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Old 3rd July 2016, 12:47   #1
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Default From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

This ownership review will consist of the following parts.
1.Enthusiast life in india
2.Fiat in india
3.My car history
4.Abarth follow up
4.1.Exterior
4.2.Interior
4.3.Driving
4.4.Safety
4.5.Notable features
5.Things done
6.Trips undertaken


1.Enthusiast life in india

Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini etc are always the dream cars of an enthusiast. But practically very few of us able afford those beauties. In our daily office - home routine we usually choose the most practical car. The ones which are easy to maintain, gives a nice mileage and are easy on the bank. Yes, we have to compromise. Then there's peer pressure. Buying a certain makes car just because our neighbour/colleague has got one. We want a nice back seat. A good boot.

So far, very few cars like the Ford Ikon, Fiesta classic, Fiat Palio 1.6, Linea tjet, Polo GT twins, Scross 1.6 etc were/are available to the enthusiast at reasonable price. Considering the low car penetration in India, and Maruti + Hyundai ruling the roost in budget cars, no manufacturer would venture out specially to create cars for the enthusiast. But here is a car made especially for the enthusiast and no one. After all, who else will buy a 145BHP hatchback with poor FE and poor after-sales ?


2.Fiat in india

Fiat Abarth Punto official review (Fiat Abarth Punto : Official Review)

Quoting from the official review, I agree with it 100%
Quote:
Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
Rather, I'm going to stand up from my seat and applaud. In a market where cars compete to drive farther and farther on the last drop of fuel, here's a manufacturer that has challenged others to beat its 8.8 seconds 0-100 kph time. I love how Fiat does this. It has once again ensured that the lost smile from the faces of petrol-heads is back...a smile which was part of the standard equipment with the legendary Palio 1.6L. That 100 BHP hatchback came when most sedans sold here hadn't seen that kind of power. Some years later, when Fiat identified the petrol Linea's asthma problem, it rolled out the 1.4L T-Jet, India's first turbo-petrol sedan. Ideally, that engine should have made its way into the Punto too. After all, it was a simple copy + paste job. But Fiat waited, pondered and decided to take things to a whole new level by getting the Abarth Punto in a 145 BHP tune!

For all of its poor sales numbers, you have to credit Fiat with one thing - they give the enthusiast the tools he desires. The Palio 1.6, Linea T-Jet and now the Abarth Punto.
Aptly said. However Fiats have always been associated with poor resale, expensive parts etc. Right from the re entry of Fiat with the TATA-Fiat JV, it was poorly planned. At the dealership level, selling 2 competing products Indica/Punto and Indigo/Linea was a bad idea. Fiat products were loaded with tech at those times and yet did not set the sales charts on fire. Tijori like build quality, superior handling thanks to the awesome hydraulic steering and the felling of being safe inside a car was not enough to convince people to buy Fiats.

A brief history of FIAT-
1.Fiat set up shop in 1950, tied up with Premier Automobiles, but the alliance came apart in 2001

2.JV with Tata Motors (for sales and marketing) in 2006, split in 2012

3.Sales have consistently fallen; 7,001 units sold between April 2015 to January 2016- 23% lower than the previous period

4.Mercedes sells more cars than Fiat in India.

5.It has a mere four models in the country based on the same old platform (Punto and Linea), where as competitors Volkswagen and Renault have 6 and 7 respectively

6.Set to launch Jeep soon, which was initially planned for the year 2003, its price yet to be disclosed but will compete with Audi Q3 (Rs 29 lakh) and BMW X3 (Rs 23 lakh)

7.No dealership in Mumbai, the place of its headquarters.


3.My car history

The first car we had was M800 5 speed back in 2005. At that time we were staying in Delhi and the primary purpose of it for dad's commute to office from Noida to Malviya Nagar. I still remember the delivery. Dad had asked a colleague to driver her home as he hadn't driven a car in a long time. The first road trip I ever did was in that car to Jaipur during the winter holidays next year.

