Cumbrian engineering firm, M-Sport have revealed their latest project, and it’s not what you may have imagined. It’s a one-off rally-spec Fiat Panda 4×4, and it has a whopping 224 kW…
M-Sport Special Vehicles, having just opened a new test track and manufacturing facility within the Dovenby Hall Estate, have now launched the bespoke Panda as the first of a bunch of “bespoke creations designed to whatever specification the customer requires.”
With underpinnings derived from M-Sport’s highly successful Fiesta R5 Mk1 rally car, there’s no questioning the Panda’s performance credentials, it’s Group B-style flared arches suggesting some staggering performance.
Making use of the Fiesta R5 Mk1’s 1,6-litre Ecoboost four-cylinder motor, 223 kW and 450 Nm are sent to all four wheels via a five-speed Sadev sequential transmission, the bespoke differentials being able to be setup for either tarmac or gravel conditions.
As you’d imagine, there’s not much in the way of luxury in the cabin, the lightweight approach favouring items such as spare wheel storage where the rear seat used to be, as well as an FIA-homologated roll cage and six-point harnesses in place of the standard seatbelts. The original dashboard has been retained, however, to add a little charm.
‘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,’ said Matthew Wilson, M-Sport Director.
While there are no plans to compete with M-Sport’s Panda rally car, it’s worth noting that it could give some true competition cars a proper hiding when one considers that M-Sport were responsible for the Ford Fiesta WRC and the Bentley Continental GT3.