The Vintage Fiat Panda 4×4 is born again as an all-electric adventure

The Fiat Panda 4×4 is one of the most notable city cars out there – at least if you’re from Europe. The small box is mechanically simple and was one of the first sports cars produced with a transversely mounted engine that powered all four wheels. It is nothing less than an icon in its native Italy, which is the reason for the Italian publication cars and antique commissioned a cute EV transformation for a few lucky pandas to celebrate the outlet’s half-million followers on Instagram.

Born from one of the millions of Panda cars produced since 1980, the name inspired by everyone’s favorite daredevil archaeologist, Pandina Jones has been safely introduced into the 21st century by Garage Italia, a Milan-based restoration shop that specializes in assembling vintage vehicles. Various, especially Fiat. But unlike your usual back-to-factory rebuilds, the shop used an eco-friendly electric powertrain to replace the original 965cc’s 48-horsepower engine.

So far, this panda is not likely to offer neck-breaking speeds; The small battery and electric motor (specifications not provided) are said to top out at around 72 mph. It will take three to eight hours for Pandina Jones to fully charge. On a covered battery, the car will offer a moderate range of 62 miles, which is likely more than enough for a quick trip around some attractive Italian cities, as Fiat intended from the factory.

You may notice that the car still proudly displays the “4×4” factory badge. Despite having only one electric motor under the hood to power the pickup, Garage Italia made an executive decision to keep the factory-built Steyr engine, so all four wheels are still working. If this little adventurer strays off the beaten path, take solace he can take it pretty much – just don’t expect it to take you off the grid.

Other small off-road-inspired parts were added to the design, including front and rear brush guards, vintage Carrillo spot lights, and thicker tires from BFGoodrich or Kormoran.

After being completely overhauled with new, identical parts from donors, Garage Italia prepared the car from novo and painted it a beautiful pistachio green color developed in collaboration with the auto paint company BASF. The interior was then carefully stitched in a beautiful shade of Alcantara orange that matches the various exterior accents of the Panda.

As the quality of the craftsmanship suggests, this isn’t Garage Italia’s first rodeo. In fact, Milan auto experts have been working on a series of these electrical sockets under their “Icon-e” project with the goal of “recreating the spirit of the iconic car”, which I’m all for.

Other restoration projects from the shop include classic local and cultural staples such as the Fiat 600 Multipla and 500 Jolly. Garage Italia says it will produce a total of five smart four-wheel drive Panda electric vehicles, and that’s just one example.

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