Spy photos show Fiat has kicked off testing of a mid-cycle refresh for the cute Panda which should be out by the end of the year.

Spy photos show Fiat has kicked off testing of a mid-cycle refresh for the cute Panda which should be out by the end of the year.

Spotted on the streets of Torino in Italy, the prototype is wearing an extensive amount of camouflage to hide what we believe will be only minor cosmetic tweaks. The third generation of Fiat’s city car is expected to receive a series of mild styling updates in the same vein as the 500 which utilizes the same platform.

While the exterior will be only a subtle evolution of the current design, the interior is about to receive more significant changes as it was the case with the 500. Fiat’s latest and greatest Uconnect infotainment system sporting a five-inch display will be offered along with a more generous array of tech goodies. Fresh upholsteries, a modified steering wheel, and slightly updated switchgear are all expected to arrive with the facelift.

The engine lineup will be carried over from the facelifted 500 from where it will also borrow the five- and six-speed manual transmissions as well as the Dualogic robotized gearbox.

Fiat could decide to unveil the 2017 Panda in October this year during the Paris Motor Show, with sales to commence by year’s end. Before coming out with the refreshed Panda, Fiat will introduce the Tipo hatchback in the months to come which will be followed shortly by the more practical wagon body style. Recent spy shots originating from United States have shown Fiat is also working on an all-new Punto which is likely due in 2017.

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2017 Fiat Panda facelift makes spy photo debut