However, after next year (early 2007) we shifted back to Mumbai. Keeping a UP registered car in Mumbai in those days was risky due to the political tension, but when ever we were stopped by the cops, they were surprised to find a Maharashtrian family inside.

Despite a good running condition and no apparent problems in the car, we decided to to sell her in 2009. But finding a buyer in Mumbai who would pay a good price was turning out to be impossible. And there was no point in keeping 2 cars. Fortunately a colleague of dads offered her to buy her back in Delhi. Once sold, we started looking for a possible replacements. Happy with Maruti, the first choice was the Swift. But long waiting periods and dealership attitude (SK Wheels Turbhe) put us off. Next up, planned to visit the Tata showroom for Indica. While waiting around for an SA, we spotted the Punto. In a sea of bland looking cars, this was a revelation. Those Italians sure know how to design things. We thought it would be priced higher than the Indica but after getting a detailed quotation and a nice discount for the Blue colour was enough to convince us to get her.

We got her home sometime in Oct 2009. Served us well. The only breakdown ever was on 31st Dec 2015 when the slave clutch cylinder went kaput. Ironically the location was bang in front of the very same dealership we got the car from. But it now was a TATA only dealership. Pushed her to a local mechanic, the downward slope helping and got her fixed by 1st Jan 2016.


4.Abarth follow up

About 1.5 years ago, we started out to look for an upgrade. The logical choice was Honda City. My uncle got himself a diesel one and we were going to buy the petrol version after some time. In between, dad, mom, uncle and aunt went to Goa in their city. Upon returning, the first thing dad said was we're dropping the city. My uncle had a old City as well, which was a hoot to drive. Then the plan was dropped and I as usual started to look out for used cars on various classifieds. I found many Linea tjets for good price, but nothing was decided yet.

When the Abarth was launched, I was very keen to test drive it. However there were no dealerships in Mumbai region. I used to keep pestering Mr. Kapoor of Sky moto Fiat to send a car out to Navi Mumbai and even offered to pay for the fuel, but that did not materialise. I was constantly in touch with them over email and telephone for almost 6+ months. Hats off to them for their patience. At no instance I ever felt like they were ignoring me or that they were bothered by a person who is constantly calling them but has not even booked the car yet.

Meanwhile, in Feb 2016 a group of Bhpians decided to visit the auto expo at Greater Noida. This would be my second trip to Delhi after leaving from there and planned to catch up with a bunch of school friends as well. Luckily I was sent a pass for auto expo by Jaguar-Land Rover with an invitation to visit their stall. At the Auto expo, I met with a senior person from Fiat who promised to look into the matter of arranging a TD of Abarth in Mumbai. He however refused to comment on the opening of a dealership in Mumbai.

Finally after innumerable calls and discussions, we finally decided to visit Pune for a TD. On 3rd April 2016, finally got a long TD of Abarth and dad was impressed enough to book it on the spot. What made the deal further sweet was the fact that we would have her at pre-March prices. Varun, the SA there even allowed me to take insurance from outside. Opted for 0% dep policy of Future Generali. Colour chosen was White due to lack of covered parking and black option would have made minor scratches visible. Fiat should have launched more colour options for the Abarth. The new red/ old blue cars would have stood out nicely.

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At the day of test drive

Delivery was on 7th May. Unfortunately I couldn't go. Dad and mom brought her home. It was an exciting day. Dad was super excited and commented on the super smooth and light clutch compared to our earlier Punto.

 Took her to RTO next Monday for registration here (Registering a car at the Navi Mumbai RTO - Step by step guidelines).

Last edited by blackwasp : 11th July 2016 at 00:11.
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Old 3rd July 2016, 21:52   #2
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Default Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

4.1 Exterior

The Italians have a flair for designing gorgeous vehicles. Italy is famous Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Pagani, Alfa Romeo just to name a few and home to the legendary design house Pininfarina. The Punto is no different.

