At the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, Fiat presented a concept car with many major technological innovations aimed at ever more sustainable mobility: the Panda Aria.
2007 was a crucial year worldwide. The outbreak of the American economic crisis triggered a domino effect that would continue throughout Europe and beyond. Economics and finance dominated every discussion, and little space was reserved for the pressing issue of environmental sustainability.
In 2007, however, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Fiat presented a concept car based on the second generation Panda which – as had happened with the Panda Elettra in 1990 – anticipated the times and proposed a revolutionary concept of mobility focused on care for the environment.
The Panda Ariawas a car equipped with cutting-edge technologies while at the same time being eco-sustainable in every respect.
The engine significantly reduced CO2 emissions, and many of the materials used to build the car were biodegradable. As far back as 2007, the Panda Aria was a pioneer in complying with the strict Euro 5 and Euro 6 regulations.
At the time, Fiat was among the most active manufacturers in the quest for new mobility solutions to reduce pollution. The Panda Aria was the first Fiat car equipped with the innovative 0.9-litre engine, a small twin-cylinder which in the version installed on the revolutionary concept car, reduced carbon dioxide emissions to only 69 g / km. It was a utility vehicle that was ahead of its time, already back then respecting the future limits on Euro 5 and Euro 6 emissions: it had a dual-fuel engine – petrol plus a mixture composed of 70% methane and 30 % hydrogen – a Stop & Start device and an automatic manual transmission.
Reductions in consumption and emissions was obtained thanks to an engine following a "downsizing" philosophy: reduction in engine capacity combined with supercharging, so as not to alter performance. The 900 cc turbocharged engine – with Multiair® technology for the electronic management of the intake and injection valves – delivered 80 HP with its dual fuel supply, but could reach 105 HP in the petrol version.
The body of the car was made of semi-transparent eco-resin panels and the interiors were fitted with natural and biodegradable materials such as linen, cotton, coconut fibre and ecological resins, among others. The tyres too were designed and manufactured in an ecological version, with new compounds and AOF (Aromatic Oil Free) fabrics that reduced rolling resistance, while also ensuring excellent performance in all conditions.
On top of all this, the Panda Aria also offered a low energy consumption micro air conditioner, new generation high-strength steels, and cylinders for storing methane in steel and carbon fibre, thus reducing the car’s weight. It was also equipped with a telematic system, based on Blue & Me architecture, enabling drivers to record the consumption and emissions of each trip on a USB stick, subsequently analysing the driving style of the user on a computer and then receiving advice on how to drive in a more environmentally friendly way.
During the design and production phases, every effort was focused on a single goal: to reduce environmental impact throughout the car’s life cycle. This explains why the Panda Aria became part of the FCA Heritage corporate collection and is now one of the protagonists of the Heritage HUB’s Eco & Sustainable thematic area.