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Old 7th August 2015, 08:37   #1
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Default 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!

Select few of us were invited by Fiat India for a ride on the Punto Evo abarth on tuesday, August 4, 2015.

A closer look at the Punto Evo Abarth

-Launch in October
-On display were two shades-black with red decals and matt grey with orange decals
  • 1.4 T jet tuned for 145 bhp
  • Torque and GC figures unknown, though wheelwell gap seemed similar
Changes include:
  • scorpion alloy wheels with 195/55 R16 apollo alnac 4G tyres
  • chrome T jet exhaust tip
  • rear spoiler
  • abarth decals on hood and side profile
  • orange coloured inserts on lower grille, lower bumper and rear bumper, steering wheel with abarth logo and 230 kmph speedo with abarth logo,
  • interiors with red and yellow contrast stitching on gear boot and seat edges
  • sporty pedals
  • upscale fabric specific to abarth
  • side skirts
  • rear disc brakes

Few pics from exteriors of the black Punto Evo Abarth:

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-1.jpg
Front end remains the same, except for red garnish on the lower grille area and front bumper lower grille.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-2.jpg
Fiat Logo is replaced with this sweet looking abarth Logo.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-3.jpg
Chrome on fog lamps remain as it is.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-4.jpg
Side profile identical, save for Abarth side strip, side skirting and scorpion alloys.

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

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-6.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
rear remains the same except for discreet spoiler, red garnish on rear bumper and abarth badging.

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

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-10.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-11.jpg
Exhaust tip similar to Linea T jet, looks out of place dangling too low.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-12.jpg

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-14.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-15.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-16.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 25th November 2015 at 10:58. Reason: Linking to review :)
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Old 7th August 2015, 08:48   #2
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Default Re: Scoop - Fiat Punto Evo T-Jet coming up!

Closer look at the interiors:

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-30.jpg
Insides are carried over from Punto Evo sport 90 HP diesel, except for few changes.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-18.jpg
First noticeable change is Abarth logo on steering wheel.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-19.jpg
No change in driving position, its the same hit or miss.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-20.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-21.jpg
Gear boot gets contrasting red and yellow stitching, knob remains stitched on black.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-22.jpg
Audio system carried over, with blue and me, USB and aux in and steering mounted controls

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-23.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-24.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-25.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-26.jpg
Abarth specific instrument cluster with red and yellow speedometer dial borders

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-27.jpg
Abarth specific pedals, not provided on dead pedal. Side door sills also get abarth logo.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-28.jpg
Front seats get firm cushioning at bottom, sporty upholstery and contrasting red and yellow stitching on sides.

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-29.jpg
Rear seat space same as the normal punto, gets sporty upholstery with contrasting red and yellow stitching.
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Old 7th August 2015, 08:52   #3
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Default Re: Scoop - Fiat Punto Evo T-Jet coming up!

A ride on the Punto Evo T jet at Buddh International Circuit, Noida

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-16.jpg

Select few of us got an opportunity to get behind the wheel of the upcoming Punto Evo T jet at BIC. I was in the co driver seat, belted up and the two laps driven by the professional was more than enough to judge the initial impressions.

The straight line acceleration, the achilles heal of the punto, is finally history. The big motor is very eager to accelerate, with the turbo spooling at 1700 rpm. Downshifts are minimal and going by the coaxing done by the test driver, the second gear did seem longer (at 90ish kmph).
Upshift to third, and the speedo just flies quickly. We think this car should do an atleast 9s 0-100 kmph timing. On the straightline, the test driver was driving pretty conservatively but at lap 2, he did touch an indicative 170 kmph plus with ease. The engine sounds like a normal Linea T jet with no difference, and G forces were very much felt at hard cornering.

Compared to my punto, the drop in body roll was a wee bit minimal (only a proper test drive can confirm this), but stiffer dampers make this an eager handler. The tyres are a huge limiting factor as they were struggling to maintain traction on the last 2 corners and were squealing heavily, so, an upgrade is a must to better brand. Steering felt precise and braking, again with 4 wheel discs, top notch.

Give it a lowered suspension, and the perfect everyday hatch which can be driven around anywhere, is here. This car deserves to sell, provided its priced very competitively.
The big question-is it the spiritual successor to the Palio 1.6?
The initial impressions are positive.

Signing off with select few pics of the new matt grey shade that will be on offer with orange inserts on the Punto abarth:

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-9.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-10.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-11.jpg

A Close Look: Fiat Punto Abarth. EDIT: Now launched at Rs. 9.95 lakhs!-img-12.jpg

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

Last edited by sidindica : 7th August 2015 at 08:57.
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Old 7th August 2015, 10:27   #4
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Smile Re: Scoop - Fiat Punto Evo T-Jet coming up!

Thanks a ton Sid for those drool worthy pics and the short test drive experience. The Matte grey colour so much looks good on the car (I just cant stop saying that again and again). Few sore things noted:
1) The wash nozzles on the bonnet should have been body coloured, black does not look good on the grey colour
2) Instead of Evo emblem at the rear, it should have had Abarth below the Punto. On Black a blood red emblems would look so classy
3) Exhaust looks too much protruded, should have been either concealed or inclined.
4) I had already mentioned earlier against Apollo's being used. Bridgestone or Yoko's could have been used instead.
5) Too much chrome in the front/rear esp around the fog lamps/rear tail lights, already an eye sore in the existing Evo.

is the gearbox same as that used in the Linea T-jet?
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Old 7th August 2015, 10:44   #5
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Default Re: Scoop - Fiat Punto Evo T-Jet coming up!