I dont think I will be able to put into words accurately, hence will let the pics do the talking.
Two Italian beauties sharing garage space
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-italian-beauties.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1572.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1575.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1576.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1580.jpg

The gorgeous Alloy wheels - probably the best OEM alloys
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1581.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1583.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1573.jpg

Looks neat at night
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1436.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1574.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_12.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_56.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_75.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_86.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_88.jpg

Clean rear
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_97.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_109.jpg

The only sore point visually - lifted straight from the TJET
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_245.jpg

Love it or hate it, you cant ignore it (that's yours truly)
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_257.jpg

Rear windows don't go down fully
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_267.jpg

Bike friendly ORVM
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_269.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_272.jpg

The wipers cover a large area and work very well
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_287.jpg

Last edited by blackwasp : 11th July 2016 at 00:42.
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Old 10th July 2016, 20:27   #3
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Default Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

4.2.Interior

Step inside and you are greeted by the all-black interior. Continues the sporty appeal inside as well. Even the headliner is all black. Black carpet helps keeping it from looking dirty. The rear might feel dingy at times, but then how many times do you expect to sit there?


Ambient light strip. Looks good. Turns on when headlights are turned on
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_36.jpg

Small cup holder in front of gear lever. I end up keeping phone here
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_40.jpg

Glove box lid has a card holder
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_41.jpg

Illuminated as well. A small hidden compartment at the top
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_44.jpg

Abarth branded door sill only at the front
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_131.jpg

A close look at the dashboard texture
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_144.jpg

Sporty red and yellow stitching. Seats offer good lateral support
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_158.jpg

Red and yellow stitching on the gear lever as well. You can spot the aux and usb slots as well
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_165.jpg

Car radio, above average sound quality - bass oriented
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_159.jpg

Dead pedal is at an awkward angle, but on the flip side pedal spacing is spot on for heel and toe
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_181.jpg

Fuel lid opener and the mesh like material of the seats
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_182.jpg

Odd placement of the 12V socket, small cubby area under the handbrake
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_187.jpg

Fabric material on door armrest, but the switches might be awkwardly placed for some and need some time to get familiar. The first couple of days I got the rear window opened at toll booths. One speaker and tweeter placed in the front door as well
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_189.jpg

Controls to navigate the setting menu, along with headlamp levelling switches and fog lamp buttons. A neat drawer holds up loose change
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_192.jpg

The best steering wheel this side of 20 lakhs
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_202.jpg

The console area. Speedo an left and rev counter on the right. rpms are x1000. Between those you can spot the fuel and temp gauge (thankfully still here) and the MID
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_203.jpg

A close look at Abarth branding. Exact door open warning
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_204.jpg

Piano black finish surrounding the AC vents along with the thin chrome is classy
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_208.jpg

The top part opens to reveal a storage space. It has a rubber mat, iPhone 5S shown for reference
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_209.jpg

RHS stalk houses the wiper controls - engage the reverse with the front wipers on, and the rear turns on automatically. Also having wipers on the right side has helped me immensely. Esp in monsoons when a car from opposing side splashed muddy on the windscreen and the wipers were off. A potential blinding situation avoided as the right hand on the steering wheel quickly enabled me to flick the stalk and do a swipe of the wipers. Opinions will be mixed
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_215.jpg

LHS stalk is the headlight control
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_217.jpg

Rear seat - a very rare place for me to be in, but here am I sitting with the front seat pushed back all the way
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_227.jpg

Now the front seat pushed all the way forward
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_228.jpg

60:40 split folding seats
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_230.jpg

Rear seats can be folded for more luggage
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_231.jpg

They can also be tumbled forward. The bottom area is carpeted.
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_232.jpg

The standard 280L boot is more than doubled
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_234.jpg

Thoughtful boot lamp and straps to tie down bags, etc
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_237.jpg

Carpet has velcro that keeps it in place. Avoids small bits falling into gaps
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_240.jpg

Boot space with 280L capacity. Also note the carpeted loading lip
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_243.jpg

Last edited by blackwasp : 11th July 2016 at 00:43.
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Old 10th July 2016, 23:35   #4
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Default From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

Interior continued...


