Fiat Builds Monster Truck Panda for New Ad Campaign
One-Off Custom Tries To Capture Spirit of Compact Crossover
You may or may not have heard of the Fiat Panda. It's related the two-door 500 sold in North America, but has two more doors and a real back seat, facilitated by its boxy silhouette. With a length of less than 150 inches, it's smaller than a Mini Cooper Countryman, as well as the just-unveiled Fiat 500 L crossover.
The Panda 4x4 model won Top Gear's 2012 SUV of the Year Award, and to commemorate this achievement, Fiat is launching a series of new ads that will start airing in early 2013. To try to visually capture the Panda 4x4's capability, Fiat took a modified Jeep CJ-7 chassis, added tractor wheels and tires, and capped it off with a Panda body shell. The Franken-Panda's overall length of 149.6 inches is close to that of a stock Panda, but the edge-to-edge width of the monster tires is a nearly 3 feet wider than an showroom-stock Panda at an imposing 98.4 inches,.
For what appears a pretty drastic transformation, the monster Panda was built in just two weeks, with especially close attention paid to the safety and functionality of the steering, brakes, clutch, and accelerator. Action footage of the monster Panda can be seen in the video below.