South Africa

New Fiat Panda and global bakkie previewed in five concept roll-out

Milanese brand will reveal a new model each year from June 2024 until 2027.

Although absent from the Geneva Motor Show that kicked-off today, Fiat has used a special unveiling event of its own to debut five new concept models it will put into production over the next four years.

Models

Announced earlier this month as parent company Stellantis’ best-selling marque with global sales of 1.35-million units, plus a market share of 12%, the roll-out involved anything but production ready models comprising a fastback-styled SUV, a crossover SUV, a camper van, a bakkie and a small city hatch likely to be a preview of the incoming all-new Panda.

Panda preview

Set to be rolled-out in production forms from June this year, and then every year until 2027, the concepts will all be derived from the Panda, which will premiere first and reportedly become an EV in Europe aimed directly as offering from China.

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More conversely though, the current third generation Panda, which went on-sale in 2011 and last received an update in 2020, is expected to remain in production until at least 2026 powered by the existing mild-hybrid TwinAir petrol engine.

Interestingly, the eventual production models will continue to offer combustion engines, with and without electrical assistance, as well as fully EV powertrains – this despite Fiat becoming fully electric in Europe next year.

Next Strada?

Besides the Panda, whose apparent preview confirms comments made last year by CEO, Olivier Francois, about it resembling the original that debuted in 1980, the second key model comes in the shape of the unnamed bakkie.

Fiat previews future with five new concept cars
Unnamed concept bakkie could well be the replacement for the current Strada come 2026. Image: Fiat

While set to be toned down significantly from the concept once approved for production, the, for now, simply titled pick-up has been classified as a world model and could provide a first glimpse of the replacement for the current Strada anticipated in 2026.

Back in November, the marque confirmed that while the Strada would be offered in select Sub-Sahara African markets, its availability with left-hand-drive only makes it ineligible for South Africa as a result of right-hand-drive capability never having received consideration.

Fiat previews future with five new concept cars
Derived from the Panda means the production model differs dramatically from the concept when it eventually debuts. Image: Fiat

It did, however, state that the next generation will have right-hand-drive, thereby confirming the now revealed concept’s classification for not only left-hooking nations.

SUV that could be rumoured Multipla

Fiat previews future with five new concept cars
Coupe-styled Fastback previews the likely replacement for the current model of the same name sold exclusively in South America. Image: Fiat

Besides the Strada’s likely successor, the third fastback-style SUV will replace the Tipo and reportedly the South America-market Fastback in a dual capacity and in markets not restricted to Latin America or the Middle East.

Called the “giga-Panda”, the fourth model will take-up station, as its nickname suggests, above the Panda as possibly the replacement for the Multipla rumoured at the end of last year as being primed for a return in 2024 as a reimagined SUV targeting the Nissan Qashqai.

Five new Fiat concept cars revealed
Dubbed the “giga Panda”, the new slab-sided SUV could become the rumoured successor of the discontinued Multipla. Image: Fiat

Fiat’s official statement though only refers the SUV as a model that “meets customers’ ultimate needs in terms of safety, versatility, and design”.

Camper

Resembling the Mitsubishi D:X Concept showed at the Tokyo Mobility Show last year, the camper model represents what Fiat calls the “new dolce vita style” that “reconnects people to each other and nature”.

Five new Fiat concept cars revealed
Camper concept draws more than a few visual links from the Mitsubishi D:X Concept. Image: Fiat

Similar to the rest of the concepts, no powertrain or any further intricate details of the camper was disclosed.

Stay tuned

Despite the current secrecy, the concept’s aligning with the Panda will result in first details becoming apparent once the production version of the former debuts this year.

As such, expect a clearer image to emerge then both externally, internally and on the powerplant front.

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