Steering mounted controls - LHS house the mute/pause/back button, voice command and the volume buttons
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_299.jpg

RHS side has the up/down (next/previous), source/OK and call pick up and disconnect (long press)
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_298.jpg

Recommended tire pressures
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_297.jpg

OBD port sneaks out from the driver footwell area
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_296.jpg

Cabin lights are theatre dimming and can be turned on individually, though the switches are hard
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_293.jpg

A close look at the front windshield specs
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_290.jpg

Driver seat can be adjusted for height
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_278.jpg

Rear AC vent with bottle holder. Push the front seats back and AC will point to them. Best to keep AC vents pointing straight
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_275.jpg

This strap can be pulled to open the fuel cap
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-2016_07_06_img_9999_250.jpg


4.3.Driving

The Abarth Punto has a lot of flaws. Not a single bottle holder that can accommodate 1L bottle. The cup holder can barely accommodate an Italian espresso takeaway cup, back seat is good for two rather three. Drivers visibility is hampered by the intruding A pillar, dead pedal is not ergonomic. And the list goes on. Then there is the issue of gearbox- it's functional but leaves a little more to be desired. And I can go on, but it is frankly pointless to pick out the flaws.

Get into the drivers seat, belt up, start the car and you realise this is no ordinary Punto. Release the handbrake and slot into the first gear and slightly dab the accelerator to get moving. Though you are not just moving, instead you are gripping the steering wheel with both hands and uttering an expletive due to the unexpected acceleration. And you have not yet exited your housing society. Your day has started out to be good. On the way to office usually you had to plan over takes but now you just point the car and press accelerator. It's just effortless. After reaching the office, you will search for the farthest parking spot just to spend some more time in the car. Boss has asked you to stay late? No problem, you will make a face at boss, but inside your head you will be overjoyed about empty roads at night !

But let me further elaborate why it is such a joy to drive. Keep aisle the 145Bhp motor for a while and let's see some other features that are equally responsible for the sheer driving pleasure ( :P) . First and foremost is the steering wheel - perfectly contoured and that awesome feedback. You can exactly know what the wheels are upto. It feels a tad heavy at parking speeds, compared to the electric ones out there, but you won't mind it. Next up are the 4 wheel independent disk brakes. Few people understand that just giving a powerful engine is not enough - you must provide equally good stopping power. And I'm happy to report that the brakes are more than sufficient and inspire confidence to push the car and brake late. They take a few 100 kms to get used to, but once you learn their characteristics you will appreciate them when a situation demands it. Third is the suspension. While GC is lowered to 155mm compared to normal Punto, it is more than sufficient for our roads. Yes, it's not an off road vehicle but as long as you are careful about where you go she won't scrape. At highway speeds, the suspension becomes even better. Bad roads are eaten up for breakfast. The faster you go the more better the ride becomes. Straight like stability is superb. Body roll is minimal (compared to the regular Punto). The ability of this car to mask high speeds is phenomenal. Not keeping an eye on the speedo on highway will see you reaching high 3 digit speeds easily.

At signals, you can shame cars costing thrice the money or more. On sharp curves, the way she sticks to the road will make you think that the tyres are adhesive in nature. This car is made for highway cruising. 90 kmph comes in at 2050 rpm in the 5th gear. Overtaking doesn't require downshifts. The engine emits a nice growl post 2.5k rpm. Perhaps the only thing laking was a nice sounding exhaust, but I suppose that isn't a deal breaker. On the other hand it makes the car more family friendly. Dad can drive her without getting annoyed. Remove the stickers and you have a nice sleeper car. Only the sharp eyed enthusiast will be able to identify a non sticker-ed Abarth Punto.

