The recently unveiled Punto Abarth is not really a true-blue Abarth although you have to give it to Fiat India for being at the forefront of affordable performance motoring – a segment that holds a surprising amount of potential but hasn’t been explored much yet. As India’s first relatively affordable hot hatch, the Punto Abarth surely is worthy of a good look.
Now the price tag of the fully imported 595 Competizione may have disoriented many, however, for those who are keen to experience the typical Abarth madness at a more affordable price point, Fiat has prepared a special treat i.e. the made in India Punto Abarth.
We recently got up close with a pre-production Punto Abarth at the Buddh International Circuit and are happy to report that Fiat India hasn’t gone overboard with go-faster design bits. Upfront, the design is pretty much the same except for the sportier grille with red inserts and the menacing Abarth badge. Move onto the sides and there’s no getting away from the delicious looking alloys sporting the signature ‘Scorpion’ design. Rounding off the design updates are the red Abarth decals that run down the doors and the red wing mirrors. Inside, the Abarth treatment continues with contrasting red and yellow stitching for the seats and sportier looking steel pedals. Otherwise, the cabin is pretty much identical to that of the standard Punto 90HP.
The interior may not be very different from the standard car, but it’s a different story altogether under the hood wherein you will find a 1.4-litre T-Jet turbocharged engine seen earlier in the Linea T-Jet. For this hot hatch, Fiat India has retuned the unit to bring the total power output to 140bhp and 200Nm. Besides a new engine, the Punto Abarth also boasts of disc brakes at all four corners, stiffer springs and a ride height that is lowered by 20mm compared to the standard car.
Expected to hit the showrooms sometime during this festive season, the new Punto Abarth will be sold as the flagship model in the Punto Evo range.