Looking at the pictures how I wish we could celebrate an early Diwali this year

If this car is priced south of 10 as speculated, I see no reason for it not doing some decent sales numbers and also help in changing the minds of the FIAT critics in general.

But, even if that doesn't happen after the launch of the Abarth Punto, then I guess we Indians truly deserve match box cars on our Indian roads.
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Old 7th August 2015, 10:55   #6
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Default Re: Scoop - Fiat Punto Evo T-Jet coming up!

Looking at the list of changes, the only big one is the engine. Rest are all cosmetic and not even feature or tech additions. If we include some extras like rear discs, new alloys, graphics, etc the sum total of these changes won't be a big price increase. The major change in price will be contributed by engine. But all said and done, I do not see a reason why this would be priced north of 10. Or at least I'm hoping it isn't.
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Old 7th August 2015, 10:56   #7
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Default Re: Scoop - Fiat Punto Evo T-Jet coming up!

One question to sidindica, how is the gear box(asking even though you did not drive it)? The last time I drove the linea, I did not like it. Kind of felt rubbery and required effort. Hope they have bettered it and if they have, they have one customer ready provided they price it sanely. Thanks.
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Old 7th August 2015, 11:16   #8
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Thanks a lot for the initial impressions sidindica. Waiting for October. Any word on the price mentioned in the event?
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Old 7th August 2015, 11:30   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
[*]Torque and GC figures unknown, though wheelwell gap seemed similar
I don't get it. What about the 20 mm reduction in ground clearance that everyone is claiming?
The wheel well gap should be much smaller in that case.

Last edited by ampere : 7th August 2015 at 11:33. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 7th August 2015, 11:43   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chohan View Post
I don't get it. What about the 20 mm reduction in ground clearance that everyone is claiming?
The wheel well gap should be much smaller in that case.

I think the overall height of the car has been decreased by 20 mm keeping the wheel well and hence the GC same.
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Old 7th August 2015, 12:04   #11
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The way I see it, the GC has been lowered from 185mm to 165mm; 20mm. That brings it to about the same value of the pre-2012 Puntos.

My 2009 GP was earlier shod on 16" 205/55 tyres. See the wheel well gap despite the tyre profile. I think the Abarth has a similar stance.

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Old 7th August 2015, 12:29   #12
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Default Re: Scoop - Fiat Punto Evo T-Jet coming up!

Thanks a lot for the pics and detailed impressions sidindica.
One question, does it have reach adjustment for the steering?

The car looks very very tasty. It has everything going for it and if they have fixed the gearbox as well, it will be near perfect. Looking at how they have Abarthized only the mechanical bits, it looks like the pricing will be attractive too.

IMO, this car will be the decider of the future of enthusiast segment in India (if the pricing is good). If this car succeeds, then other manufacturers will take notice and may start bringing the performance variants of their cars. If it fails, their current viewpoint about the Indian market will continue in their minds and will continue giving anaemic 1.2 NAs.

Coming to the pricing, the Linea Active 1.4 FIRE costs Rs.7,00,454 according to FIAT website and Linea Active 1.4 T-Jet costs Rs.8,08,118.
That's a difference of about 1.08L.
AFAIK, the difference between the two is turbo charged engine and rear disc brakes, since both FIRE and T-Jet attract same excise duty.

Now if we consider the Punto Evo Emotion 1.4 FIRE, it costs Rs.7,33,065. If FIAT were to provide the 113HP variant of T-Jet with rear disc brakes, it would have cost close to 8.4L.
Since the Abarth has a bigger turbo apparently, better suspension and better alloy wheels, we can add another 50k (feel free to correct me).
The difference between 1.3 FGT and VGT diesels is lesser than 40K. So I don't think the difference will be huge for the turbo in case of Abarth.
If we add some smaller bits like sporty pedals, decals, seat fabrics etc. we can assume the price to be around 9L. Considering the premium for the Abarth, my estimation would be 9-9.5L ex-showroom Delhi.

12L would be DOA. FIAT know their market position well and they know about VW GTs as well. I'm sure it will be less than 10L even if they overprice it IMO. They have retained most of the stuff from FIAT Punto Evo for a reason

PS The Punto has been crash tested by some Team-BHP members and it has performed very well. So no concerns with safety as well. I would any day pick 2 airbags with strong structure than 6 airbags with below average structure (e.g XUV 5OO; no offence to owners)

Last edited by theredliner : 7th August 2015 at 12:40.
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Old 7th August 2015, 13:00   #13
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The wheel well gap is HUGE!
Even if the ride height and suspension components are the same to keep costs down, FIAT would do well to give an option of a sporty lowered suspension at an extra cost. I guess this would keep overall cost in check and at the same time give an option to the enthusiast to indulge without voiding warranty. This should not be too much of a logistical problem for fiat or their dealers.

A concealed exhaust would be another option rather than the excuse of one that has been presented.

Overall, a good job by FIAT. Just have to hope that the gear boxes has been meddled with to make it more sure shifting. If it's the linea'a gearbox, then mmmm!
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Old 7th August 2015, 13:08   #14
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Default Re: Scoop - Fiat Punto Evo T-Jet coming up!

My god the car looks good in that matte shade.

Frankly there may be small things that we don't like but lets not complain. This is a really good effort by Fiat, and its a welcome move for enthusiasts.

This car with a map, exhaust and intake should be putting out over 180bhp. It will definitely be a beast.

For once, Fiat, well done!
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Old 7th August 2015, 13:09   #15
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A comparison between three versions of punto. The original grande punto has the best stance in my opinion. I don't see any reduction in the wheel well gap. I'm wondering, how would they reduce ground clearance by 20 mm without any effect on the gap.
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