History V 1980-1989
Fiat Cinquecento Sporting
- 1980 Fiat Panda 750
1980 Fiat Panda
|Body and chassis|
|Predecessor||Fiat 126 (first generation)
Fiat Seicento (second generation)
The FIAT Panda is a city car from the Italian automobile manufacturer FIAT, now in its third generation. The first generation Fiat Panda was introduced in 1980, and was produced until 1986, when it underwent several changes. From 1986 until 2003, it was produced with only a few changes. They are now sometimes referred to as the “old Panda”.
The second generation, launched in 2003, is sometimes referred to as the “New Panda” or “Nuova Panda” (in Italian), and was the European Car of the Year in 2004. The third generation debuted at Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011 and will be assembled in Italy at Pomigliano d’Arco.
In over 31 years Fiat has sold over 10.5 million Pandas globally, with more than 4.5 million being the first series Panda.
First generation (1980–2003)
|First generation (141)|
The original Fiat Panda 45
|Production||1980–2003 (4,500,000 units)|
|Assembly||Mirafiori plant, Turin, Italy|
|Designer||Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door hatchback
|Layout||Front-engine, front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive|
|Platform||Type Zero platform (Tipo Zero)|
|Engine||652 cc I2 (petrol)
769 cc I4 (petrol)
903 cc I4 (petrol)
965 cc I4 (petrol)
999 cc I4 (petrol)
1,301 cc I4 (diesel)
19 bhp (14 kW) (electric)
23.8 bhp (18 kW) (electric)
|Wheelbase||2,160 mm (85.0 in)|
|Length||3,380 mm (133.1 in)|
|Width||1,460 mm (57.5 in)|
|Height||1,445 mm (56.9 in)|
Introduced in 1980, the Panda (Tipo 141) was designed as a cheap, easy to use and maintain, no-frills utility vehicle, positioned in Fiat’s range between the 126 and 127. It can be seen as a then-modern approach to the same niche which the Citroën 2CV and Renault 4 were designed to serve. The first Panda was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign. In an interview to Turinese newspaper La Stampa published in February 1980, Giugiaro likened the Panda to a pair of jeans, because of its practicality and simplicity:
«La Panda (…) è come un paio di jeans, che sono poi un vestire semplice, pratico, senza fronzoli. (…) Ho cercato di portare in questa auto lo spìrito delle costruzioni militari, in particolare degli elicotteri, ossia di mezzi leggeri, razionali, nati per assolvere nel modo migliore a certi scopi».
The Panda is like a pair of jeans, that simple, practical, no frills piece of clothing. I tried to bring into this car the spirit of military machinery, especially helicopters, that means light, rational, built-for-purpose vehicles.—Giorgetto Giugiaro, in La Stampa, Year 114 – Number 26 – Saturday 2 February 1980
The car was introduced to the press in December 1979; it went on sale in Italy in late February, ahead of its European première at the March 1980 Geneva Motor Show.
Mechanically the first Pandas borrowed heavily from the Fiat parts bin. Engines and transmissions came from the Fiat 127 and, in certain territories, the air-cooled 652 cc two-cylinder powerplant from the Fiat 126. The plan for a mechanically simple car was also evident in the rear suspension, which used a dead axle suspended on leaf springs. Later versions of the car added various mechanical improvements but this spirit of robust simplicity was adhered to throughout the life of the model.
Many design features reflect the Panda’s utilitarian practicality. Examples include a seven-position adjustable rear seat which could be folded flat to make an improvised bed, or folded into a V shape to support awkward loads, or easily and quickly removed altogether to increase the overall load space. The first Pandas also featured removable, washable seat covers, door trims and dashboard cover, and all the glass panels were flat making them cheap to produce, easy to replace and interchangeable between left and right door. Much like its earlier French counterparts the Panda could be specified with a two piece roll forward canvas roof.
At launch two models were available: the Panda 30, powered by a longitudinally-mounted air cooled 652 cc straight-two-cylinder engine derived from the 126, or the Panda 45, with a transversely-mounted water cooled 903 cc four-cylinder from the 127. As a consequence of the different drivetrain layout the 45 had the radiator grille to the right side, the 30 to the left. In September 1982 Fiat added another engine to the line-up: the Panda 34 used an 843 cc water-cooled unit, derived from that in the 850. It was originally reserved for export to France, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Fiat launched the Panda 45 Super at the Paris Motor Show later in 1982, with previous specification models continuing as the “Comfort” trim. The Super offered numerous improvements, most significant being the availability of a five-speed gearbox as well as improved trim. There were minor styling changes to the Super including the introduction of Fiat’s new black plastic “corporate” grille with five diagonal silver bars. The earlier grille design (metal with slots on the left for ventilation) continued on the Comfort models until the next major revision of the line-up. A 30 Super was added to the range in February 1983, offering the Super trim combined with the smaller engine.
The Panda 4×4 was launched in June 1983, it was powered by a 965 cc engine with 48 bhp (36 kW) derived from that in the Autobianchi A112. Known simply as the Panda 4×4, this model was the first small, transverse-engined production car to have a 4WD system. The system itself was manually selectable, with an ultra-low first gear. Under normal (on-road) conditions starting was from second, with the fifth gear having the same ratio as fourth in the normal Panda. Austrian company Steyr-Puch supplied the entire drivetrain (clutch, gearbox, power take-off, three-piece propshaft, rear axle including differential and brakes) to the plant at Termini Imerese where it was fitted to the reinforced bodyshell.
Minor revisions in November 1984 saw the range renamed “L”, “CL”, and “S”. Specifications and detailing were modified across the range including the adoption of the Fiat corporate grille across all versions. Mechanically, however, the cars remained largely unchanged.
In January 1986, the Panda received a substantial overhaul and a series of significant mechanical improvements. Most of these changes resulted in the majority of parts being changed and redesigned, making many of the pre-facelift and post-facelift Panda parts incompatible between models. The 652 cc air-cooled 2-cyl engine was replaced by a 769 cc (34 bhp) water-cooled 4-cyl unit, and the 903/965cc by a 999cc (45 bhp, 50 bhp (37 kW) in the 4×4) unit. Both new engines were from Fiat’s new FIRE family of 4-cylinder water-cooled powerplants with a single overhead camshaft. The rear suspension was also upgraded, the rear leaf springs being replaced by a more modern independent suspension system using a rigid rear axle (known as the ‘Omega’ axle) with a central mounting and coil springs. The 4×4 retained the old leaf sprung set-up, presumably to avoid having to redesign the entire 4WD system. Improvements were also made to the interior and the structure. The body was strengthened and fully galvanised on later models, virtually eliminating the earlier car’s strong tendency to rust. The rear panel design was also revamped to include flared arches that mirrored those of the front wings, replacing the un-sculpted style seen on earlier models, and the doors received a slight redesign with the earlier car’s quarter light windows being removed and replaced by a full width roll-down window. The bottom seam of the facelifted model’s doors unfortunately retained much the earlier car’s susceptibility to rust. In ascending order of specification and cost, the revised range was as follows: 750L, 750CL, 750S, 1000CL, 1000S, 4×4.
April 1986 saw the introduction of a 1,301 cc diesel engine with 37 bhp (a detuned 127/Uno unit). Fitted as standard with a five-speed gearbox it was only available in the basic “L” trim. A van variant of the Panda was also introduced, with both petrol and diesel engines. The van was basically a standard Panda without rear seats. The rear windows were replaced with plastic blanking panels and a small (always black) steel extension with side hinged doors was fitted instead of the usual hatchback tailgate. Neither the van nor the diesel were available in right hand drive markets.
In 1987, a new entry-level model badged “Panda Young” was added to the range. This was essentially an L spec car with a 769 cc OHV engine based on the old 903 cc push-rod engine and producing the same 34 bhp (25 kW) as the more sophisticated 769 cc FIRE unit. The Panda 4×4 Sisley limited edition was also released; this was based on the standard 4×4, but came with metallic paint, inclinometer, white painted wheels, roof rack, headlamp washers, bonnet scoop, “Sisley” badging and trim. Although originally limited to the production of only 500, in 1989 the Sisley model became a permanent model due to its popularity.
The two-seat Panda Elettra, introduced in 1990, added an all-electric power-train to the line. Batteries replaced the rear seats and occupied some of the engine bay where the 19 bhp (14 kW) DC motor was also fitted, driving through the normal clutch and gearbox. This increased the weight of the car significantly, to 1,150 kg (2,535 lb) (450 kg (992 lb) more than the standard model), necessitating stiffer suspension and uprated brakes. 1992 revisions to the Elettra saw the power increased to 23.8 bhp (17.7 kW) and the weight reduced, though the Elettra remained significantly heavier than the standard Panda. This, and the steep price (25.600.000 lire in Italy, three times the price of the Panda 750 Young) made it a commercial failure. The Elettra was discontinued in 1998.
