The Pandakar is an aptly named Fiat Panda that’s been ramped up to play with the big boys in the toughest challenge on the planet the Dakar Rally.
Pandakar has set records as the first Fiat and Italian car to compete in the gruelling challenge. No doubt initiated by the success of the Panda Raid which takes a similar route of the old Paris Dakar across the Moroccan dessert.
Driven by Antonio Cabini whose Dakar experience spans two decades. Team Orobica Raid romped home in the Pandakar among only 53 that finished leaving 40 wilting teams in their wake who never made it to the finish line.
The PanDakar is a Fiat Panda 4×4 Cross with a standard efficient, powerful 180 HP 2.0 Multijet engine. It’s natural agility and ease to drive meant with only a few changes this little utility vehicle could tackle all the race’s stages with flying colours, surviving the race’s extreme demands.
7 special stages tested car and crew overcoming problems caused by the shortage of oxygen due to the altitude plus extreme temperatures often exceeding 40° Celsius. The 12 stages of the 2017 Dakar ran through 3 Latin American states – Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay – for a total distance of almost 9,000 km and over 4,000 km of exhausting special stages, combined with the incredibly variable weather the Pandakar did very well to finish the 2017 Dakar Rally.
Key features, 5 doors, comfort and engine efficiency have made this Fiat Panda Cross Europes best selling Compact 4×4, knowing it can survive the Dakar is going to raise it’s street and off-road credibility and no doubt raise a few eyebrows next time one passes you by.