The venerable Fiat Panda is being reborn as a back-to-basics electric city car.

    Automotive News Europe reports the Panda will reportedly have an initial base price of around €23,300 (A$38,207) when it launches in mid-2024, like the Citroen e-C3 it’ll share its underpinnings with.

    After 2025, a shorter-range version will reportedly allow Fiat to slash the base price to under €20,000 (A$33,000). The current Panda opens at €15,500 (A$25,396).

    It’ll reportedly be built in Kragujevac, Serbia. Stellantis and the Serbian government had previously signed a deal in 2022 to build electric vehicles (EVs) in the plant, which previously produced the Fiat 500L people mover.

    FIOM, one of Italy’s largest unions, issued a statement saying it will fight Stellantis’ plans to move Panda production outside of Italy.

    The current Panda, built in Pomigliano, is Italy’s best-selling car, and by some margin – last year, Fiat sold more than twice as many as there as the second best-seller, the Lancia Ypsilon.

    Production of the combustion-powered model is set to continue until 2026, with Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares reportedly indicating in November that production could continue beyond that date if the European Union drops proposals to tighten emissions regulations.

    The new Panda is set to wear styling inspired by the 2019 Centoventi concept car.

    Like the new e-C3, it’s designed to be a European alternative to affordable electric vehicles (EVs) from China.

    The e-C3 is based on a reworked, and Europe-compliant, version of the Stellantis Smart Car platform, which has previously only been used on vehicles developed for emerging markets like India and Brazil.

    The little Citroen measures 4.01m long, 1.76m wide and 1.57m tall, and has 163mm of ground clearance.

    At launch, the e-C3 has an 83kW electric motor driving the front wheels, which is able to propel the car from 0-100km/h in around 11 seconds and towards a top speed of 135km/h.

    Equipped as standard with a 44kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery pack, the e-C3 has 320km of range on the WLTP cycle. It supports AC charging up to 11kW, and DC fast charging up to 100kW.

    In 2025 Citroen will launch a cheaper €19,990 ($33,200) e-C3 variant with a smaller battery pack and a WLTP range of 200km.

    It features a simple interior. Instrumentation consists of a thin projection-based head-up display strip, while the base model goes without an infotainment touchscreen and instead has just a smartphone dock.

    The base model comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, autonomous emergency braking, manual air conditioning, six airbags, electric mirrors, power front windows, LED headlights, cruise control, and rear parking sensors.

    The Max adds a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, plus 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control, power rear windows, wireless smartphone charging, mirrors with heating and electric folding, a 60/40 split-fold rear seat, LED tail lights, and a reversing camera.

    Available safety features extend to lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, and an electronic parking brake.

    Rivals for the Panda and e-C3 includes the Dacia Spring, a Chinese-built EV from Renault’s budget Romanian brand, which starts from €20,800 ($33,200) and has only a 33kW/125Nm electric motor powered by a 26.8kWh battery.

    The e-C3 has yet to be confirmed for Australia.

    It’s unclear if Fiat will bring the electric Panda here. It belatedly introduced the electric 500e here this year, but it has continuously offered the 500 here since 2008 whereas it discontinued the Panda in 2015.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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