M-Sport’s Fiat Panda is a 300bhp rally car

This Fiat Panda 4×4 has been transformed into an all-out rally car by motorsport firm M-Sport

Cumbrian engineering firm M-Sport has revealed its latest project, a one-off rally-spec Fiat Panda 4×4. Following the opening of its new test track and manufacturing facility within the Dovenby Hall Estate, this bespoke Panda has been launched as one of a new series of cars under a new M-Sport Special Vehicles banner, the first of bespoke creations designed to whatever specification the customer requires.

This build is based on the Panda 4×4, but as is clear from its aggressive Group B-style arches, M-Sport has performed substantial upgrades under the skin. Its underpinnings are derived from M-Sport’s highly successful Fiesta R5 Mk1 rally car, with those arches adding 360mm of additional width to accommodate them.

Like the Fiesta R5, the Panda 4×4 features an turbocharged 1.6-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder, sending just under 300bhp and 332lb ft of torque to all four wheels. This is connected to a five-speed Sadev sequential transmission, with bespoke front and rear differentials able to be set up to favour both tarmac and gravel surfaces.

The interior is predictably sparse, with the rear bench swapped for spare wheel storage, an FIA-homologated roll cage and six-point harnesses replacing the standard seats, but M-Sport has retained elements of the original dashboard for added charm inside.

Matthew Wilson, M-Sport Director, said: ‘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.’

There’s no plan to use the Panda rally car in competition, but with M-Sport responsible for models such as the Bentley Continental GT3 and Ford’s Fiesta WRC, this Fiat Panda could well give some true competition cars a run for their money.

This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk

Copyright © evo UK, Autovia Publishing

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