In 1991, a facelift was introduced. This entailed a new front grille with a smaller five-bar corporate badge, plus revisions to trim and specifications across the range. New arrivals included the ‘Selecta’, which had a continuously variable transmission with an electromagnetic clutch. This advanced transmission was available either with the normal 999 cc FIRE engine (revised with single-point fuel injection and a catalytic converter) or an all new 1108 cc FIRE unit, fitted with electronic fuel injection and a three-way catalytic converter and producing 51 bhp (38 kW).
The new CLX trim also featured a five-speed gearbox as standard. The range now comprised the 750 Young (769 cc ohv), 750 and 750 CLX (both 769 cc FIRE sohc), 900 Dance (903 cc ohv), 1000 Shopping, CLX, CL Selecta and S (all with 999 cc sohc, available with or without SPI and catalytic converter depending on the market), 1100 CL Selecta (1108 cc sohc with SPI and cat) and the 4×4 Trekking (999 cc, again available with and without a cat depending on the market). The Elettra concluded the range.
In 1992, the 1108 cc engine, complete with SPI and catalytic converter, replaced the 999 cc unit in the 4×4 (with 50 bhp) and also in 1992 an 899 cc (with injection and catalyst) became available, in the ‘Cafe’ special edition. This was a reduced capacity 903 cc unit, designed to meet tax requirements in some markets.
End of production
From 1996 onwards, the Panda was gradually phased out across Europe, due to tightening emissions and safety legislation. The car remained in production in Italy until May 2003. Its total production run of 23 years makes the Panda one of Europe’s longest-lived small cars.
During the period between 1999 and 2003, sales and popularity of the Panda diminished, mainly because it was “old fashioned”, according to a survey in 2000.
Most original models have long since succumbed to rust, but the second facelift variant remains a relatively common sight on the roads of continental Europe, and many are still in daily use in the UK where the model ceased being available new in 1996. While the original Panda never gained the kind of cult following that similar cars such as the 2CV and VW Beetle enjoy, it nonetheless engendered strong feelings of attachment among many owners for its robustness, affordability, simplicity and flexibility.
With the end of production, the 4×4 version of the Panda came to be seen as a valuable used car: it was cheap, sturdy and useful in rural areas, while most of the other 4×4 vehicles on the market were expensive SUVs. Also Fiat were not planning to build a 4×4 version of the replacement Nuova Panda.
The New Panda 4×4 Climbing version was introduced almost two years later, but didn’t command the same success, being considered less reliable and too low to be employed in off-road duty.
SEAT Panda / Marbella
Spanish car maker SEAT also produced a version of the Panda between 1980 and 1986, based on the first Panda model. It was called SEAT Panda. SEAT also made a tiny, tall delivery version of the Panda called the SEAT Trans.
Up to 1983, SEAT made rebadged versions of Fiat cars through a licence agreement between the two firms. Thus, there existed a Spanish version of the Panda. When Pope John Paul II visited Spain in 1982, he rode in a specially built SEAT Panda.
After Fiat sold their share in SEAT and the licence agreement ended, the whole Fiat-based line of SEAT cars were quickly given minor facelifts. The SEAT Panda had its bonnet, bumpers and rear tailgate redesigned. From 1986, when it received a second facelift, it was known as the SEAT Marbella until the end of production in 1998. Emelba also produced a roofless version called the Pandita, which was popular as a rental car in resort areas. The SEAT Trans also received a major facelift and was renamed SEAT Terra.
As Fiat and SEAT’s licensing agreement had expired in 1986 the Marbella never received the major mechanical upgrades of the facelifted Fiat Panda, instead continuing with the old pushrod Fiat-based engines, quarter light doors, un-galvanised frame and leaf-sprung suspension as for the original model. It was popular in Spain throughout its production life, but was less popular on export markets (where the Fiat version was firm favourite) and by 1996, exports had mostly finished.
Reception and awards
The first generation Panda met with great success across Europe, polling 2nd in the 1981 European Car of the Year awards in its first full year of production (pipped to first place by the Ford Escort Mark III) and remaining on sale in some regions until May 2003.
In 1981 Giugiaro received the Italian Compasso d’Oro ADI industrial design award for the Panda.A less positive reaction to the design came from German magazine Der Spiegel, which in 1980 contrasted Giugiaro defining the Panda as “the most enchanting work of his life”, and chief designer Felice Cornacchia describing himself as “proud overall of the car’s architecture” to Peter Glodschey, road tester of mass-market Bild newspaper, who likened the car to “a shoe box”. In several key markets the Panda’s styling would continue to attract mixed reactions as the Uno followed in 1983 and the aggressively boxy look became the house style for Fiats throughout the 1980s.
Second generation (2003–2012)
|Second generation (169)|
|Production||2003–December 2012 (2,168,491 units)|
|Assembly||Tychy, Poland (Fiat Poland)|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Front-engine, front-wheel-drive orfour-wheel-drive|
|Platform||Fiat Mini platform|
|Engine||1.1 L Fire I4 (petrol)
1.2 L Fire I4 (petrol)
1.2 L Fire Natural Power I4 (CNG)
1.4 L Fire I4 (petrol)
1.4 L Fire Natural Power I4 (CNG)
1.3 L Multijet I4 (diesel)
|Wheelbase||2,299 mm (90.5 in)
2,305 mm (90.7 in) (4×4)
|Length||3,538 mm (139.3 in)|
|Width||1,578 mm (62.1 in)|
|Height||1,578 mm (62.1 in)|
|Curb weight||840–975 kg (1,852–2,150 lb)|
The second generation, nicknamed New Panda and codenamed Model 169, first appeared in 2003. In its development phase, the new Panda was originally intended to be called “Gingo”. However, this name was considered to be too similar to the Renault Twingo, so Fiat decided to continue with the Panda name, although it has almost no direct engineering link to the original 1980 car.
Successor to the Fiat Seicento, the new model also effectively replaced the old Panda after 23 years of production, although the Seicento itself proved still popular and remained in production. Like the Seicento, the Panda is manufactured only in Tychy, Poland, by Fiat Auto Poland. A smaller, 3-door Fiat has been added to the range in 2007, the new 500.
The high-bodied Panda takes clear styling cues from mini MPVs and mini SUVs, especially the second generation Fiat Multipla. Its long high positioned vertical tail lights are in particular reminiscent of much larger cars (especially estate cars) from the likes of Volvo, although Fiat started using smaller versions of this style of lights on the 1994 Italdesign Giugiaro Fiat Punto. The Panda won the European Car of the Year award in 2004.
The Panda includes an option for split rear seats, which makes the Panda a four-seater. Since September 2005, all Pandas are equipped with ABS, EBD and at least two front airbags. The gear-lever is located high on the central dashboard, which is designed to make changing gears more comfortable than with a conventional floor-mounted gearstick.
The financially troubled Fiat needed the new Panda to be a success, and indeed it was, selling half a million units by October 2005. It sells particularly well in Italy (over half of the cars produced are sold in Italy), being seen as closer to a spiritual successor to the Fiat 500 than a replacement for either the Seicento or the old Panda.
- The 500,000th new Panda was built on October 5, 2005, a light blue Panda Emotion with the 1.3-litre diesel engine.
- The 1,000,000th new Panda was built on September 5, 2007, a red Panda 4×4 Climbing with 1.2-litre petrol engine.
- The 1,500,000th new Panda was built on July 21, 2009, a blue Panda Emotion with 1.3-litre diesel engine.
- The 2,000,000th new Panda rolled out of factory on July 4, 2011, a red Panda 4×4 Cross with 1.3-litre 75 bhp Multijet diesel engine.
Top Gear Motoring Survey in 2006 ranked the Panda 8th out of 152 cars surveyed for reliability, craftsmanship, ownership costs, driving experience and service received. (One of the show’s hosts, James May, went on to purchase one). Traditionally, Fiat have ranked at the lower end of this table, showing that the Nuova Panda is reversing the trend and suggesting a rise in quality standards for Fiat.
The Panda is produced for police departments (the Polish police have bought some blue and white Panda Actual models), military agencies (the Italian Army uses several dark green Panda Climbing models), forest services (the Italian forest service has dark green Panda Climbing models), and mail delivery services (the yellow Swiss Post model even comes in a popular toy car format readily available in grocery stores).
Tested model: 2004 Fiat Panda 1.2.
|Euro NCAP test results|
|Fiat Panda 1.2 (2004)|
In September 2005 several changes were made to the Panda, including standard fitment of ABS and a front passenger’s airbag.
The Panda range received minor updates in March 2007, including a new, darker dashboard. The Active model also received new darker seat fabrics of better quality and the addition of a CD player as standard. The new dark red Fiat badge was also added to the Panda in Summer 2007.
The Panda range was mildly rearranged again in 2009, with the addition of Active Eco and Dynamic Eco models. These models feature revised 1.1 and 1.2 petrol engines respectively, with better fuel economy and CO2emissions. Both models also qualify for £30 annual road fund license in the UK, and replace the original standard engines. Dynamic Aircon and SkyDome models were also dropped in favour of simplifying the Panda range.
On July 4, 2011, Fiat announced that the 2,000,000th Panda had rolled off of their Tychy, Poland assembly line. The milestone car was a Panda Cross finished in Rosso Sfrontato and equipped with the 75 hp 1.3 L Multijet four-cylinder diesel. Fiat did not say which country it was headed to.
