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“A new Fiat Panda? This time it could be for real”

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler is excited that a new Fiat Panda could finally be on the way

Opinion - Fiat Panda concept

The Fiat Panda has always been one of those cars we get a bit giddy about. It’s a mainstream car that’s perfectly executed, with charm by the bucketload – and it just makes you smile. It has longevity, too, launched back in 1980 and, even now, only in its third generation.

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Fiat bosses have always known we feel love for the Panda, so they’ve been teasing us for years with promises of reborn Pandas, even Panda families. I’ve counted at least four times we’ve run “New Panda” scoops, based on conversations with Fiat’s top bosses, most recently following the reveal of the Centoventi concept in 2019.

And here we go again, as current Fiat CEO Olivier Francois tried his best to steal the limelight from last week’s Geneva Motor Show with a tongue-in-cheek video previewing yet another new Panda family – hot stuff.

Feeling slightly cynical that these digital concepts could be another grand illusion, I called up Fiat’s UK boss, Damien Dally. Will we be lucky this time round? “I can tell you they’re more than drawings,” said Dally. “I know we live in a world of AI, but they are proper concepts. The first one will be unveiled in the summer.” If I were a betting man, I’d say a reveal on Fiat’s 125th birthday on 11th July would seem likely.

Dally admitted to having seen the car in the flesh and told us, “There is very innovative use of materials and some really clever, interesting features on this vehicle. There are quite a lot of funky things to talk about.”

With Fiat sales struggling in the UK, due to its big retail push on the electric 500 just as private buyers turn their backs on EVs, Dally seemed happy that the new Panda is likely to arrive as both a hybrid and electric car.

The might of the Stellantis family and platform sharing make a new Panda family possible at last, and Dally promised it would continue with the Fiat ethos of “cars for the masses that make people smile”. I like the sound of that.

Are you exited about a new Fiat Panda? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section...

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Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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