It may have had spindly little tyres, two doors and a teeny 1.0-litre 48hp engine, but when Fiat gave the Giugiaro-designed Panda a Steyr-Puch AWD system it instantly made the little thing a ‘goat’ in both the internet slang and mountain-climbing animal senses of the word.
We love the Panda 4x4 here at TG, and so we were delighted to hear about Garage Italia’s latest project – a restomod version of the go-anywhere tyke. Garage Italia, of course, is the ‘creative hub’ founded by Lapo Elkann, the grandson of one Gianni Agnelli. It had to be Fiat then.
But there won’t just be one iteration of the new/old Panda 4x4 – there are four more differently specced versions in the pipeline. Oh yes.
The version you see here is the first to be revealed. Known as the ‘Panderis’, it’s a collaboration between the aforementioned Garage Italia and Vitale Barberis Canonico, a Biella-based woollen mill that has provided the materials for that lovely retro-inspired interior. We have to make a special shout-out to those JBL speakers too. Very cool.
Under the skin, the internal combustion engine has been swapped out for an electric motor and batteries courtesy of the Newtron Group. Connected to the original gearbox, the EV powertrain guarantees a licence-saving top speed of 115km/h and a range of around 100km. The batteries in the Panderis can then recharge in anywhere between three and eight hours, depending on what you plug it in to.
Thankfully, the four-wheel drive system remains, and we hope its new owner will used the Panderis to its full potential.
Look at that brown paint too. Lovely. And gold steel wheels? We might just be in love.
That’s about all we can tell you of the little Panda for now, though. Are you as smitten as we are?
STORY Greg Potts