The Italians know a thing or two about fashion. They’ve also pretty good at building small cars. So the Fiat Panda Trussardi should be a match made in heaven.
Cynics might suggest this fashionable makeover is little more than an attempt to mask the zero-star Euro NCAP rating and the fact that the current Panda should be considering retirement.
In fairness, the Panda wears its Trussardi clothing well, although what we know about fashion can be written on the back of an M&S receipt for a pair of beige slacks.
It costs £14,060, which is a lot for a Panda, but fashion doesn’t come cheap, darling.
Besides, thanks to its faux-SUV styling, it looks well equipped to deal with a rumpus in Rome, a melée in Milan and a near-miss in Napoli. Other Italian cities are available.
A luxury Panda?
Further enhancements include black roof bars, mirror caps, 15-inch alloys and skid plate, plus a Caffé Italiano Brown colour, which is available in matt or metallic finishes, baby.
There’s a smattering of Trussardi logos, including, for the first time, one in the centre of the steering wheel. Still, according to Fiat this is the first ‘luxury Panda’. Does the world need a luxury Panda?
The world of fashion is far too highbrow to concern itself with the oily bits, but the Panda Trussardi is powered by a 69hp 1.2-litre engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. City Brake Control is an option (although it’s arguably a must-have in Rome).
Olivier Francois, president of Fiat brand, said: “Panda can boast 39 years of success and has been the most popular car in Italy for six years. It has been the best-selling city car in Europe since 2003. In total, 7.5 million units have been sold, of which five million are still on the road.
“It is also a record-breaker. It was the first 4WD city car, the first small car to fit an automatic transmission, the first urban SUV and the first car to climb Mount Everest. Today, we have the first ‘luxury Panda’, the Panda Trussardi.”
Tomaso Trussardi, CEO of Trussardi, added: “Today, Fiat Panda is wearing the Trussardi style and turning itself into a contemporary and functional car with great attention to detail. I am very satisfied with this collaboration and thank the Fiat team for having believed in this project with us.”
The Fiat Panda is available in showrooms (and on catwalks) now.