The Panda Classic was a second series Fiat Panda renamed and with a reduced list price to distinguish it from the new generation introduced in late 2011. The engine range comprised the 1.2 Fire petrol, 1.2 Fire EasyPower (petrol and LPG), 1.4 Fire Natural Power (petrol and CNG) and 1.3 Multijet diesel. The 4×4 was offered with 1.2 petrol and 1.3 Multijet diesel. The Panda Cross was no longer manufactured. The Panda Classic was produced through 2012.
- The Natural Power is a dual-fuel version, it can burn either gasoline or CNG (Compressed Natural Gas a.k.a. methane). Methane results in low emissions and increased fuel economy. The chassis is the same of the 4×4, the space of the rear wheels differential is occupied by two methane tanks allowing over 240 km of autonomy on gas only.
- The basic Actual has black bumpers, lacks electric windows and a full-size spare wheel. The Actual was introduced in January 2004.
- The Active, introduced in May 2003, features black self-coloured bumpers and front electric windows, central door locking, radio/cassette player, driver’s airbag, power steering. Manual climate control is available as an option. Since September 2005, ABS and the front passenger’s airbag have been made standard. This model has the 1100 cc “FIRE” engine and a five-speed gearbox.
- The Active Plus edition is an up-equipped Active, with a cassette/CD player as standard. Production of the Active Plus stopped in December 2003.
- The Dynamic edition features ABS, dual airbags, roof bars, power steering and a cassette player as standard. A CD & MP3 player, CD changer, alloy wheels, manual or automated climate control, glass sunroof and a semi-automatic transmission are available as options. Since September 2005, four airbags have been standard in some countries, with an option for two additional side curtain airbags.
- The Emotion (Eleganza) edition is the highest trim level. This particular trim level features significant enhancements over the Dynamic, with a standard CD player, alloy wheels with low profile tires and automated climate control. In some countries such as the UK, the Emotion is sold as the “Eleganza”.
- The 100 HP edition is the sportiest Panda model. It has the 1.4-litre 16-valve FIRE petrol engine from the Fiat Punto tuned to develop 100 PS (74 kW; 99 bhp) through a six-speed manual transmission. It differs from other Pandas by being equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes, tinted windows, and sports styled front and rear bumpers. The Panda 100 HP features a unique suspension setup with modified springs, dampers, bushes and compliance giving a considerably firmer ride.
The Panda 100 hp offers 0–100 km/h acceleration in 9.5 s and a maximum speed of 185 km/h (115 mph), with fuel consumption at 6.5 L/100 km (43.5 mpg-imp; 36.2 mpg-US) in the EU combined cycle and 154 g/km of CO2emissions. It was available in black, white, red, metallic blue, and metallic gray while a “Pandamonium Pack” which added red disc brakes, decals and colour-coded wing mirrors was an optional extra.
Due to tightening emissions regulations, Fiat halted all Panda 100HP production in July 2010.
- The 4×4 Climbing edition, introduced in December 2004, has a higher ride height and larger wheels and tires than other editions. The four-wheel drive system also makes this edition slower than others. Features are similar to those found in the Dynamic. The Climbing, however, lacks a differential lock and transmission with reductor. The Climbing edition can be distinguished by a slightly higher suspension, additional black plastic overlays on the bumpers and a “Climbing” badge just below the “Panda” badge on the left side of the rear licence plate. Swedish magazine Vi Bilägare found in a test 2007 that Panda 4×4 is a good and economical choice for a small family who need a car with four-wheel drive.
- The 4×4 Cross edition, similar to the Climbing, features differently shaped front and rear lights and additional side cladding. Unlike the Climbing, the Cross does have a differential lock. The Cross edition became available in January 2006 in Italy.
The Actual and Active are also bases for the Actual Van and Active Van, which can be used as small vans (they also have an additional safety net behind the front seats and removable rear seats). These versions can be identified by small “Van” label on the back door.
During the time, many limited editions of Panda (Active and Dynamic editions only) were produced. Each of them had additional interior fittings, differentiating them from the base model.
Prototypes and special editions
- The 360 Special Series, based on the 1.2 L Dynamic, is distinguished by a black and white crosshair style logo on the B pillar. Other upgraded features include; 14 inch alloy wheels, metallic paint, special interior trim (including the Fiat brand on the front seats), built in bluetooth phone system, CD player, air conditioning and a split folding rear seat. Other more standard features include; electric windows, central locking system and dual speed power steering. The total of all these extras comes somewhere in the region of £1,600 but surprisingly the upgraded 360 model actually retails at roughly £400 less than the Dynamic model. On the safety side of things, it comes with anti lock brakes and brake assist as well as two airbags as standard (driver and passnger) with the option of adding an extra four airbags taking the total up to six.
- Fiat Panda Alessi
Italian Design house Alessi created a special edition featuring a two-tone paint scheme and unique trim inside and out. Fiat gave away some of Alessi’s products (coffee machine and tin-can openers) for the special model’s debut at the Ideal Home Show in the UK.
- Fiat Panda Jolly
The Fiat Panda Jolly was created by Fiat Styling Center and Stola and inspired by boat design. It served as a special shuttle bus in Capri during the summer of 2006. The interior features innovative materials and exclusive trims. The concept mainly came from the 600 Multipla Jolly, a car created by Carrozzeria Ghia in 1956, which could be found on the streets of Capri 50 years ago. Defined by Fiat as “a car with a fresh, light and Mediterranean look both in the colors and materials”, the Panda Jolly is inspired by the interior design and yacht design worlds, and features styling elements that remind of the spirit and way of life of the 1960s.
The interiors are created by Paola Lenti, an Italian leading company in the Interior Design sector, specialized in the research and development of innovative fabrics and materials. All the seats are upholstered in the exclusive sailing-inspired Rope fabric. This material is nonallergic, nontoxic, antibacterial and resistant to UV rays. Many structural elements like the floor, sills and various trims are made with pickled natural ash finish with white ash inlays.
- Fiat Panda Terramare 4
Panda Terramare’s creator is Milan born Maurizio Zanisi, an independent former Iso Rivolta engineer, and his self-built amphibian is based on a Panda 4×4 chassis, but with an inflatable flotation belt, and waterjet propulsion driven off the rear axle.
- Fiat Panda Luxury
At the ‘Luxury & Yachts’ show in February 2006, Fiat exhibited a one-off car based on the 4×4 called the ‘Luxury’. The outside of the car features dipped silver paintwork, precious metal trim and gleaming jewel-like mouldings with back-lit inset crystals. The interior features dipped silver appointments, precious metal details, Jewel Alcantara upholstery and leather with mother of pearl finish. The Fiat logo is also worked on the seats with stylish studs and crystals.
- Fiat Panda Hydrogen
The Panda Hydrogen, a car prototype driven by a hydrogen Fuel Cell, was a joint venture between Fiat Auto, the Fiat Research Centre and Fiat Powertrain Research & Technology with the support of the Research and Environment Ministries.
On the Panda Hydrogen, the Fuel Cell System is housed beneath the floorpan. The fuel cells are made up of several cells connected in series. Inside, the hydrogen and oxygen molecules are forced to react with the aid of a catalyst to produce water and heat. Electrical energy is generated with very high efficiency and zero emissions from the vehicle itself.
At full power, the Fuel Cell engine on the Panda Hydrogen delivers 60 kW (82 PS; 80 hp) that allows the car to reach a top speed of more than 130 km/h (81 mph), with acceleration from 0 to 50 km/h (31 mph) in 5 seconds. The car can also easily climb a gradient of 23% at take-off.
During 2006 a demonstration stage of small Panda Hydrogen fleets, was a forerunner to other demonstration programs promoted and supported by the European Union and by the Italian Ministries and Regions. The aim is for such vehicles to be marketed within 15 to 20 years.
- Fiat Panda Tanker
Unveiled at the Bologna Motor Show in Italy, the Panda Tanker features only three doors. And although the overall shape has remained unchanged, the two rear doors have been replaced by solid panels to free up some extra load space in the practical cabin. Rugged extras and underbody protection also help to set the Tanker apart from the standard Panda 4×4 model. Designed in conjunction with Italian extreme sport clothing manufacturer Dainese, the show star is equipped with sports seats incorporating a rigid titanium fibre shell.
Reflecting the matt paint finish of the exterior, the cabin has a back-to-basics feel. With no rear seats, the load floor offers flexible attachments for fixing sports kit, while an aluminium structure is designed to carry mountain bikes.
- Fiat Panda MultiEco
The Panda MultiEco show-car made its world debut in Geneva 2006. Fiat sees this unit as the future of cars with a low environmental impact: the concept car represents the most advanced frontier achievable in terms of emissions and consumption, combining technologies that already exist or are ready for production.
The show-car combines an innovative ‘powertrain’ architecture – an engine with dual petrol/methane fuel supply, MTA transmission and BAS device – with the use of eco-compatible materials (recycled, recyclable or of natural origin) for the exterior and interior. The result is made even more interesting by the painstaking optimisation of the aerodynamics and a significant weight reduction.