Upgrading from a 2009 Punto 1.2, we were familiar with Fiats. We had enough time to get used to the ergonomics, service network and mileage. We bought her when Fiats were sold in Tata dealerships. Serviced her when Fiat got independent and later continued the service at an FNG when there were no Fiat service centers in Mumbai region. The biggest concern for us was lack of authorised service centers in Mumbai, but I'm happy to say that Fiat opened one in Panvel just after I got the Abarth home and while I'm writing up this post, another one has opened up very close to my home in Koperkahirane.

Many people out there have been commenting on the poor gear shifts and rubbery/notchy gearbox, but my experience has been completely different. The Abarth's gearbox is way smoother than the existing Puntos and Lineas. Yes, the gearbox is the same, yet Fiat has managed to tweak it in a way to make it better. The earlier versions, especially my 09 Punto had trouble slotting into the 5th gear. But no such issues here. In almost all the reviews online, I've been surprised to find this aspect common. Yes, Fiat could have given us a better gearbox, but the current one is not un-liveable. Also, one must remember that Fiat in India is now a component supplier first and a car maker second. Fiat's survival in India has been questioned many times, but there are going to stay here. Success for them doesn't mean selling 500 odd cars a month. Instead they are happy supplying engines to Maruti, Tata, selling AMT units and manufacturing other cars in their Ranjangoan factory. This niche-ness enables them to sell amazing cars such as the Abarth, the recently launched Linea 125 etc. If Fiat were to go mass market, it would lose the plot.

So far in our 2 months of ownership, some of the questions, comments that I've received are
1.Boss, konsa gaadi hai? (Boss, which car is this ?)
2.11 lakh ka ye? City aata hai utne me! (11 lakhs! You could have got a city!)
3.Mileage kitna hai? Diesel hai?
4.Sticker kaha se lagaye? (Where did you get the stickers from?)
5.At a signal, a Tjet owner congratulated me for buying Abarth.
6.Parked in a sea of non-Fiats, a Linea mjd (4+ years 1.25 lakh km) owner, came and asked me to show him the car, and later said "they don't make such cars anymore".
7.At a red signal, 2 riders (RE Himalayan and Mahindra Mojo) and I gave each other thumbs up for our rides.
8.A friend chastised me for buying another Punto, but after giving him a short ride, he was literally speechless. Took him 10 mins for the grin on his face to subside and he could formulate some words of praise.
9.After parking at a local mall, a guy with his girlfriend takes a detour to the entrance and comes near me and says " this car is truly crafted for car lovers ".
10.Just today, while filling her up, a guy in Palio flags me down and we have a chat. He is all praises for the car and mentions that this is the first Abarth that he's seen in Navi Mumbai. (I've spotted a black one before but never seen her again)


4.4.Safety

The car is equipped with dual airbags, seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, ABS + EBD. Also gross weight on the car is 1200kgs (Weight doesn't mean much, as Toyota Etios with a very low wight still got 4 stars in crash test). More importantly, after going though the Accident thread, I'm happy to say that Fiats are more good at surviving the unexpected that other similarly priced car. This is my personal opinion and in no way tested. Includes Fire prevention system that cut-offs fuel incase of an accident.


4.5.Notable Features


1. Rear seat backs are solid metal - protects from intrusion of objects from boot incase of hard braking or accident.

2. Incase you are on a call via the bluetooth system, and you switch off the car, the system still keeps the phone call active till the call has ended.

3. Power windows can be operated for a while after removing key provided the doors have not opened.

4. Rear seats fold as well as tumble forward releasing a lot of usable space. 

5. Boot release is electric and uses a button on dash as well as remote to open.

6. The rear stabilizer (anti-roll) bar is listed once again on the Abarth's spec sheet. It was there on the 2009 Punto's but went missing on the Evo's.
7. Incase of failure of rear indicator bulbs, the brake lights start blinking and act as indicators.


5.Things done

Planning to keep car stock as long as the tires last, will then upgrade to wider rubber. Just got 3M nomad mats installed. Got a nice discount as the owner is the same guy who I got the Vespa from 3 years ago.



