For the Tokyo Motor Show, scheduled from 21 October to 6 November, Fiat has created a stylish, architecturally fascinating stand that highlights Italian design. This, in fact, is the leitmotiv blending the motorcar product with the design of a stand area that uses innovative metallised materials in an attractive play of graphic solutions and colours.
So immersed in this evocative setting visitors will be able to admire those concepts of style, resourcefulness and taste that have always been the hallmark of Italian products and among these, of course, Fiat cars. On the other hand it`s in the brand`s DNA to create models that become icons of their time - often even ahead of the times - thanks to the advanced mechanical solutions adopted. But apart from pioneering innovation Fiat also adds the unmistakable touch of Italian design that, today as in the past, immediately makes its models recognisable on roads everywhere.
In short, this really unique backdrop will provide an even greater stimulus for visitors to the Tokyo Motor Show to admire the novel styling of the new Panda Alessi and Grande Punto. In fact the two Fiat models are truly ambassadors of Italian design: the Grande Punto`s external line is the work of Giorgetto Giugiaro, while the new Panda version is the result of a joint effort involving the Fiat Style Centre and Stefano Giovannoni from Alessi. These, therefore, are the undisputed stars of an area in which a `showcase` becomes an `emotional journey` that through the use of curves and colours is divided into two sectors.
The first sector is dedicated to the Grande Punto, the new model that represents Fiat`s and its staff`s passion for cars, speed, competition, but at the same time captures the spirit of a customer attracted by values exemplifying beauty, dynamism, colour, passion and movement. Two versions will be on show in Tokyo: one, an orange car equipped with the sparkling 77 bhp 1.4 power unit; the other, the Grande Punto Rally Super 2000 that will compete in various domestic and international rally championships. Sporting a three-layer pearl white livery and equipped with an aspirated 2000cc engine, this gutsy car derived from the 2-wheel drive production model has a maximum power output of around 280 bhp and fits 4-wheel drive.
The second area of the Fiat stand will star the Panda Alessi, as will be obvious from the numerous Alessi icons that by a play of colours and materials further emphasise the two imaginative green and black cars on show. Derived from the concept car that made its debut at the 2004 Paris Show, today the new Panda version is a production car that will be on sale starting January 2006 throughout Europe at an on-the-road price of about 12,500 euros.
Alessi designs a new Panda version
Innovative and with an unmistakable style, the Panda Alessi is the result of cooperation between two brands famous throughout the world for their contribution to developing Italian design. Fiat and Alessi, in fact, have created a highly personal formal language that means one of their creations immediately stands out among the many mass-produced products. So in this sense the Panda Alessi is a concrete example of how a `car object` can be re-worked in an aesthetic key by a brand operating outside the sector, exploiting those expressive traits that are always the mark of Italian design: innovation, styling and character. The new Fiat Panda version therefore shows how a `stylistic dialogue` between two important industrial partners can yield unexpected results that make a strong emotional impact, provided the design project is conducted with total respect for the product`s identity.
The exterior of the new version retains the Panda model`s great personality, with certain new aesthetic and chromatic touches on the front grille, door panels and wheelarch trim. But also the bumpers, wheel trims and rear aerial have been redesigned. In detail, the eye-catching features of the Panda Alessi are a novel, exclusive wheel trim design, which incorporates Alessi`s distinctive `little man`, the roof racks and white protective side mouldings, in addition to a body that can be `dressed` in one of three colours: Narciso orange, Tagliente green and Cattivo black.
Instead, the interior restyling of the car is even more marked: the instrument serigraphy has changed as have the textile and colour options for the seats (available in orange or green). The tunnel console has been completely redesigned and now incorporates an original round, all-purpose compartment (ideal for storing CDs) and a mobile phone support in silicone rubber. Lastly, the contour of the climate control unit and gear-shift insert are metal-coloured.
And so Alessi, one of the most famous names in Italian design, has managed to exploit the model`s versatility but without distorting its identity.
Safety and comfort for maximum well-being on board
The Panda Alessi is the safest supercompact in the entire category - the merit of a product designed to achieve the best possible levels of preventive, active and passive safety. But then the Panda model is a car of substance, a quality car. The foundation was, in fact, a `robust` project for which the company made available its top resources and most advanced technologies. And the result is a reliable, quality car that can boast exclusive equipment in the fields of safety and comfort. For instance, torsional rigidity of the body is among the best for this category (70,500 Nm/rad), while it?s the only supercompact to have fully 99% of the interior surface covered by trim.
Thanks to its original line the Panda Alessi immediately expresses dynamism. And once on board it manages to transmit all the functionality and comfort of a higher category model. It is a very compact car but with surprising roominess: even though it`s only 354 centimetres long, 158 wide and 154 high, the Panda Alessi can carry five passengers, has one of the largest luggage compartments (206 litres that becomes 236 with the sliding rear seat) and can boast the best overall roominess coefficient in its category.
Top class performance and fuel consumption
The Panda Alessi is equipped with the 1242 cc Fire engine, a champion in terms of low fuel consumption, although this in no way penalises performance. In fact the power unit - which develops a power output of 44 kW (60 bhp) at 5000 rpm and a torque of 102 Nm (10.4 kgm) at 2500 rpm - gives the car a top speed of 155 km/h, while fuel consumption is low (among the best in its category). Test results over a combined cycle indicated a consumption of 5.6 litres per one hundred kilometres. An appreciable result achieved thanks to the engine unit, which was designed to have a high torque at low revs (among other things this makes for a more pleasurable, flexible drive), and gear ratios specifically calibrated to lower consumption.
A wealth of content for customers who love Italian design
As this car can respond to a wide range of needs, and sometimes even conflicting ones, it makes the Panda the new benchmark for those who `live` their car in complete freedom and like using it every day. And with the new Alessi version the Panda family has grown by offering yet another option for those who are looking for a car that`s original seen from outside and has a wealth of features inside. It can be said, in fact, that the `economy car` concept has definitely been superseded, given the features offered as standard by the new Alessi version: ABS, Dualdrive electric power steering, central locking, two front airbags, foglights and headrests for the rear seats. And there`s still more: climate control, radio/CD player, electric wing mirrors, driver`s seat adjustable for height, 50/50 split rear seat, remote control and active handle on the tailgate.
And one last feature - for the first time in the Panda range the Bluetooth voice system, which ensures maximum safety when driving in all conditions, is now standard. In fact the system allows customers equipped with a Bluetooth mobile to use the phone even if it`s in a jacket pocket, bag or briefcase; it automatically lowers the radio volume (when on) and uses the stereo speakers to transmit the caller`s voice: also a great benefit in terms of safety.
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