Panda MultiEco is equipped with a dual-fuel (methane and petrol) FIRE engine – future developments will also make it possible to use a methane/hydrogen mix – combined with a BAS (Belt-driven Alternator-Starter) device and a Dualogic robotised gearbox.
- Fiat PanDAKAR
Two factory-built Fiat Panda 4x4s were prepared to contest the gruelling Dakar 2007 rally raid, which started in Lisbon.
Entered in the T2 category, the class which most closely represents production vehicles, the two Panda 4x4s, driven by Miki Biasion and former Dakar winner, Bruno Saby, respectively, are powered by Fiat Auto’s 1.3-litre Multijet turbodiesel combined with a six-speed manual gearbox. The engines deliver 105 bhp (78 kW) at 4500 rpm and a peak torque of 123 lb·ft (166.8 N·m). at 2500 rpm. Apart from their small dimensions, the two cars are particularly noteworthy for their automatic all-wheel drive system with viscous coupling and locking differential, a system that provides more grip and traction on rough and soft terrain thanks to the optimal split of drive to the wheels.
The two Pandas competing in Dakar 2007 have been equipped specifically for this rally: so room has been found inside for accessories like aluminium platforms to help extricate the vehicles from soft sand, shovels, spare wheels, water reserves for the crew, and other specialised equipment useful for the occasion. The Fiat expedition to Dakar included a Fiat Sedici as service back-up, and three Iveco trucks to transport spares and technicians.
Both PanDAKAR retired on the fourth stage of the event.
- Fiat Panda Simba
The Simba was unveiled at the Bologna Motor Show in 2002 purely as a concept car to give an idea how the following years production Panda would look. Some of the rugged styling cues made it on the production ‘Cross’ model
- Fiat Panda Aria
Fiat presented Aria concept in Frankfurt Motor Show 2007. The Aria is equipped with new environment-friendly technology and outputs only 69 g/km CO2. With 900 cc turbocharged straight-2 engine it produces 80 bhp (60 kW), its also capable of using both petrol and CNG.
This new engine is equipped with Fiat’s Multiair technology, which uses electrohydraulic valve activation system. In monofuel (petrol) version the engine is capable of producing 105 bhp (78 kW). The car is also equipped with Stop&Start function, which helps to reduce consumption by 10% in urban driving.
The smallest engine, the 1.1 L petrol SOHC FIRE engine, which is rated at 54 bhp (40 kW) and found in the Fiat Seicento, has been criticised for being underpowered for the Panda, which weighs over 850 kg (1,874 lb), and the acceleration in particular was considered to be very slow. This engine is a construction from the early ’80s.
The 1.2-litre (actually 1,242 cc), 60 hp (45 kW) engine is a derivative of the 1,1 litre and gives quite adequate performance in the Panda. The higher torque is a more important advantage than higher maximum power on this engine compared to the smaller 1,1 litre.
The 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engine is rated at 75 bhp (56 kW) and 100 lb·ft (140 N·m) of torque; it is the most economical of all available engines. However, this engine is detuned from the Punto (where it develops 120 lb·ft (163 N·m) of torque) due to the Panda’s weaker transmission. Pandas with diesel engines can be easily distinguished by a “Multijet” badge on the right side of the rear licence plate.
Introduced into the range in 2006 was the 1368 cc FIRE engine which had previously seen service in the Fiat Stilo and the second generation Punto Sporting (contrary to some press reports, it is not an adapted version of the 1.4 16v Starjet engine used in the Grande Punto). This FIRE engine has four cylinders in-line with sixteen valves actuated by belt driven double overhead camshafts.
The engine is undersquare with bore and stroke of 72 and 84 mm (2.8 and 3.3 in) respectively, running at a compression ratio of 10.8:1. Ignition is by Fiat’s Jet Thrust Stochiometric system with sequential multi-point fuel injection.
Chinese copy controversy
In July 2008, Fiat successfully sued Great Wall and had the Peri banned from importation into Europe. In addition, the court order ruled for Great Wall to pay Fiat a 15,000 euro fine for the first Peri imported, and an additional 50,000 euros for every subsequent car that was imported.
However, on October 2009, Great Wall Motor sued Fiat, accusing the latter of espionage. In the lawsuit, Great Wall claims that “Fiat once instigated espionage to prowl into its research center and take photos of Peri small car that was still under developed.”
Third generation (2011–present)
|Third generation (319)|
|Assembly||Pomigliano d’Arco, Italy|
|Designer||Centro Stile Fiat|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Front-engine, front-wheel-driveor four-wheel-drive|
|Platform||Fiat Mini platform|
|Wheelbase||2,300 mm (90.6 in)|
|Length||3,653–3,686 mm (143.8–145.1 in)|
|Width||1,643–1,672 mm (64.7–65.8 in)|
|Height||1,551–1,605 mm (61.1–63.2 in)|
|Curb weight||940–1,115 kg (2,072–2,458 lb)|
Fiat presented the third generation of the Panda at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011. The new architecture is based on the Fiat Mini platform. The production began in the renewed Pomigliano d’Arco Plant in the last quarter of 2011.
The older model stayed in production and was sold as Panda Classic, remaining popular thanks to its lower pricing (about 27%). The decision to manufacture the car in Italy, instead of manufacturing it with the cheaper workforce in Tychy, Poland, was taken because of the agreement between Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Fiat directors not to close down any of Fiat’s plants in Italy.
Panda Natural Power
The Natural Power is the CNG/petrol bi-fuel version of the Panda. Unlike the previous generation – which adopted a 70 PS 1.4 FIRE inline four – it is powered by the turbocharged, 0.9 liter, two-cylinder TwinAir engine. The system is developed in-house and factory installed. CNG is stored in two – one 22 L and one 50 L – gas cylinders: the former housed longitudinally in the transmission tunnel, the latter transversally behind the rear axle. The boot’s volume remains unvaried, thanks to the cylinders being both located under the floorpan; on the other hand this requires a 40 mm taller ride height and a reworked, transversal silencer.
Total fuel capacity is 72 liters – or 12 kilograms – of CNG and 35 L of petrol – two liters less than the monofuel version’s 37. At startup the engine runs on petrol, but switches to CNG immediately after; the car switches back to petrol only if it runs out of CNG or by driver input via a dedicated button on the dashboard.
The EasyPower is the LPG/petrol bi-fuel version of the Panda; like the Natural Power it is too factory developed and manufactured. Its 1.2 FIRE inline four develops 69 PS.
Launched in late 2012, the Trekking is a two wheel drive model offering the looks and features of the Panda 4×4. It is distinguished from the 4×4 by the absence of skid plate inserts on bumpers, no “4×4” inlay in the bodyside molding and alloy wheels painted silver instead of a darker grey. Available on this model are the 0.9 TwinAir turbocharged petrol, TwinAir Natural Power turbocharged petrol/methane and PS 1.3 Multijet IIturbodiesel. Despite being front wheel drive only, the Trekking still offers some offroad capability thanks to the standard M+S tires and “Traction +” ESC-based electronically simulated front locking differential.
The third generation all wheel drive Panda was introduced at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The engine lineup includes the TwinAir turbocharged petrol engine and Multijet IIturbodiesel. The TwinAir engine is linked to a six-speed transmission with a short ratio first gear and the Diesel is linked to a 5-speed transmission.
The Panda 4×4 receives model specific bumpers with extra cladding, body side moldings, plastic wheelarch extensions and 175/65 M+S tires on 15″ dark grey alloy wheels. The full-time all wheel drive system is composed by two open differentials front and rear and a rear mounted electronically controlled coupling, which sends torque to the two axles in proportion depending on road conditions. At the rear there’s a specially developed torsion beam semi-independent suspension, a change from the previous generation’s trailing arms. An electronically simulated locking differential (termed ELD,Electronic Locking Differential) supplements the open-type differentials. The ELD works automatically by braking the wheel(s) where the ESC sensors detect excessive wheel slip, thus making the differentials more torque to the wheels in better traction conditions; this functionality is useful on low-grip surfaces, and is activated by the driver via a console switch.
Launched at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, it’s the range topping, offroad-styled Panda. Mechanically it’s based on the Panda 4×4, offering the same choice of powertrains. As in the previous generation the Cross is recognizable by its wider 185/65 tyres on specific alloy wheels, new fascias with prominent skid plates and unique broken up head- and taillights arrangement. The new bumpers, together with an increased ground clearance, give the car better approach and departure angles.
Panda 4×4 Steyr
Austrian market only special edition, announced in 2012. Its Steyr Tractor theme celebrates the several collaborations throughout the years between Fiat and former Steyr-Daimler-Puch, such as the development of the original Panda’s four wheel drive system. Built on the basis of the Panda 4×4 1.3 Multijet II with richer interior standard equipment, it was available in red or white with contrasting colour side stripes and Steyr logo decals.
