I love a bit of white on white, makes me feel like a chav…
Fiat used the Italian Motor Show to pull the wraps of the production version of the Grande Punto Abarth SS. And we’re still going to call it a Fiat first, and an Abarth second.
The SS comes as a kit and will boost the Punto up to 178bhp and 199lb ft. And in case that sounds like a lot from a turbocharged 1.4-litre, Fiat is covering itself by not allowing any conversions after the car is one year old, or has covered 20,000km.
Anyway, the ‘esseesse’ kit will only be installed at official Abarth ‘Assestto Corse’ centres, and Fiat will start rolling these centres out across Europe from the start of 2008, though there are already 32 Abarth dealerships in Italy.
So what will the Super Sport Punto do with all this power?
Reach 62mph in 7.7 seconds, a useful 0.8 seconds slower than the less torquey Clio 197.
But despite the somewhat disappointing figures, Fiat insists on being safe and responsible by only allowing the engine upgrade with 18-inch wheels, lower and stiffer springs, and new brakes. Responsible to the accountants, maybe.
No word yet on price, but the standard Punto Abarth – that runs to 62mph in 8.2 seconds – will cost just €17,800 (£12,765) on the road, but expect it nearer £15k in the UK, and the SS to touch £18k.
Once again the Fiat 500 dominated the stage, but the company also came up with a couple of ideas that are aimed at making parting with your cash a little more jovial. One sounds like your mum talking about rap: ‘500 cents’ means you pay just €5 a day to drive away in a 500.
Oh yes, and the revised Fiat Croma was in Bologna, looking very Bravo-esque, but reminding us too much of the days when Fiat wasn’t making funky, small cars. Apparently it’s the ‘Station Wagon as Fiat sees it’, which means not very good, and not available in the UK.