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Geneva Motor Show: Fiat Panda Cross to debut

Based on the standard Panda, the Cross features more chunky styling, with a new bumper and lights along with a titanium look skid plate. There’s also wheel arch extensions, side mouldings with the "Cross" logo and new roof bars with a satin titanium finish along with new 15-inch alloy wheels. The rear end is revised with a new bumper with under-body protection new tail-lights and a chrome tail pipe. There’s also new tow hooks finished in brilliant red.

Inside, the new Panda Cross features bespoke fabric/eco-leather upholstery and a new dashboard finish with a copper fascia, while standard equipment includes a leather-trimmed steering wheel with remote controls, a leather-trimmed gear knob, automatic climate control and Blue&Me connectivity.

In line with its offroad image, the Cross offers the “Torque-on-Demand” transmission system, which utilises the vehicle’s ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) and advanced ESC (Electronic Stability Control) systems to manage the engine’s torque delivery. This is managed by the Terrain Control system, which offers the driver three driving modes: auto, which automatically distributes drive between the front and rear axles in accordance with the available grip, lock, with 4WD for speeds of up to 30mph, and hill descent.

The suspension of the FIAT Panda Cross has been developed to combine on-road comfort, handling, road-holding and safety with improved off-road characteristics. An independent MacPherson suspension is employed at the front while a torsion beam layout has been developed for the rear to accommodate the all-wheel drive mechanicals, replacing the semi-trailing arm arrangement of the previous-generation Panda Cross.

Compared to the Panda 4×4, the Panda Cross offers oversized tyres, improved approach and departure angles and increased ground clearance.

Two engines will be offered, both with Start&Stop as standard and both offering a 5bhp boost compared to the standard FIAT Panda 4×4. The new 0.9 TwinAir Turbo engine now produces 89bhp at 5,500rpm with an official combined cycle figure of 57.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 114g/km while the 1.3 MultiJet II turbo-diesel delivers 79bhp at 4,000rpm and returns 60.1mpg on the official combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 125g/km.

The new Fiat Panda Cross goes on sale in the autumn. Pricing, final UK equipment specifications and technical details will be announced closer to its launch.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.