Panda 4×4 Antarctica
This limited, 200 cars edition was premiered at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Panda 4×4. It was too based on the Panda 4×4 1.3 Multijet II, featuring several normally extra cost options like automatic climate control, parking sensors and Blue&Me Bluetooth connectivity as standard. The exterior was characterized by a white with black roof two-tone paint scheme accented by orange wheel centers and side mirror caps.
|Euro NCAP test results|
|Fiat Panda (2011)|
The third generation Panda was tested by Euro NCAP towards the end of 2011, and achieved a four star result. One star was dropped mainly because the Panda’s electronic stability control wasn’t available on all trim levels, such as the one of the tested car. Fiat clarified on the same day that ESC would be offered on the entire Fiat Panda range in the first months of 2012.
Collision avoidance system
Fiat’s City Brake Control low-speed crash avoidance system is available as optional on the Panda. The system works by readying and if necessary automatically executing an emergency stop whenever an imminent collision is detected by its laser sensor. In 2013 City Brake Control attained the Euro NCAP Advanced reward.
At 5:28pm on Monday, 11 February 2013, Philip Young and Paul Brace broke the world record drive, in either direction, from Cape Town in South Africa to London in Great Britain with a Fiat Panda 0.9 TwinAir. The drive started the 1 February and ended 10 days, 13 hours and 28 minutes later, shaving over a day off the previous record, achieved by a Land Rover Defender two years earlier.
- Panda 4×4: Top Gear Magazine’s “SUV of the Year 2012”.
- Panda TwinAir Turbo Natural Power: “Das grünste Auto der Schweiz 2013” (“Greenest car in Switzerland”), part of Swiss Car of the Year 2013.
- 1980 Fiat Strada 75 CL
- 1980 Fiat Supermirafiori
- 1980 Fiat 126
- 1981 Fiat 131 Mirafiori 1300 L
- 1981 Fiat 131 Racing
- 1981 Fiat Strada Abarth 125 TC
- 1982 Fiat 127 1300 Sport
- 1982 Fiat Abarth Volumetrico 131
- 1982 Fiat Argenta
1982 Fiat Argenta
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Large family car|
|Body style||4-door saloon|
1.6 L straight-4
2.0 L straight-4
2.0 L straight-4 supercharged
2.5 L straight-4
|Wheelbase||2,558 mm (100.7 in)|
|Length||4,449 mm (175.2 in)|
|Width||1,650 mm (65.0 in)|
|Height||1,420 mm (55.9 in)|
|Curb weight||1170 kg|
The Fiat Argenta is a large family car produced by the Italian automobile company Fiat from 1981 to 1985. It was a comprehensive update of the Fiat 132 and the last mass-produced Fiat with rear-wheel drive. This model was available in sedan/saloon style only.
The Argenta was closely based on its predecessor Fiat 132. All body panels and windows except the doors were new. Other changes included new trim, wheels, dashboard, mirrors and rectangular headlights.
The Argenta came with a choice of 4 different engines (market dependent):
- Argenta 1600
1.6 litre petrol producing 96 hp (72 kW) 1585 cc
- Argenta 2000
2.0 litre petrol with 113 hp (84 kW) 1995 cc
- Argenta 2000ie
2.0 litre petrol with Bosch L-jetronic fuel injection producing 122 hp (91 kW) 1995 cc
- Argenta 2500 D
2.5 litre diesel with 75 hp (56 kW) 2435 cc
Marelli Digiplex electronic ignition was fitted to the 2000ie.
In 1984, the Argenta was face-lifted. The grille was renewed with the then corporate 5-bar grille, new front end, new bumpers and an anti-roll-bar was mounted on the rear axle. The front axle was widened by 60 mm (2.4 in), and new wheels with flat wheel trims & chrome embellishers used. Some minor changes were made inside the car, most notably to the seat/door/rooflining trim and a new steering wheel. The radio antenna moved from inside the windscreen to the roof.
The Argenta had also two new engines: Fiat’s first turbodiesel, 2.5 litre producing 90 hp (67 kW), and for the Argenta VX a supercharged 2.0 engine with 135 hp (101 kW), shared the Lancia Volumex models. Both these models had rear disc brakes and a 70litre fuel tank instead of 60litre.
The new versions were named:
- Argenta 100
- Argenta 110
- Argenta 120ie
- Argenta VX (SX on the Italian market)
- Argenta Turbo D
The car remained in production until 1985 when it was replaced by the Croma.
- 1982 Fiat Campagnola Diesel
- 1982 Fiat Panda 30
- 1982 Fiat Strada 105 TC
- 1982 Fiat X1/9 (US)
- 1983 Fiat Regata
1983 Fiat Regata
|Also called||Fiat Marengo (Van)
Fiat Regatta (Sweden, Latin America)
|Assembly||Mirafiori, Turin, Italy
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Small family car|
|Body style||4-door saloon
Holland Car DOCC (Ethiopia)
Nasr Dogan (Egypt)
Nasr Kartal (Egypt)
Tofaş Doğan (Turkey)
Tofaş Şahin (Turkey)
Tofaş Kartal (Turkey)
|Engine||1.3 L I4
1.4 L I4
1.5 L I4
1.6 L I4
2.0 L I4
1.7 L diesel I4
1.9 L diesel I4
1.9 L turbodiesel I4
|Wheelbase||2,446 mm (96.3 in)
2,448 mm (96.4 in) Weekend 1985
|Length||4,260 mm (168 in)
4,267 mm (168.0 in) Weekend 1985
|Width||1,651 mm (65.0 in)
1,650 mm (65 in) Weekend 1985
|Height||1,412 mm (55.6 in)|
|Curb weight||890–1,035 kg (1,962–2,282 lb)|
The Fiat Regata is the saloon version of the Fiat Ritmo small family car, produced by Italian automaker Fiat. It was produced from 1983 to 1990, corresponding to the post-facelift Ritmo. The Regata had a choice of three gasoline and two diesel engines.
The Regata, unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1983, was developed from the pre-facelift Ritmo (which had been known in United Kingdom and United States markets as the Fiat Strada) and utilised almost all the mechanicals, although the wheelbase was stretched slightly. A conventional four-door three-box design, it bore very little external resemblance to the original Ritmo although it hinted strongly at the look of the 1982 face-lift for that car. In the Swedish market the car was called “Regatta”, as Regata was uncomfortably close to a derogatory term for an overbearing woman. The same name was used in Latin American markets.
The engines offered were also similar, being the 1,301 cc inline-four rated at 68 PS (50 kW; 67 hp) (Regata 70) and the 1,498 cc I4 rated at 82 PS (60 kW; 81 hp) (Regata 85). Both of these were SOHC engines. A DOHC 1585 cc I4 rated at 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) (Regata 100) was also available with two SOHC diesels, a 1,714 cc straight-four rated at 58 PS (43 kW; 57 hp) (Regata D) and a 1,929 cc straight-four rated at 65 PS (48 kW; 64 hp) (Regata DS), the latter of which was added in 1984. An economy model called the “ES” (“Energy Saving”) was also available, it featured an early start-stop system. It featured some detail modifications to the aerodynamics, an optimised (higher compression ratio and different valve timing) 1301 cc engine (rated at 65 PS (48 kW; 64 hp)), an engine shut-off system (when idling) and electronic ignition.
The Regata Weekend estate was introduced in November 1984. It was available with the 1.3 L or 1.6 L engines and both diesel engines. Replacing the 131 Panorama, it featured a folding rear bumper, enabling easier access to the load area. The suspension and brakes were uprated to cope with the extra weight. Alongside there was also a two-seater Van derivative called the Marengo, only available with the larger diesel engine.
A mid-life update was carried out in 1986, in which numerous small details were changed, most notably new doors with an altered window line. New door handles, grille, bumpers and wheel trims also featured. The 1,585 cc engine gained fuel injection to become the 100S i.e. (also available with a catalytic converter, losing some power and becoming the 90i.e.) whilst a catalysed and fuel-injected 1,498 cc unit powered the 75i.e. The 85 Automatic was also replaced by the 70 Automatic with a 1.3 litre engine rated at 65 PS (48 kW; 64 hp).
The diesel-powered models also changed slightly. An 80 PS (59 kW; 79 hp) 1,929 cc turbodiesel engine was introduced (badged Regata Turbo DS) whilst the 1,714 cc unit dropped in capacity to 1,697 cc (but gained power to 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) and had reduced fuel consumption). This model was simply badged as the Regata D. The weight was also reduced slightly.
Production ceased in 1990, when the Tempra was introduced.
The Regata started production by Sevel in Argentina in 1985, where production continued until 1995. As in Sweden, but for unknown reasons, the car was called the Regatta (with two t’s) in Latin America. Unlike its European sisters, the car was considered somewhat upmarket in Latin America. The Regatta 85 received a 82 hp (61 kW) 1.5-litre, while a 100S came with a 100 hp (75 kW) 1.6-litre version. Along with a 1987 facelift, the 2000 Twincam replaced the 100S, carrying the same level of equipment but with a larger Twin Cam 2-litre engine with 10 more hp and considerably more torque. The 2000 managed the 0–100 km/h sprint in 9.8 seconds and had a rear spoiler. The Regatta 85 changed names, becoming the Regatta 1.5 S (Super) and SC (Super Confort).
