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Old 24th October 2015, 20:54   #856
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Default Re: A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!

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Originally Posted by carwatcher View Post
Any BHPian has taken TD of Avventura or everyone forgets about it as soon as they reach the showroom after seeing the Punto Evo.
Fiat's showroom is 35 kms from my home otherwise I would be writing my TD experience by now.
The only reason I have not done a TD yet is this - I want to pit my Linea T-Jet in map 2 (rated 150hp) against this car, but cannot drive both cars together
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Old 24th October 2015, 20:57   #857
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Default Re: A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!

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Originally Posted by differential View Post
My TD experience of the abarth punto.
Black was the display car and white the TD car. These are purely my views and the comparisons are with my current cars.

Happy motoring.
IIRC, you were looking forward to bringing this car home. Really sad that the driving position and gear shift were deal breakers.
IMO, the above two would have been acceptable if the price was 8.5-9L. For the premium asking price, they should have fixed the shift action and provided reach adjustment for the steering.
Putting in all the effort and then letting the prospective buyers down due to the above two is a bit disappointing.
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Old 24th October 2015, 21:04   #858
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Originally Posted by theredliner View Post
IIRC, you were looking forward to bringing this car home. Really sad that the driving position and gear shift were deal breakers.

IMO, the above two would have been acceptable if the price was 8.5-9L. For the premium asking price, they should have fixed the shift action and provided reach adjustment for the steering.

Putting in all the effort and then letting the prospective buyers down due to the above two is a bit disappointing.

TDed a few cars after that (jazz, gt tsi, i20) and drove back in my Honda city ivtec. Fiat definitely needs to work on these issues to attract people who have been using non fiat cars. Was really looking forward to owning this car!
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Old 24th October 2015, 21:34   #859
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Default Re: A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!

The last few seconds of that PowerDrift video gave me the goosebumps when the Abarth torque-steers. But overall slightly disappointed reading the initial, and seemingly un-biased test drive impressions. Kudos to all who managed to do a test drive and share their experience here. Fiat falls just short of providing that ultimate driving experience. In a product like Abarth, which is supposed to be an outright driver's car, and nothing else, a perfect driving position, and short-travel clutch and a slick gear shift action is bare minimum. It's just disappointing to hear that it still remains the weak link in the Punto and dilutes the entire driving experience. How long would it take to fix a problem that has been haunting the product for so long? Pretty please, Fiat!


Quote:
Originally Posted by rrsteer View Post
Sorry to learn about the state of your knee and ankle after the drive.
I seriously think that, if that was your state after just 30 mins of driving in a mass produced car, the problem most probably lies with you than the car. Please get your knee checked.
If nothing else, it's better to err on the side of caution.
A car that sells in numbers the wrong side of 500 units a month. Mass produced it may be, but rejected by the masses, and for various reasons. Knee pains probably being one.
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Old 24th October 2015, 22:10   #860
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Default Re: A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrsteer View Post
Sorry to learn about the state of your knee and ankle after the drive.
I seriously think that, if that was your state after just 30 mins of driving in a mass produced car, the problem most probably lies with you than the car. Please get your knee checked.
If nothing else, it's better to err on the side of caution.
I always thought I had very weak knees. During my sailing days even a mild knock on my knees would put me off for a few minutes. It used to be a real pain specially in the initial days of joining a ship when I am still adjusting to the rolling and pitching. Slight knocks are inevitable but would mostly go unnoticed if it was noy for my tender knees. Even if I knock my knees with my fingers it pains. Its that tender.

Oddly though, driving the Punto for last 25 months over 40K Kms has not given my tender knees any trouble. Or perhaps my knees are not as bad as I thought them to be.

Last edited by vibbs : 24th October 2015 at 22:14.
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Old 24th October 2015, 22:12   #861
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Default Re: A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by differential View Post
The clutch is light but the travel is looong! It is so long a travel that, when i released the pedal my knees were quite bent. So technically the you sit a bit close to the accelerator pedal. Not good for the left knee and right ankle.
I couldn't test drive, but I was able to sit in the demo vehicle. Even I felt the clutch travel was never ending. Request all to take a proper test drive in traffic condition also, if they are planning to use it on daily basis. Compared to ANHC, Fluidic Verna, Micra, old wagonR and Alto (Cars which I have driven extensively), Abarth Punto has the longest clutch travel. Though its light, left knee is getting bent too much.

