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The birth of the Panda

2 years ago

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Mel Nichols | Journalist


19 October 2022

This autumn Magneto magazine counted down the top 50 designs of Giorgetto Giugiaro. Amid so many glittering stars created by the man voted car designer of the 20th century, the Fiat Panda was number one.

Why was that? Why was a boxy, cheap, little hatchback with a flat windscreen, plain panels, stark interior and hammock-like seats picked as the design from a portfolio without equal?

We are, after all, talking about a body of work that kicked off with a coupé as pure and elegant as the Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint, designed when Giugiaro was just 21. It raced on through the Iso Grifo, Lamborghini Miura (though people still debate its true parentage to this day), Volkswagen Golf, Maserati Bora, Lotus Esprit, BMW M1 and Alfa Romeo Brera ultimately to more than 300 arresting and often game-changing shapes that have logged beyond 60 million sales.

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