A more thorough facelift in 1988 produced the Regatta Edición II. The engines remained the same until the 1990 model year, when both engines were replaced by the 87 hp (65 kW) 1581 cc engine from the Fiat Tipo. Later a cheaper 1.4 S using the 1372 cc Tipo engine, with 63 hp (47 kW), was added to the line-up. Production ended in 1995 as the Regata was replaced by the Tempra in Latin America as well. The Regatta Weekend (Station Wagon) was also produced in Argentina between 1986 and 1992, only available with the 1.5 or Tipo 1.6 engines.
The Regata featured strongly in the 1986 film Gung Ho, centred on a (fictional) Japanese auto manufacturer reopening a shutdown automobile factory in a fictional western Pennsylvania town, the main model produced by “Assan Motors” were in fact Fiat Regatas (and Fiat 147s) in various stages of completion. The factory shots took place in the Fiat plant in El Palomar, Argentina.
- 1983 Fiat Uno
1983 Fiat Uno
|Also called||Tofaş Uno
|Production||Fiat Uno: 1983–1995 (Italy)
1984–2013 (South America)
Novo Fiat Uno: 2010–present (South America)
Cape Town, South Africa
Casablanca, Morocco (SOMACA)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Las Piñas, Philippines
|Body and chassis|
The Fiat Uno was a supermini car produced by the Italian manufacturer Fiat. The Uno was launched in 1983 and built in its homeland until 1995, with production still taking place in other countries for some years, with the final Uno built in Brazil in 2013.
With approximately 8,800,000 built, it’s the eighth most produced automobile platform in history, after the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Model T, Lada Riva, 1965-70 GM B platform, 1981–97 GM J platform, 1961-64 GM B platform, and 1977-90 GM B platform.
The Uno name was reintroduced in 2010 in South America for the Fiat Panda based car built in Brazil.
First series (1983–1989)
A first generation five door Uno
|Also called||Fiat Mille
Fiat Mille Way
Innocenti Mille Clip
1983–present (South America)
Cape Town, South Africa
Casablanca, Morocco (SOMACA) Kragujevac, Serbia
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door hatchback
3-door panel van
|Platform||Type One platform (Tipo Uno)|
Fiat Fiorino 2nd series
|Transmission||4 and 5-speed manual
|Wheelbase||2,362 mm (93.0 in)|
|Length||3,645–3,689 mm (143.5–145.2 in)|
|Width||1,549–1,562 mm (61.0–61.5 in)|
|Height||1,405–1,422 mm (55.3–56.0 in)|
|Curb weight||711–910 kg (1,567–2,006 lb)|
|Successor||Fiat Punto (Europe)
Fiat Palio (South America/Asia)
The Uno (Type 146) was launched in January 1983 to replace the ageing Fiat 127, which itself had revolutionized the supermini market on its launch more than 10 years earlier. Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro‘s ItalDesign company, its tall, square body utilising a Kamm tail achieved a low drag coefficient of 0.34 won it much praise for airy interior space and fuel economy. It incorporated many packaging lessons learnt from Giugiaro’s 1978 Lancia Megagamma concept car (the first modern people carrier / MPV / mini-van) but miniaturised. Its tall car / high seating packaging is imitated by every small car today. It reversed the trend for lower and lower built cars. It showed that not just low sleek cars could be aerodynamic, but small, roomy, boxy well packaged cars could be too.
United Kingdom sales began in June 1983, with more than 20,000 being sold in its first full year on sale and peaking at more than 40,000 sales in 1988.
In 1984 it was voted European Car of the Year.
Initially, the Uno was offered with the 0.9 litre (903 cc) OHV, 1.1 litre (1116 cc), and 1.3 litre (1301 cc) 138-series SOHC petrol engines and transmissions carried over from the 127. The 1.3 (1300 cc) diesel (not for the UK market) engine was launched a couple of months later. The Uno’s badging was not by the commonly used measurement of engine size but by metric horsepower: 45, 55, 60, 70, or 75. The Uno was available as either a 3 or 5-door hatchback. It also featured ergonomic “pod” switchgear clusters each side of the main instrument binnacle, (that could be operated without removing the driver’s hands from the steering wheel), although indicators remained on a stalk; an unusual arrangement similar to that used by Citroën.
From 1985, the 1.0 litre (999 cc) SOHC Fully Integrated Robotised Engine (FIRE) powerplant was offered. This was a lighter engine, built with fewer parts, and gave improved performance and economy.
In April 1985 the hot hatch version of the first series Uno – the Uno Turbo i.e. – was launched as a 3-door only derivative. Despite marketing claims that it was fitted with an engine “specifically developed for turbocharging” the Turbo i.e. model actually used a Ritmo/Strada-derived 1.3 146-series engine with Bosch multi-point fuel injection, Magneti Marelli electronic ignition and a water-cooled IHI turbocharger with an intercooler to reduce intake air temperatures. The resultant power plant was highly regarded and considered as more technologically advanced than many of its contemporaries. Engine capacity was initially stated as 1299cc but this was revised early on in production to 1301cc. In both forms the engine offered 106 PS (105 bhp) but owners report that the 1301cc version was notably more responsive and had greater torque than the earlier 1299cc unit. Cars built from 1985 to late 1987 were fitted with a Ritmo/Strada-derived 5-speed gearbox. This was then replaced by a newly-developed ‘C510’ 5-speed gearbox, often referred to by owners as the ‘Tipo style’ gearbox, featuring a more durable differential and improved gearchange linkage. Ratios were unchanged between the two units.
The Turbo i.e. offered significant performance improvement over standard Uno models and was capable of reaching 200 km/h (124 mph), thanks in part to the car’s low 845 kg (1,863 lb) weight. Reliability was improved due to the reduction in maximum turbo boost pressure for mass-production from 1.0 to 0.6 bar but conversely, it allowed tuners to modify the engine relatively easily to run 1.0bar boost pressure for even greater performance without significantly compromising reliability.
Externally, the Turbo i.e. model sported black plastic sill trims and arch extensions (similar to that of the 70SX model), plus a revised front bumper with foglamps and inlets/scoops to direct air to the oil cooler and intercooler. Decals were added along the side of the car, initially as “T U R B O” in large outline letters but then later in stripe form with “Turbo i.e.” cut into the rear-quarter section and complimentary stripes across the tailgate. This also deviated from the pressed steel tailgate fitted on non-turbo models as it was manufactured from fibreglass and incorporated a high-level spoiler to improve looks and aerodynamic performance. All body glass benefited from a very light green tint.
Suspension was lowered and uprated, 13″ alloy wheels with Pirelli P6 tyres were fitted and the brakes upgraded to vented discs on the front and solid discs on the rear to replace the drum units of the non-turbo models.
Interior equipment was upgraded in the Turbo i.e. model with ‘sports’ seats, plush red carpet and an extended centre-console. Later models had red seatbelts in place of earlier black versions.
Options on the Turbo i.e. model included polished Cromodora wheels, electric windows, manual sunroof and a ‘digital’ instrument panel, which used bar-graphs in place of dial gauges for fuel level, coolant temperature, boost pressure, etc, and a numerical display of speed that, in the UK market, could be switched between mph and kph at the press of a button. Such units were rare.
An option on later first series Turbo i.e. models was called ‘Anti-Skid’ – a simple form of ABS that only operated on the front wheels and only once per ignition cycle meaning that if it was triggered during a journey it would not do so a second time until the ignition had been turned off and on again. Whilst it was an admirable attempt on Fiat’s part at improving driver safety and reducing accidents the ‘Anti-Skid’ system was largely regarded as ineffective and unreliable.
Diesel and Selecta Models
In 1987, a 1.7 litre diesel engined 60DS version was launched together with the Uno Selecta continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic. The CVT transmission was a co-development with Dutch Van Doorne and Ford, (Fiat owned 24% stake of Van Doorne at that time).
Second series (1989–1995)
First shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1989, the Uno received a thorough facelift. The bodywork at the nose was updated and a different tailgate was fitted, improving the drag coefficient to Cd 0.30, and matching the corporate look of the then new Fiat Tipo. The interior was also revised. The pod switchgear was replaced by stalks and an effort was made to stop the dashboard rattles of the Mark I. At this time, the old 1.1 litre engine was replaced by a new FIRE version, and a new Fiat Tipo-derived 1.4 litre (1,372 cc) engine replaced the Ritmo/Strada-derived 1.3 litre in both naturally aspirated and turbo versions. A 1.4 litre Uno Turbo could reach a claimed 204 km/h (127 mph), while the 1.0 version only managed 140–145 km/h (87–90 mph) depending on which transmission was fitted. The Uno Turbo i.e. variant was also restyled, upgraded with a Garret T2 turbine, Bosch LH Jetronic fuel injection and better aerodynamics.
Uno production ceased in Italy in 1995, with sales throughout Western Europe stopping at the same time. A total of 6,032,911 units were built in Fiat’s Italian factories. The Uno’s replacement in Western Europe was the Fiat Punto, which was launched in late 1993.