Its the perfect car for weekend bursts, anyways I will do the test drive next week on traffic conditions to check how much the car adapts to traffic headaches.
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Old 25th October 2015, 00:26   #862
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Default Re: A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!

I think all the Punto owners have very strong knee, ankles etc. I drive in the city through heaviest traffic in Bangalore. I do go for long trips quite a lot and never found myself complaining anytime. Recently during the Ladakh trip I was part of, we had to use clutch quite a lot and we all found the long travel clutch quite useful, especially in the ghats. So I believe that those who want to do a switch from other brand vehicles might end up complaining - tough luck people. 8-9L for this vehicle will be overly ambitious - quite a lot.
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Old 25th October 2015, 01:32   #863
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Default Re: A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!

I found a discussion on another forum that might offer a reasonable explanation for long clutch travel. I am not an automotive engineer so, can't say with certainty that this is the reason for long clutch travel in Linea and Punto. Perhaps the experts can comment on it.

Quote:
The clutch requires a certain amount of clamping pressure to transmit the engine's power without slipping. The amount of clamping force required is a function of engine power, clutch material, clutch area, clutch diameter, number of clutch plates, flywheel and pressure plate material, and probably a few other things I'm forgetting. But generally, all other things held constant, as the engine power increases, so does the clamping force requirement.

Clutch pedal operation is a compromise of trading travel for leverage. A certain amount of force is required to release the clutch. If the pedal were to act directly on the pressure plate, the travel would be very short but the leg force required would be very high (unusable for most people).

So, to make the clutch pedal usable, all manufacturers use a lever with a pedal far from the hinge point and an actuator connection relatively close to the hinge point. Because of the leverage thus created, the pedal force is reduced but the travel required is increased.

Since the maximum amount of leg force that can be generated comfortably by the majority of the driving public is limited, the only way a manufacturer can compensate for increased clutch clamping force is to increase the pedal travel. You also have to remember that the pedal travel must include some "dead" travel at both ends, to compensate for manufacturing tolerances, wear, different driving styles, etc.
Source: http://www.planet-9.com/987-cayman-a...y-so-long.html

Another observation/personal experience which might be totally irrelevant but sharing it for sake of it - The best stance for enjoying the Fiats (Linea and Punto) without hurting legs or back is the way P was in previous logo of Punto.

I have observed that the people that sit more upright and closer to the steering face more issues related to ergonomics or blind-spot due to A-pillar. I have taken both my Linea T-jet and Punto on long drives (~1000 KM in a day) and I have felt less stressed in the Linea than Punto. In fact, I used to suffer from knee pain after long drive in Punto. Raising the seat a bit helped in reducing the stress on knees. Linea's OEM leather seats offer better under-thigh support than Punto. So, I believe that improving the under-thigh support in Punto might also help in reducing the knee pain.
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Old 25th October 2015, 06:42   #864
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Default Re: A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biraj View Post
I am not an automotive engineer so, can't say with certainty that this is the reason for long clutch travel in Linea and Punto. Perhaps the experts can comment on it.
What is stated in the article that you shared is correct but holds true for cable actuated clutches. Lineas and Puntos have hydraulically actuated clutches. So that takes away the force part. Even I don't know the exact reason for the long clutch travel in these cars but from what I know about hydraulic clutches is that it reduces the force required and are self adjusting. So a long clutch travel shouldn't be required in my opinion in Lineas and Puntos. Basically the working is similar to brake hydraulic actuators.

Last edited by firstguri : 25th October 2015 at 06:45.
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Old 25th October 2015, 09:33   #865
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Default Re: A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!

