The Fiat Panda is a four-door, more upright cousin to the 500 hatch that re-introduced the Italian mass-market brand back to the U.S. Slightly longer than a Mini Cooper, the last adjectives you'd think to use in describing the diminutive Italian compact are imposing, towering, or menacing. But those are apt descriptors for a one-off beast Panda built to showcase the Fiat Panda 4x4 that will star in a new ad set to debut in early 2013.
Fiat built a prototype based on a Jeep CJ-7 chassis that towers nearly 13 feet tall, rolling on tractor wheels with 5-ft tall 'high-speed' tires. The overall length of 149.6 inches is close to that of a stock Panda, but the width from edge-to-edge of the monster tires is a gigantic 98.4 inches, nearly three feet wider than an unmolested Panda.
Amazingly, for what appears to be such a drastic transformation, the monster Panda was built in two weeks, with close attention paid to the safety and functionality of the steering, brakes, clutch, and accelerator.
The mutant Panda will star in an upcoming commercial set to air in early 2013. Action footage of the monster Panda can be seen in the video below.