A Fiat Panda 4x4... up Mount Etna
An epic TG mag adventure from the past 20 years: we drive the Panda up an erupting volcano...
Posted: 15 Oct 2013
The going is getting increasingly tough though, and the Panda requires higher revs to maintain forward momentum, the occasions we resort to the low first gear to claim supremacy over lumps getting ever more frequent. The hard-packed lava sand is easy enough to find purchase on, but as soon as we try to traverse the snowy bits - or the looser lava marbles with the steam rising between them - the Panda's skinny tyres start to cut into the surface rather than float over it.
With only 75bhp and 107lb ft of torque to play with, and the thinning atmosphere adding an asthmatic intake of oxygen, eventually we hit a deep patch of snow, the Panda bogs and huffs to a stop. Only 100ft from the ridge line and a victory of sorts.