The Fiat Panda is a car that’s as humble as it is cutesy and as honest as it is relaxed. It’s a model that’s never taken itself too seriously and has grown to be adored the world over as a result.
It’s certainly not a machine that’s associated with breakneck acceleration, apex-hunting grip, and volatile aggression. The Panda is the complete opposite of all those things, embodying a James May instead of a Jeremy Clarkson.
Located in a quaint corner of the evergreen Lake District, M-Sport is a specialised division that has long been building Bentley’s GT3 cars and Ford’s rally rockets - with their latest creation, the 2022 Ford Puma WRC, set for imminent release.
You can probably see where we’re going with this. M-Sport received a special request from a customer to convert a modest 4x4 Panda into a barbaric rally car, and as expected, it duly complied.
Called the ‘Pandamonium’, this tiny Cane Corso puppy has very big personality traits, all of which have been pulled straight from the R5-regulated Ford Fiesta rally car: M-Sport’s most successful vehicle to date.
For some perspective on just what has been squeezed into this pint-sized Turinese car, the R5 Fiesta has a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, producing 300bhp and 332lb ft of torque. This is sent to all four wheels through a five-speed ‘Sadev’ sequential gearbox.
The original Panda shell has been widened by a whopping 360mm, giving room to fit it over a Fiesta R5 chassis. The extra girth comes mostly via some “aggressively styled” wheel arches, ensuring the original Panda shape is still there, while also giving a Group B-like look.
Inside, there’s a basic dashboard inspired by the original Panda part, plus all sorts of safety gear. Items on the menu include an FIA-spec roll cage, bucket seats and six-point harnesses.
M Sport is so pleased with the Pandamonium company director Matthew Wilson, says ‘’it has provided M-Sport with the perfect springboard to launch M-Sport Special Vehicles’’ - something that will surely whet the appetite of enthusiasts everywhere.