From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-nomad-mats-front.jpg

The rear ones are single piece and extend well under the front seats
From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-nomad-mats-rear.jpg


6.Trips undertaken

Had a short drive to Igatpuri for breakfast. Truly came to understand the excellent engine and the handling. Some pics.

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1868.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1878.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1888.jpg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-img_1911.jpg


Some scare moments

Coming on a highway, I spotted a car infront braking and saw water splash. Quickly slowed down the car and crossed the water pool at a low constant speed. Just after crossing it, the engine rpms increased without depressing the accelerator. Took to side of the road and switched off the car. The check engine light came on. I was worried, but many friends advised me to just wait for
the car to get dry and then see. The night was sleepless, but the next morning the warning light was gone.

Just a a couple days later, the light came on again. I took her to a friend and we used his OBD scanner to check for codes and found two errors - P0120 and P0340 (Accelerator position and Powertrain error). The every next day took her to the Fiat service center and asked them to check it out. Took a while to find the error, but SA suggested to open up the engine cower - and there we spotted two wired chewed by rats !! Thankfully the cable chewed was just a connector and was replaced promptly.

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-whatsappimage20160711.jpeg

From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto-whatsappimage20160711-1.jpeg


1840 kms done, is there any regret I feel ? None at all. My life has started revolving around her and my plans always try to involve the Abarth. It brings me complete joy. There is no other car at this price point that will give so much pleasure to drive. One more important question - kitna deti hai ? Well, this question shouldn't ever be asked to a 145 BHP car, but I'm pleased to say the numbers are better than our old Punto 1.2. City mileage is between 10-11 kmpl and highway mileage goes to 12-14. Not that I'm bothered about it, but this gives the car a healthy 400-450 km range. So until the next trip...

To sum it up
FOR
-The powerful engine
-Awesome power steering
-Superb handling and stellar brakes

AGAINST
-Missing features for a 10+ lakh rupees car
-Poor after sales network
-The gearbox is already at its limit. The Abarth has a significant BHP increase over the Tjet Linea but Torque gains are limited


**Special thanks to Varun for taking all these awesome pictures.

Last edited by blackwasp : 11th July 2016 at 01:11.
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Old 11th July 2016, 07:32   #5
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Default Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th July 2016, 08:17   #6
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Smile Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

Kanad,

Let me be the first to congratulate you on the Abarth. Good to see your faith in Fiat cars which prompted you to pick another one. You writing shows about your passionate ownership of the car.

Did you get rid of the rat menace? Are you planning for installing projectors for the car, IMO they will add more character to the car. Just one suggestion, even if it is loud and over the top, please don't think of removing the stickers.

All the best. Happy mile crunching and drive safely.
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Old 11th July 2016, 09:34   #7
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Default Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

congratulations blackwasp. Abarth is truly a Italian Beauty, with Brains...I remember seeing the Abarth first time being driven on one of the earlier Top Gear episodes. It was a drool machine then, and it is one know to. How do you find the braking on the car. When I spoke to couple of friends, they found the the brakes to be spongy. Also, I don't see any mention of ESP here. I think ESP should have been a standard affair for car with such power. In case I have missed reading it.
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Old 11th July 2016, 09:59   #8
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Default Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

Congratulations for treating yourself to the hottest hatch in the market. A vehicle that will remain unique and one of a kind even after many years have elapsed. A car that will remain quite elusive to spot in the hordes of everyday cars that we see on our roads. A car that makes you feel truly special every time you take her for a spin or just oogle at her. A car that announces that an enthusiast is behind her wheel. Welcome to the Abarth experience
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Old 11th July 2016, 10:02   #9
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Default Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post

1840 kms done, is there any regret I feel ? None at all. My life has started revolving around her and my plans always try to involve the Abarth.
Congrats blackwasp on your latest acquisition and IMO Abarth looks the best in White from the currently available palette.

I have seen a steady increase in the number of Abarth spotting in Bangalore in the last few months. Much of this can be attributed to the Petrol-Diesel fuel price variations.

