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Fiat Panda Cross news - Panda Cross: no jokes, please - 2008

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This is the new Fiat Panda Cross. It’s going to be a serious struggle, but we’re going
to ignore the obvious ‘How do you make a Panda Cross?’ joke and tell you about
the new midget 4x4 without any reference to enraged subcontinental bears.

The Panda Cross is, says Fiat, the cheapest diesel 4x4
on the market. Powered by Fiat’s 70bhp 1.3-litre turbodiesel, it’ll give you
54mpg and produce just 136g/km. No word on performance yet, but given the
previous Panda 4x4 took a full 20 seconds to hit 60mph - 20 seconds! - we’re
not expecting stellar acceleration.

But the big news here is the four-wheel driveness. The
Panda Cross has a viscous coupling four-wheel-drive system with a electronic
diff lock, which means it should cope with some pretty serious terrain. Don’t
forget that the previous Panda 4x4 took on the Paris Dakar rally. It may even
have finished.

You also get strangely coloured side protection
strips, equally strange new bumpers and curiously cross-eyed new light
clusters. The whole thing will cost you just short of 12 grand, which might
just make it the cheapest way to the top of a Welsh mountain.

[Hear that straining, cracking sound? That’s Top
Gear’s big pun machine overheating…]

Steal his bamboo. There.
We cracked. Happy weekend.

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