Continuing global production (1995–present)
After Western European production and sales ceased, the Uno continued to be manufactured and sold in many other regions.
In Argentina, the 3-door Fiat Uno was produced by Sevel Argentina S.A. from March 1989 to 2000, 179,767 units were built. Engines Motor Tipo ranged from a 1,049 cc 52 PS (38 kW) petrol four to a 1.6-liter, 87 PS (64 kW) SCV/SCR version on top, with a 1.3-liter 45 PS (33 kW) diesel engine also available. A specific saloon version with four doors was also produced from 1988 to 2000. Called Duna or Elba, 257,259 units of this version were built in Fiat’s Córdoba plant. In addition to 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, and 1.6-liter petrol versions, the diesel 1.3 was also available.
The car was made in Brazil until December 2013 in three versions: Mille Economy, Uno Furgão and Fiorino Furgão. A total of 3.6 million Unos and Milles were built in Brazil during its 30-year production run.
In the second half of the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, the Uno was also available as a sedan, a pick-up, and in a wagon version. These are called Prêmio, Fiorino Pick-Up, and Elba respectively.
The Brazilian Uno featured an independent, transverse leaf spring suspension at the rear, based on the tried and tested Brazilian Fiat 147 (similar to the Italian Fiat 127). The clamshell design of the hood was also unique, since the Brazilian Uno kept the spare tire located in the engine bay, like the old Fiat 147, thus saving extra space for the luggage in the trunk. Originally sold with 1.05, 1.3 or 1.5 litre petrol engines (also in versions made to run on ethanol), and a 1.6 litre was added to the lineup in 1989. The now redundant 1.5 was cancelled, but another 1.5 was introduced in 1991, this one derived from the 1.3.
The Fiat Uno family, in Brazil, had a turbocharged 1.4-litre four inline sports version, the Uno Turbo i.e., available between 1994 and 1996. This car was sold as a normal production vehicle with 1801 units produced.
From 1990 to 2013, a 1.0-litre version was sold as the Fiat Mille, as a budget entry-level model, and received its most recent facelift for the 2004 model year. A Fire engine was used since 2001. The 2005 Brazilian range has received a Flex Fuel system, enabling the car to use ethanol or gasoline as fuel, both pure or in any proportion mixture; also, there is a version fitted for unpaved roads called Mille Way, which includes a more resilient suspension, larger wheels and side cladding.
Despite the launch of the new Brazilian-built Uno in 2010, production of the Mille Economy and Mille Way continued until December 2013, only with a 1.0-litre engine. The Uno Furgao van (based on the series Uno) and the Fiorino Furgão were available with a 1.25-litre Fire engine.
The Brazilian Fiat Uno has been rated as highly unsafe by Latin NCAP, scoring only one star for adult occupants and two stars for children. Unfortunately, this is the safety standard of low-cost Brazilian cars.
After an abortive launch in 1996 when its CKD joint partner PAL delivered only 617 cars of the 30,000 ordered, Fiat started its venture as a 50-50 Industrial Joint Venture between Fiat Group Automobiles S. p. A. (Fiat) and Tata Motors Limited (who now own Jaguar-LandRover) in January 1997. At present the company employs about 600 employees in its Ranjangaon facility in the Pune District of Maharashtra. The Uno was initially a success in India, but then it faded badly due to poor dealer support.
In South Africa, the Uno was assembled under licence by Nissan from 1990 until 1998 and then by Fiat from 1998 up until 2006. Unos manufactured by Nissan had the word “licence” underneath the Fiat badge on the rear end and models included the 1108 cc FIRE,1372 cc PACER, PACER SX and 1372 cc TURBO. Later on there were also a number of special editions produced which included the Beat (1372 cc), the Rio (1108 cc) and for a short period the Cento (999 cc). After Fiat re-entered the South African market in 1998 Unos were rebadged as either the (1108 cc) Mia or (1372 cc) Tempo. They also featured the Fiat centenary badge from that point on. By the time initial production of the Uno ended in 2006 only the (1108 cc) Mia was available for sale. 110,000 units were produced between 1990 and 2002.
In 2007, the Fiat Uno was redesigned and it re-entered the South African new car market. The car was now marketed and distributed by Fiat themselves. The model line-up includes the Uno Way, which has a higher suspension than the regular Uno and colour-coded bumpers. It is based on the 1983–1990 design, and is powered by a 1.2-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine.
Local manufacturer Francisco Motors, primarily known as a manufacturer of the Jeepney, partnered with Fiat to create a joint venture called Italcar Pilipinas Inc. in 1990. They assembled the Fiat Uno from 1992-2000 under the People’s Car Program, which was an incentive by the government of President Corazon Aquino to stimulate car production in the Philippines. The joint venture hoped to compete with local stalwarts such as the Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra with the Uno in the taxicab market, which accounted for many sales. The Uno was not popular and production decreased yearly until the venture was terminated in 2000.
Production in Fiat’s factory in Poland ran until 2002. 173,382 units were built from June 1995 to October 2002.
The Fiat Uno is also assembled from complete knock down (CKD) kits in Pakistan by Raja Motor Company. Production started in 2001 and continued until 2004 when the manufacturing plant had to be closed down. Only the diesel variant of the car was made available under the 1.7D model. Although large scale manufacturing of the car has ceased, stocks of CKD are still being assembled and sold at present.
The Uno was quite popular in Britain, with 190,000 Mark I examples sold from its launch there in June 1983 until the launch of the facelifted model in late 1989.
The Uno was a surprise hit for Fiat in New Zealand, where a combination of low prices and well received styling saw over 1000 Unos a year being imported from Italy right up until the late 1980s, with the 3000th New Zealand Uno being celebrated in December 1988. Generally sold in 3 and 5-door hatchback form, a limited number of Fiorino panelvans and 3-door station wagons – badged as Fiat Penny – were also sold. A number of Unos sold in New Zealand were built to British specifications, which included a mile-per-hour speedometer.
Fiat Uno (2010–present)
|“Novo” Fiat Uno|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door hatchback
Fiat Grand Siena
|Engine||1.0 Fire EVO Flex l4
1.4 Fire EVO Flex l4
|Wheelbase||2,376 mm (93.5 in)|
|Length||3,770 mm (148 in)|
|Width||1,640 mm (65 in)|
|Height||1,490 mm (59 in)|
|Predecessor||Fiat Mille (Brazil)|
The Fiat Uno name was resurrected for project Progetto 327, the Brazilian-built “Novo Uno” (New Uno). The new Uno is engineered at Brazil and co-designed with Turin’s Fiat Centro Stile, and is basically a more urban interpretation of the Fiat Panda style on a Fiat Palio. It is larger and roomier than the first, but smaller and cheaper than the second platform. The car has two options of engines: the 1.0 Fire Evo (73 hp) and the 1.4 Fire Evo (83 hp), both able to use ethanol, gasoline or a mix of both fuels.
It will be sold in several South American countries as well as Brazil, but it has yet to be confirmed whether this Uno will be sold in Europe.
A new three cylinder, one liter engine is expected in the second semester of 2014.
- 1984 Fiat Panda 4X4
- 1984 Fiat Strada Abarth 130 TC
- 1984 Fiat Fiorino (second generation)
- 1985 Fiat 127 Diesel Panorama
- 1985 Fiat 127 Panorama
- 1985 Fiat Argenta SX
- 1985 Fiat Panda 45 Super
- 1985 Fiat Uno Turbo ie
- 1986 Fiat Croma
1986 Fiat Croma
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Large family car|
The Fiat Croma is the name used for two automobiles produced by Italian automaker Fiat, one a large family car built from 1985 to 1996 and the other a cross-over wagon built from 2005 to 2011. The first generation was made available in hatchback/liftback style only, and a second generation was made available in estate/wagon style only.
First generation (1985–1996)
|First generation (154)|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Large family car|
|Body style||5-door liftback|
|Platform||Type Four platform (Tipo Quattro)|
Alfa Romeo 164
|Wheelbase||2,660 mm (104.7 in)|
|Length||4,495 mm (177.0 in)|
|Width||1,755 mm (69.1 in)|
|Height||1,425 mm (56.1 in)|
|Curb weight||1,095 kg (2,414 lb) approx|
The original Croma (Type 154) was a five-door notchback liftback penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design and built on the Type Four platform, which was designed in cooperation between several companies and was also used for the Saab 9000, Lancia Thema and Alfa Romeo 164. Although the other models were executive cars, the Croma was marketed in the large family car segment, replacing the Fiat Argenta in the Fiat lineup.
The Croma was the first large car produced by Fiat to feature a transverse-mounted engine and front wheel drive.
The Croma received a light facelift for 1988, first shown in Frankfurt in September 1987. The black plastic between the rear lamps was now ridged rather than smooth, the lower portion of the bumpers were body-colored, and the turn signals received clear glass rather than amber. A more significant facelift in 1991 with new front design including changes to the lights, bumpers grille and sheet-metal changes to wings and bonnet. Also in 1991 the direct injected diesel engine was equipped with a variable geometry turbocharger (“VNT”).