Irrespective of the reason, Abarth Punto is truly the Blue hot hatch in India today, and just like the Palio 1.6 GTX, Lucky are those few who get to own this Scorpion.

Happy motoring and drive safe.


Quote:

One more important question - kitna deti hai ? Well, this question shouldn't ever be asked to a 145 BHP car
Couldn't agree more with you. With cars such as Abarth Punto, only real thing that is important is:

Kitni SMILES deti hai!!
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Old 11th July 2016, 10:12   #10
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Default Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

Finally an enthusiast who puts his money where his mouth is. A refreshing change from the so called enthusiasts who cry hoarse about not having a performance hatchback in India and then buying and gloating about the fuel efficiency numbers of their 1.2 liter "performance" hatchback on the fuel mileage thread. More power to you mate.
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Old 11th July 2016, 10:27   #11
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Default Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Kanad,

Let me be the first to congratulate you on the Abarth.

Did you get rid of the rat menace? Are you planning for installing projectors for the car, IMO they will add more character to the car. Just one suggestion, even if it is loud and over the top, please don't think of removing the stickers.
Thank you Girish bhai. So far put tobacco packets in engine bay. I've heard about an anti rat spray made by Honda. Will try it later. Stickers will stay.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sawnilrules View Post
congratulations blackwasp. Also, I don't see any mention of ESP here. I think ESP should have been a standard affair for car with such power. In case I have missed reading it.
Thanks. ESP would have been a nice addition, but I'm still of the old school side. Too many electronics spoil the fun. While I doubt I'll ever drive in a way the ESP would be required, but personally I don't mind the lack of ESP.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chase_nt View Post
Welcome to the Abarth experience
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Kitni SMILES deti hai!!
Rightly said. Spec sheets should mentioned ARAI approved smiles per km rating.


Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
Finally an enthusiast who puts his money where his mouth is. A refreshing change from the so called enthusiasts who cry hoarse about not having a performance hatchback in India and then buying and gloating about the fuel efficiency numbers of their 1.2 liter "performance" hatchback on the fuel mileage thread. More power to you mate.
Yes, special credit to my dad who never ever cribbed about the mileage of any of the cars we had. And he too likes to drive the Scorpion. I'm going to expect more friendly fighting over driving her on long trips.
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Old 11th July 2016, 10:47   #12
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Default Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

Congratulation blackwasp on your new pocket rocket. Great buy! She looks beautiful, and I bet she drives beautifully too! I am yet to drive an Abarth, however I know it would be a hell lot of fun!

Wish you thousands of happy miles on your new acquisition.
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Old 11th July 2016, 10:47   #13
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Default Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

Congrats buddy!!

Abarth Punto is the best car from Fiat in India. They could have made it better with minimal efforts. But I do appreciate Fiat for providing a car with 145 bhp at 10 lakhs ex-showroom price.

I have driven Abarth Punto thrice (test drive). Performance, handling and brakes is spot on, making it a good car for enthusiasts.
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Old 11th July 2016, 10:49   #14
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Default Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

Congrats mate on the upgrade, i can't imagine how you must be feeling driving a Abarth after 1.2 Punto

The service centers you have mentioned are fiat authorized ones ? No issues in warranty ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sawnilrules View Post
How do you find the braking on the car. When I spoke to couple of friends, they found the the brakes to be spongy. Also, I don't see any mention of ESP here. I think ESP should have been a standard affair for car with such power. In case I have missed reading it.
The brakes are very progressive on Abarth, they provide right amount of feedback. If you used to over-assisted brakes, which are there in few cars then you might feel that it take little more effort. Sadly no ESP on punto and ya it can get handful in the corners if you are not careful with throttle. Like any FWD car it Understeers, but again understeer is good, as its easy to control and faster.
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Old 11th July 2016, 12:17   #15
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Default Re: From Grande Punto to the Abarth Punto

Awesome review and good pics. I just love the Abarth with those alloys, they enhance the looks of the vehicle.
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