Ciao Bella! $40,000 Fiat Grande Panda arrives as one of Europe’s cheapest small electric SUVs  – EV Central – The Global Tofay

Ciao Bella! $40,000 Fiat Grande Panda arrives as one of Europe's cheapest small electric SUVs  - EV Central - The Global Tofay Global Today

Fiat has pulled the drapes off its long-awaited next-generation 2025 Fiat Grande Panda that could become one of Australia’s most affordable battery-electric SUVs when it lands here next year.

Still to be confirmed for our market, the new Fiat Grande Panda will be available with both combustion and an all-electric powertrain, with the latter developed to have a price tag of less than €25,000 ($40,400).

Set to become Fiat’s fastest-selling car, the Grande Panda will eventually replace the ancient third-gen Panda that has been on sale globally for more than 12 years, although the small hatch was discontinued in Australia in 2015 following poor sales.

The switch to the ‘Grande’ Panda nameplate reflects how the small Italian has grown 450mm in length to 3990mm, meaning it is significantly larger while switching to a more in-demand SUV body.

Beneath the skin it rides on the same Stellantis STLA Smart Car platform that is currently used for the budget-friendly Citroen e-C3 and the incoming 2027 Jeep Renegade.

Featuring styling inspired by the Fiat Concept City Car that was shown earlier this year, the Grande Panda’s boxy looks and front-end design pay tribute to the first-generation Panda that was made in Europe from 1980 until 2003.

That explains why the Grande Panda’s bluff nose mirrors the 2024 show car’s pixelated front facia, while the headlamps gain an X-shape pattern made up of 11 LED pixels.

2024 Fiat Grande Panda
2024 Fiat Grande Panda.

The X theme is replicated on its 17-inch alloy wheels, while the higher ride height, black plastic wheel-arches and roof rails all demonstrate how the famous Italian brand, more well known for the iconic 500 hatch in Australia, will reposition its latest small car as an SUV.

Within, we haven’t been given any glimpses of the new Grande Panda’s cabin but expect it to share much with the firm’s latest 500e supermini.

No details have been released concerning powertrains but it makes sense the electric version will share the Citroen e-C3’s powertrain with a front-mounted 83kW e-motor, and its 44kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery. This should provide a range up to 320km.

Later on, cheaper-still variants will use an even smaller battery that will drop the range to around 200km.

2024 Fiat Grande Panda2024 Fiat Grande Panda
2024 Fiat Grande Panda.

On the combustion side, we expect a full range of hybrids including a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol that will be blended with both a 21kW e-motor and a six-speed dual-clutch and small battery.

It’s thought a replacement for the legendary go-anywhere Panda 4×4 will also be on the cards, which will share the latest Jeep Avenger 4xe hybrid’s powertrain.

If so, expect a 100kW 1.2-litre petrol to be joined by one front-mounted 21kW e-motor and a further 21kW electric motor to drive the rear axle.

Incredibly, the third-gen Panda that was introduced back in 2011 will not end production until 2030, with the small hatch set to be upgraded and renamed the Pandina. Really.

The Grande Panda, meanwhile, will be first offered in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, before possibly rolled out to the Australian market where it’s thought it could sell well if priced aggressively.

Pricing and launch timings will be announced before the Fiat Grande Panda European launch, due before the end of this year.

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