Production ceased in 1996, and Fiat abandoned the large family car segment. The Bravo/Brava-based Fiat Marea small family car replaced the Croma and Tempra as the largest saloon and estate in Fiat’s model range.
The Croma was available with a variety of petrol and diesel engines, the former from the Fiat DOHC engine family. Base models had the 1585 cc, 83 PS (61 kW) and 1995 cc, 90 PS (66 kW) “Controlled High Turbulence” (CHT) powerplants, followed by two fuel injected 2.0 L units, one with 120 PS (88 kW) and the other a turbocharged and intercooled version giving 155 PS (114 kW). The later 2.5 L petrol V6 unit was from Alfa Romeo, but as with the 1.6 L engine, was not available in all markets. The 2.0 CHT was designed specifically to provide low fuel consumption under light and medium loads thanks to two separate inlet manifolds of different diameters.
The Fiat Croma was the first passenger car in the world to have a direct injection Diesel (Turbo D i.d.) engine, in 1986. Other diesel engines were the Fiat’s 1.9 L fitted with a turbocharger with direct injection, giving 92 PS (68 kW), and the 2499 cc unit supplied by Iveco, with a normally aspirated version giving 75 PS (55 kW) and a turbocharged one with 115 PS (85 kW). This one replaced the original 2446 cc with 100 PS (74 kW). Diesel engined variants of this car were not marketed in the UK.
|Second generation (194)|
|Assembly||Cassino – Piedimonte S. Germano (Frosinone), Italy|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Large family car|
|Body style||5-door estate|
|Platform||GM Epsilon platform|
|Transmission||5 and 6-speed manual
|Wheelbase||2,700 mm (110 in)|
|Length||4,755 mm (187.2 in)
4,783 mm (188.3 in) (facelift)
|Width||1,775 mm (69.9 in)|
|Height||1,600 mm (63 in)|
Second generation (2005–2011)
In 2005, Fiat announced a large cross-over wagon with an upright tailgate, reminiscent of that of the Fiat Stilo, resurrecting the Croma nameplate. Again, Giugiaro styled the exterior, while the chassis was provided via the short-lived link with General Motors. The new Croma (Type 194) is therefore based on the extended variant of the GM Epsilon platform sharing components with the Opel Vectra and Saab 9-3. It went on sale in Italy in June 2005.
Unlike the previous model, and aware of its lack of image in the upper market segments, Fiat opted for not developing a standard large family car but developing a “Comfort Wagon”, an automobile with design elements of both estates and large MPVs. Its height of 1,600 mm (63.0 in) falls between the Mitsubishi Grandis and Ford S-Max large MPVs (1,655 mm (65.2 in) and 1,660 mm (65.4 in) respectively) and SEAT Altea XL (1,525 mm (60.0 in)).
In February 2007, Fiat UK announced that the Croma would no longer be generally available in the United Kingdom, after less than 900 were sold in the whole of 2005. Production of the second generation Croma stopped in early 2011. Despite not being a showroom hit, the Croma managed to sell in quite reasonable numbers with 65,000 sold in one year alone.
The Croma has seven airbags as standard including knee bag for the driver. As standard the Croma is equipped with anti-lock braking system and electronic brakeforce distribution. It has a five-star EuroNCAP crash rating for adult occupant protection:
|Euro NCAP test results|
|Fiat Croma (2008)|
The Croma got a minor facelift at the end of 2007 and was termed the Nuova Croma. A new grille (Bravo look) and rear bumper, as well as some material changes inside are the main differences. Fiat now designates the revised model as “Station Wagon” instead of the previously used term “Comfort Wagon”. The Nuova Croma is only sold in mainland Europe.
The Croma, built at Fiat’s Cassino factory, has three trim levels and five engine options. Like the chassis, petrol engines were supplied by Opel, beginning with the brand new evolution of the Family 1 Ecotec 1.8 L with 140 PS (103 kW), followed by the torquier L850 Ecotec 2.2 L with 147 PS (108 kW). However, the bulk of the sales is represented by Fiat’s own Multijet engine, available in three variants 1.9 L with 8 valves and 120 PS (88 kW), 1.9 L with 16 valves and 150 PS (110 kW), and the range topper five-cylinder 2.4 L 20V, with 200 PS(147 kW). The Diesel engines are fitted with a standard six-speed manual gearbox, 6-speed automatic (standard on 2.4 engines) is also available.
1988 Fiat Tipo
|Assembly||Cassino – Piedimonte S. Germano (Frosinone), Italy
Pomigliano d’Arco, Italy (1989-1990)
Bursa, Turkey (Tofaş)
|Designer||Ercole Spada (I.DE.A Institute)|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Small family car|
|Body style||3/5-door hatchback|
|Platform||Type Two platform (Tipo Due)|
|Wheelbase||2,540 mm (100.0 in)|
|Length||3,958 mm (155.8 in)|
|Width||1,700 mm (66.9 in)|
|Height||1,445 mm (56.9 in)|
|Curb weight||1,020–1,230 kg (2,250–2,710 lb)|
The Tipo was initially available only as a five-door hatchback. The car was made entirely out of galvanized body panels to avoid rust, and was built on a completely new Fiat platform, which was later used on Fiat, Alfa-Romeo, and Lancia models. It also stood out because of its boxy styling that gave it innovative levels of packaging – rear passenger room being greater than that in a rear-wheel-drive Ford Sierra, but in a car that was of a similar size to the smaller Ford Escort. This type of design was comparable to the smaller Fiat Uno, which was launched five years before the Tipo.
The car has been extremely popular in Brazil. It outsold the Volkswagen Gol, which had been the best-selling Brazilian car for over 20 years. Only the Tipo, the Fiat Uno Mille, and Fiat Palio have also ever outsold the Gol.
Launched in June 1988, initially base (i.e.), DGT, (early Italian market DGT models were badged as ‘digit’, presumably in recognition of the digital dash, but this was quickly changed to DGT after a dispute over ownership of the name, leading to confusion about whether the model was diesel-powered) S, SX and 16v trim levels were available. Power from 58 to 148 PS (43 to 109 kW; 57 to 146 bhp) came from 1.1-, 1.4-, 1.6-, 1.7-, 1.8-, 1.8- 16-v, 2.0-, and 2.0-L 16-v petrol engines, as well as a 1.7-L diesel, 1.9-L diesel, and 1.9-L turbodiesel. The 1.1-L base engine was widely regarded as underpowered for the car, which was otherwise roomy for five adults and with above-average equipment. The top of the range was the 2.0 Sedicivalvole (16 valves). The Sedicivalvole gained its engine from the Lancia Thema, and with a much smaller and lighter bodyshell to house it, this power unit brought superb performance and handling, and a top speed of around 130 mph (210 km/h), which made it faster than the Volkswagen Golf GTI of that era.
The Tipo was facelifted in 1993 and a three-door version was added, as well as minor exterior changes (the two evolutions of the car can be differentiated by their slightly different radiator grilles and headlamps) and improved specifications; safety features like stiffer bodyshells, driver’s airbag, and side impact bars were added to the range. This included the new S, SX, and SLX trim levels, as well as a new eight-valve 2.0-L GT model.
The Tipo ceased production in the summer of 1995 and was replaced by the three-door Fiat Bravo and five-door Fiat Brava. The Tempra saloon and estate (station wagon) were replaced by the Marea. The Bravo and Brava were strong sellers throughout Europe, but the Marea was a disappointment in most markets.
It was a reasonably strong seller in the United Kingdom, initially winning plaudits for its innovative and practical design, as well as its good handling. The 1.1 litre version was not available in the United Kingdom – the 1.4 litre was the base model. The digital dashboard of higher-end models proved to be controversial and unreliable. The car launched into a favourable market in the United Kingdom, where none of the “big three” carmakers (Ford, Vauxhall, and Austin Rover) had launched a new car of this size since 1984. However, these three marques all had new Tipo-sized products within three years, and increased competition reduced the Tipo’s sales. The final two years 1994/95 had a significant increase in sales, but these were mostly of the low-priced 1.4 litre models.
In Brazil, it only started to be produced in 1995, in a single trim level. It had a 1.6 litre, eight valve engine with multipoint fuel injection, which offered a 10 PS (7.4 kW) increase compared to the old 1.6 litre i.e., producing 92 PS (68 kW). Previously, the Tipo had been imported from Italy and was available with three different trims that were closely associated with its engines: the basic 1.6 i.e., the luxurious 2.0 litre (eight valve), and the sporty two-litre, sixteen valve Sedicivalvole. Seventeen 1.7 litre models were also brought in; they are all in Estoril Blue color and received complete equipment.
It was also built in Turkey, by Tofaş. The Turkish-built cars generally did not feature catalytic converters and some thus have marginally more power than the models listed in the table beneath. The Turkish cars also have a small “Tofaş” logo on the left side of the bootlid, and production there continued at least until 2000.
- 1989 Fiat Croma Diesel
This was part V, next chapter History FIAT part VI 1990-1999