Daily demonstrations at 11am, free with admission!
The Fiat Panda has proven to be a very popular city car; over the course of three generations, more than 9.5 million have been sold. The second-generation Panda seen here, known as the Nuova (New) Panda, was designed largely by Bertone. Originally named the Gingo, the name was thought to be too similar to Renault’s new Twingo, so the familiar Panda name was used, even though the two models shared almost nothing else.
Intended to replace both the Seicento (the New 600) and the original Panda, the New Panda was a bit more upscale, taking cues from the contemporary Fiat Multipla. Introduced at the 2003 Salon de Geneve, the New Panda was the success a struggling Fiat needed, selling over a half-million units in less than 2 years. It also won the prestigious European Car of the Year award in 2004, in addition to nearly topping the Top Gear rankings – #8 out of 152 cars tested – a positive result for usually poorly-reviewed Fiats. Unlike the first Panda, built in Italy, the New Panda came from Fiat’s new plant in Tychy, Poland.
The next-to-the-top trim level seen here, the Dynamic, featured ABS, dual airbags, a roof rack, power steering, and a cassette deck. The options list was extensive, offering transmission, stereo, cosmetic, and climate options galore. Other Fiat options included 4X4 drivetrains, while aftermarket specialists offered models featuring special paint/wheel/interior treatments up to full Jolly beach car models.
The Fiat Nuova Panda is not only popular as a passenger car, it also enjoys success as a fleet vehicle with police, fire, military, forestry, and postal services across Europe, and it has also raced in modified form on the famous Paris-Dakar Rally. A new Series III Panda was introduced in 2013, building upon the earlier models’ successes. Thirty-five years later, the third-generation Panda still remains in production, a testament to its solid design.
Manufacturer: Fiat Automobiles S.p.A.
Country of Origin: Poland
Drivetrain Configuration: Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Engine: SOHC; water-cooled, 1242cc, four cylinder, 59 bhp
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Top Speed: 96 mph
Years of Production: Series II: 2003-2012
Number Produced: Series II: 2,168,491