Could this or something like it be the next Trail Rated Jeep here in the United States? Possibly, if current speculation that Fiat will bring its long-running Panda line to the U.S. in 2011 to fill the hole left by the expected cancellation of the mostly unloved Jeep Compass and Patriot twins.

Fiat's latest edition of the Panda is called the 4X4 Adventure and it's already painted up in a Jeep-appropriate green hue that's supposed to 'emphasize the car's bond with nature and Fiat's eternal special attention to the environment and sustainable transport.' Powered by a choice of four cylinder engines ranging from a 1.2-liter unit with just 60 horsepower to a 1.3-liter Multijet mill with a slightly more respectable 70 horsepower, this Panda is likely to be a fuel sipper.

Drivers in Italy get first crack at the new Panda 4X4 Adventure and Fiat promises to roll the new model out in the rest of Europe in short order. Pricing starts at 14,100 Euros (a shade under $20K in U.S. dollars), though that's not directly comparable to what it may cost if it ever makes it Stateside since it also includes value added taxes.

[Source: DueMotori.com]