Poland and will share the same eCMP electric platform. The Avenger will also be sold with internal combustion engines in select markets in southern Europe, which means the new Fiat Panda could also come with a gasoline option.

According to an interview with Fiat CEO Oliver François from last year, the Panda could potentially replace the defunct Punto supermini. François outlined the company’s revival plans:

“There will be a big return in the B-segment and crossovers…We’re going back to the most relevant segments. We only have the Fiat 500X now. My objective is to have three.”

Fiat has been heavily reliant on the aging 500 city car and the new 500 EV in the UK market, following the winding down of sales for the Panda, 500X, and Fiat Tipo. With the release of the two new EVs this year, the company hopes to make a significant comeback and increase its market share.

The much loved Panda 4×4 was originally released in June 1983, featuring a 965 cc engine with 48 bhp (36 kW) derived from the Autobianchi A112 or Fiat 100 series engine. The model, known simply as the Panda 4×4, was the first small, transverse-engined production car equipped with a 4WD system. The system itself could be manually selected and had an ultra-low first gear. The entire drivetrain, including the clutch, gearbox, power take-off, three-piece prop shaft, and live rear axle (including differential and brakes), was supplied by Austrian firm Steyr-Puch and fitted to the reinforced body shell at the Termini Imerese plant in Italy. The vehicle proved to be a great success both in Europe and abroad, and we are excited to see whether the new Panda 4WD will live up to the legend and whether it will be available in the United States.

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Graeme Bell is an author and explorer who has dedicated his life to traveling the planet by land, seeking adventure and unique experiences. Together with his wife and two children, Graeme has spent the last decade living permanently on the road in a self-built Land Rover based camper. They have explored 27 African countries (including West Africa), circumnavigated South America, and driven from Argentina to Alaska, which was followed by an exploration of Europe and Western Asia before returning to explore the Americas. Graeme is the Senior Editor 4WD for Expedition Portal, a member of the Explorers Club, the author of six books, and an Overland Journal contributor since 2015. You can follow Graeme's adventures across the globe on Instagram at graeme.r.bell