The ambition of Fiat in China growth, 500,000 cars in 2015, imposes a priority development of the range compared to Europe. This is why the new SUV from the Italian brand will be unveiled at Shanghai. In conformity with the ads of Sergio Marchionne, he will belong to the Panda family.
Last month, Sergio Marchionne spoke of the future of the Fiat range, indicating that the extension of the 500 family coming to an end, and that the Panda was also a base for the development of the range. A statement acted upon quickly, since Fiat will unveil the Shanghai Motor Show the new Panda XL.
A model intended for an international career, but which will be marketed out of early product in China, produced by the GAC-Fiat joint venture. It will help the brand to penetrate the large SUV market, will reach the 2015 targets. Its arrival in Europe is scheduled for late 2014.
Panda XL is not a totally unknown model. It is indeed the Fiat version of the very new Jeep Cherokee. Clone almost complete, ready to grill. After all, the Fiat range in China currently consists of 500 (imported), to Viaggio ( rebadged dodge dart and locally produced) and Freemont (imported, rebadged Dodge Journey) … The brand identity is certainly not a priority for Sergio Marchionne as he has already proven with Lancia.
For the Chinese market, the Panda XL should adopt one 1.4 T-Jet of 120 and 150 hp. At the top of range, we will find the 4-cylinder 2.4 liter of 186 hp. Transmission side, the T-Jet will be associated as the Viaggio in TCT dual-clutch box and the 2.4L in the new ZF 9-speed auto box. Side-wheel drive, three engines are available in two-wheel drive, and the two most powerful simply the basic version of the all-wheel drive offered on the Cherokee.
In Europe, only the T-Jet will be retained in essence, and will be complemented by the 1.6 Multijet. We could know at the presentation in Shanghai on April 20.