A short drive on the occasion of Raavan's doomsday:

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-4.jpg

Summary:
Traditional Punto quirks remain, but this was what the doctor ordered. A big powerful engine and a lowered chassis. She goes like a bat out of hell with its tail on fire after 1600 rpm, and corners like a balle dancer. Would have appreciated more equipment for the asking price, though. Loved piloting this. Just beware of the torque steer, though. The whole thing feels so refreshing.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-3.jpg

How is she to drive?
In one word, brute.
Consider this, you have a 11-12 lakh rupee OTR car, with more power than many sedans in the similar price bracket out there, and with a lowered spring setup by 30mm, stiffer rear dampers, with an addition of a rear anti roll bar to control all that power, and all wheel discs, and all that hardware of a bigger IHI turbo with 145 bhp.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-14.jpg

The traditional quirks remain, but once you turn on the ignition and listen to the gentle purr, you realise that she is no different animal. The muted exhaust note remains, but press the clutch with light yet long travel, engage the notchy shifting gear 1 and she leaps forward with an eagerness not present in any Punto since 2009. The gears 1 and 2 are tall, and there is a hint of lag till 1600 rpm, and after that, all hell brakes loose.
Whats impressive is not the outright power, but the way she delivers it, in vast and abundant reserves of it. The ratios are reworked, and this gives the car the new found eagerness and moreover the engine is more mature, flexible and having an advantage of 200 extra CC, less stressed too. The whole car feels "lighter". The mid range is as strong as it gets, and its always easy to keep note that a mere dab on the throttle is all that's required to plan those overtaking manouvres.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-1.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-2.jpg

Handling is thankfully much sorted out and all that hardware down below prevents body roll which plagued my car at corners. She corners like a ballet dancer, and does have some amount of torque steer, if you wish.
The gearshift quality, unfortunately still needs improvement, but is tolerable since I am used to it. And Fiat still needs to learn that at this price, the lower portion of interior should not scream "rental car". A l'il bit of equipment would have been appreciable but since the engineering outweighs all the quirks, this can be forgiven, even if the steering and driving position is akin to a gorilla.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-13.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-5.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-7.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-8.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-9.jpg

Good job Fiat, and this was what the doctor ordered. Please consider the launch of 113 bhp T jet in lower, affordable versions and availability of red and matt grey shades. The anemic 1.2 FIRE and 1.4 starjet versions ought to go now.
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Old 25th October 2015, 10:50   #866
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Thanks for the unbiased test drive report Sidindica.
I have a question, did you perceive any differences between this TD car and the one you experienced in BIC?
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Old 25th October 2015, 12:06   #867
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Default Re: A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrsteer View Post
Sorry to learn about the state of your knee and ankle after the drive.
I seriously think that, if that was your state after just 30 mins of driving in a mass produced car, the problem most probably lies with you than the car. Please get your knee checked.
If nothing else, it's better to err on the side of caution.
If one is comfortable with other cars & have problems with only specific models, then the problem is with the car & not the person. I have had extensive drives on M800, Wagon R, Swift, Punto, Linea, Captiva & a Palio. Never had ergonomics issues except for the Fiat twins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodvayyat View Post
...So I believe that those who want to do a switch from other brand vehicles might end up complaining - tough luck people. 8-9L for this vehicle will be overly ambitious - quite a lot.
People like me are thankfully not blinded by brand love & think what we get for the money we pay. More than features, straight line stability & cornering ability, such people will think of the comfort of driving. If a tin can gives me better drive than a tank, I choose that. It's all personal preferences.

So there is no 'mandate' that we have to choose the wrong car (for us) just to satisfy 20 odd people on the forum - do we?
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Old 25th October 2015, 12:18   #868
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Default Re: A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!

Mod Note: Our Abarth Punto Report has been taken live at this link (Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review). Please continue the discussion over on the new thread. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by firstguri View Post
Thank you guys for the wishes. I got some PM's too. Thank you really. Makes the car feel so much more special. I might be sounding like a kid right now but my excitement knows no bound right now.
This reaction is definitely justified. After all you are going for the hottest hatch in town present ! Will eagerly look forward to an ownership report and lots of pics.

Last edited by GTO : 25th November 2015 at 10:58. Reason: Linking to review :)
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