Almost half a decade ago Fiat launched the Linea and later the Punto. In a tradition of sorts, the Italian car maker has introduced the 2014 Linea few months ago and the next to follow is the 2015 Punto which will be launched by the end of 2014. Meanwhile, we spotted the Punto facelift test mule in Nashik.
The changes evident in the test mule are the alloy wheels which are found on the international models. The car was riding on Appolo Accelere tyres, which was also used in the previous model. The car spotted had chrome garnish on the door handles as seen in top-end variants of the Punto. The refreshed Punto gets a revised front fascia with new bumpers at the front and rear, grille and tail-lights and mildly worked headlamps. Inside, the 2015 Punto will get a dashboard layout similar to the 2014 Linea.
Mechanically, changes would be minimal and Fiat will stick to the MultiJet diesel engines with different power outputs of 74bhp and 89bhp. The Punto will also get the same 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engines producing 67bhp and 89bhp. The big question is will Fiat launch a T-Jet variant of the Punto. Although, it isn’t an industry norm to offer turbocharged petrol motors in the B plus hatchback segment. But, Volkswagen offers the Polo TSI with a turbo petrol engine, Fiat can take a leaf out of VW’s book and launch the Punto T-Jet.
The Punto really didn’t need too many upgrades for its suspension, but in the 2012 suspension upgrade the car was raised a bit more. This process traded off some driving feel for comfort. Although, we don’t expect Fiat to lower it as much as the introductory model, but minor suspension tweaks to strike a balance between optimum ride and handling can be expected.
At a recent Fiat event we managed to talk to one of their senior officials and got an indication that the Punto facelift might be launched by the year end. Although, he didn’t provide many details about the launch date, we expect the car to be launched during the festive season of Diwali.