Fiat has revealed an updated version of its Grande Punto, now dubbed the Punto Evo, which will be displayed for the first time at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show before UK sales start in spring 2010. It's quickly apparent that Fiat has tried to spread some 500-style cutesy fun into the Grande Punto range. Has it succeeded? The jury's out until we've seen it in Frankfurt...
So the Fiat Punto Evo isn't some four-wheel drive, rally-inspired hatch? Drat!
Afraid not. Instead, the big news is stop-start technology and the company's clever MultiAir engines. The latter, available as a 1.4-litre petrol, uses electrohydraulic valve management to reduce fuel consumption by controlling air directly through the inlet valves without using the throttle. Despite cutting emissions by 10%, the system can increase power and torque by 10% and 15% respectively.
The company will also offer a second-gen 1.3-litre Multijet diesel, as well as dual-fuel methane and petrol motor. The latter produces 115g/kg of CO2, while an LPG-version offers half the running costs of an equivalent petrol unit, says Fiat.
What else will feature on the new Fiat Punto Evo?
The Fiat Punto Evo will be equipped with seven airbags as standard, including one for the driver’s knees. Aiming to further increase safety, Fiat has fitted a Hill-Holder system that makes hill starts easier and foglights that adjust according to steering angle.
Meanwhile, the interior has had a redesign, gaining a new facia, seats and instruments. The car also gets a touch-screen Blue&Me-TomTom system that handles telephone calls and navigation.
And that exterior style? The facelift includes new bumpers and lights, while the car’s length grows by three centimetres to 4.06 metres.
Prices have yet to be announced, but slight increases are expected when sales start in the UK next spring.
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