Tuesday 7 December 2021

Pointless but Perfect Panda

M-Sport is well known and highly regarded for its work with competition machinery, from WRC Fiesta to racing Bentley, but recently they had a strange request from a secretive client.
They took a bog standard Fiat Panda 4x4, fed it some radioactive waste, and it turned into the Hulk!

The engineering team completely redesigned the wee car starting with the underpinnings of a Ford Fiesta R5 Mk1. The original shell was widened by 360mm to allow it to fit the Fiesta chassis although wider wheel arches also had to be fitted.

Power comes from the 300bhp 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost engine, with a five-speed sequential Sadev transmission, mated to bespoke front and rear differential units.
The Panda by M-Sport seamlessly combines the old and the new in one purpose-built package. The interior features a dashboard inspired by the same basic one found in early Fiat Panda models, with added six-point harnesses and an FIA homologated roll-cage.

The rear-hatch now features a carefully hand-embossed ‘PANDA 4x4’ badge, in homage to the original model. Style and safety all-in-one!

Matthew Wilson, M-Sport Director, said: “It has been very special watching the Panda by M-Sport come to life and I am blown away by what we have been able to achieve. I was very fortunate to complete the car’s shakedown and put it through its paces; not only is it amazing to look at, it drives very well too.
“The Panda by M-Sport is one of the first of a new era of bespoke, low-volume projects being carried out at Dovenby Hall. It has provided M-Sport the perfect springboard to launch M-Sport Special Vehicles, highlighting that we are geared up and ready to accept new clients with unique commissions of their own. M-Sport Special Vehicles, or ‘MS-SV’, is our new bespoke car building service which is only possible thanks to the opening and introduction of our new test track and manufacturing facility that are within the Dovenby Hall Estate.

“The testing and project design for the Panda by M-Sport was completed entirely in house using the M-Sport Evaluation Centre, which we are abbreviating to ‘MS-EC’. This entire project has opened our eyes to a new level to which we are now capable of delivering. The vision is now to show the rest of the world what M-Sport is capable of thanks to the amazing resources we have right on our doorstep.”


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