Fiat Panda range set to grow

* More Panda models to arrive this year * 4x4 version due around October * Revised range starts at 8900...

Fiat Panda range set to grow

The new Fiat Panda range will continue to expand throughout 2012, with new engines, new models and a four-wheel-drive version.

The new Panda has just gone on sale with three trims and three engines, but a non-turbo version of the Twinair petrol unit will join the range in the middle of the year. Whereas the turbocharged version gives up to 68.9mpg and emits less than 100g/km CO2, the (700 cheaper) naturally aspirated version averages about 64mpg and is expected to emit about 104g/km.

Also due around October this year is a four-wheel-drive version of the Panda, which will come with a choice of two engines: the turbocharged Twinair unit or the 1.3 diesel. The diesel will come with a five-speed manual gearbox, while the petrol car has a six-speed unit, with a lower first gear to give it better traction in low-grip conditions.

Four-wheel-drive versions will look different to the regular Pandas, thanks to their raised suspension (which gives better ground clearance) and their extra body cladding.

At the same time, the company is also working on a similar-looking model which it says will give greater accessibility. This will sit on raised suspension, making it easier for less physically able passengers to slide into and out of the car. However, although it will look a little like a 4x4 model as a result, it will be only two-wheel drive.

Fiat is also working on a successor to the warm 100HP model, but has not yet decided which engine to use. An insider told us that they could use the 1.4-litre unit that powered the previous model, but that it was more likely that they would use a more powerful version of the existing turbocharged Twinair engine, and which will be seen first in the 500.

As yet, however, there is no word on when either this or the more accessible 4x4-like model will go on sale.