It’s now 30 years since the first Panda 4×4 was produced. For those of us old enough to remember, the original little Fiat answered a question that few had thought to ask, producing a small, budget, go-anywhere vehicle. Arguably the first crossover vehicle, it appeared bulletproof, was surprisingly capable off-road and was pleasingly enjoyable to drive! The latest Panda 4×4 will have been unveiled at the Paris Motor Show as you read this. It has a permanent, electronically controlled, on-demand four-wheel drive system. It also has an electronically lockable centre diff and electronic stability control to aid uphill starts. The last Panda 4×4 was let down by its engine, so it’s great to hear that the latest model has the option of either the new small under 1-litre TwinAir Turbo which produces 85bhp, or the1.3-litre MultiJet II diesel which only produces 75bhp, but which actually has 40 per cent more torque than the previous 1.2-litre unit; a significant uplift, which should help to get up the hills this time! This vehicle has the potential to do well, but the last version was something of a disappointment. We look forward to driving the new model in the coming weeks.