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Zero tax Panda joins Fiat eco-push

Date: 28 June 2007   |   Author: Nick Gibbs

Fiat will launch a two-cylinder Panda with CO2 emissions "well below" 100g/km, and a new sub-supermini in an aggressive new model push designed to take UK sales past 100,000 by 2010.

Following the launch of the new Bravo this month and the Mini-rivalling 500 next year, the launch diary continues with an estate version of the Bravo in 2008, a new Bravo-based crossover to rival the Qashqai in 2009 and the new 'B-compact' in the same year.

The two-cylinder 900cc petrol engine will make its debut in the Panda replacement in 2010, and is to be turbocharged for a power output of 90-110PS while recording a zero-VED sub-100g/km CO2 figure. It will also be tuned to run on 100% bioethanol.

The new sub-supermini is tipped to be called Uno and drops in between the Panda and the Grande Punto. According to Fiat global market marketing Stephen Norman, the design benchmark for the car is the svelte new Mazda 2.

The Bravo-based 4x4 crossover car will be designed to "out Qashqai the Qashqai", according to Norman, and is likely to come in both 4x4 and 4x2 guises.

The five-door Bravo won't be joined by a three-door version, but there will be an estate. A predicted big seller in Italy and German, it's not expected to do huge business in the UK.

Fiat regards the UK market as a "joker card" largely due to the fickleness of the choice-driven fleet market. "Alone in this country in Europe is there this fierce competition for the user-chooser", said Norman.

Fiat fleet sales dropped from 30,299 in 2004 to just 10,580 in 2005, before climbing to 22,114 last year.