The new Fiat Panda is already known for its reliability on long journeys across varying terrain, but now a 4×4 version of the award-winning city car is going to demonstrate its ruggedness, comfort and economy all over again.
Intrepid father and daughter adventurers Keith and Keri Schofield are attempting a 10,000km Trans-Europe Arctic to Africa road trip in aid of the charity Hope for Children in their own Panda 4×4. The pair, whom Fiat dealer Glyn Hopkin has agreed to sponsor, are hoping to raise more than £8,000 from the drive.
Bought from the Chelmsford, Essex dealership last December, the 0.9-litre TwinAir Panda 4×4 embarks today (28 June) on the trip of a lifetime. The adventurers plan to share the driving: first to Norway’s Nordkaap, north of the Arctic circle, then south to Tarifa, Spain – the gateway to Africa on the South-western tip of Europe – before returning to Essex.
“We needed a vehicle that would be up to the challenge of getting us safely, economically and comfortably from the northernmost tip of Europe to the southernmost tip of Spain,” says Keith. “But it couldn’t be just any vehicle, and we decided to go for the car that Top Gear magazine crowned as their SUV of the Year, the Fiat Panda 4×4. We are delighted with it and can’t wait to get going.”
Fiat paid for the sign-writing on the car and has made a donation towards Keith and Keri’s plans for a 10,000 Euros (£8,500) fund for the international charity, which helps disabled, orphaned, poor and exploited children.
Earlier this year a two-wheel drive Fiat Panda TwinAir, driven by Philip Young and Paul Brace, completed a 10,000 mile trek across Africa, smashing the Cape Town to London world record time in the process.
The Fiat Panda 4×4 costs £14,950 (OTR) for the 1.3 MultiJet.