Wildlife expert and television presenter Chris Packham has unleashed a storm of controversy after remarking in a Radio Times interview that the Fiat Panda should be allowed to become extinct.
‘I was forced to drive a 1997 1.0 litre Fiat Panda as a courtesy car when my Vectra was in having a new clutch cable fitted’ complained the former Really Wild Show host. ‘That poky little tin box handled like a bloody brick and absolutely hopeless on the motorway. Take it from me, driving such an underpowered car on the M4 is downright dangerous!’
Packham went on to argue that the money spent attempting to modernise successive models of the Panda would be better invested elsewhere in the motor industry. ‘We can’t afford to keep flogging this dead horse, despite its popularity with learner drivers and women of a certain age.’
In another statement, Packham claimed it was time to drop this ‘cute and cuddly death-trap’ and channel what little R and D funding there is into ‘something just as affordable, but with a bit more acceleration – you know, that extra oomph required to outrun angry animal lovers after you’ve been shooting your mouth off in some magazine or other.’
(Written 22 Sep 2009)