The ‘Nouva Panda’ has been restyled on the outside with soft, rounded lines on a regular and a very effective volume for utilizing space. The new Panda takes inspiration from the belief that every person has their a unique lifestyle, needs, and a personal relationship with objects they own and again, a unique way of distributing them in space. The Panda with it’s well thought out interiors, and effectively designed volume lets the consumer fill the space in a personal way and with appealing interiors, is a pleasure to share the space with others.
Centro Stile Fiat, which simply is Fiat’s design center, has released a comic strip like design story that delves into the thought process that went into designing the new Fiat Panda. Fiat designers start off by introducing us to what they call the ‘SQUIRCLE’.
Designers at Fiat say, the ‘squircle’ is a the evolution of the square. The efficiency of a primitive, regular shape like the square, with the pleasing aesthetics of the circle. Such a combination hints at robustness as well as appealing roundness, and the designers believe, it is also the ideal shape to offer protection, internally and externally.
The vertical sides of the old Panda have given way to the boxy rounded shape derived from the squircle. In the transition though, the essence of the Panda has not been lost. Seamless, wrap around glazing (defined as : part of a window, made of glass) is obvious in this version of the Panda too. The front face, with a slightly convex bonnet, an elegant horizontal grille and new rounded headlamps are most distinctive examples of the evolution. The headlamps are split into two elements one below the other and have the same function, organization and family look as the Fiat 500. Look closely and you will notice how the area around the door handles display the ‘robust’ squircle design not just in 2D but also in 3D. The third window, another distinctive feature of the Panda, now is designed with rounder angles in harmony with the softer shape of the exteriors to create the effect of the ‘uninterrupted glazed surface’ stretching back up to the vertical rear light clusters. This window also extends the visibility toward the rear, and improves aerodynamics thanks to the streamlined shape.
Smooth, rounded shapes are also found in the strips applied to bumpers and side panels which in addition to paying tribute to the first-generation Fiat Panda also accentuate the “all-terrain” look of the model, which is confirmed by the pronounced wheel arches. Finally, as on the current model, the lower section of the tailgate protrudes with respect to the rear window. This, combined with the side line, gives a distinct impression of a roof panel resting on the bodywork.
The light clusters have been positioned higher up to improve lighting and though we doubt it, Fiat claims that it reduces the possibility of damage in case of minor scrapes. The side and front/rear plastic cladding, definitely is a boon in tight parking spaces.
The illustration below is one of the reasons why we love this design story by Fiat. Beautifully penned, and explains clearly about the often uttered ‘better visibility’. Of course, we doubt how useful the third window will be in situations other than parking and reversing, but it never hurts to have a larger day light opening, wouldn’t you agree?
The seats have not been spared the special treatment, with the squircles (we are starting to like this word, really) electrically welded onto the backrest to improve ventilation and comfort by letting air flow between the passengers back and the seat. The seats, with the redesigned backrest and cushion inserts are designed to increase the feeling of containment.