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Fiat Punto evolves

2010-01-26 08:23
Fiat's stylish little Punto adds some pizzaz this year with the introduction of a sportier Evo version.

In line with the changes introduced to the local Punto line-up late last year, the Punto Evo uses the Grande Punto's architecture, yet adds more goodies to it.

It comes with a host of safety features including knee airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and ESP with hill holder. Fiat's innovative Blue&Me interface governing audio, telephone, trip computer and also GPS is available too.

The car's interior has been reworked with softer lines and softer materials used and the centre console is almost half its previous size. Instruments gain larger dials and a new, bigger, cowl to shade them from the light.

At the rear, there is a new bumper, new rear lights, and the Fiat logo that doubles as a boot release. The new bodywork stretches the Punto Evo by 3cm to 406cm, although other dimensions of width, height and wheelbase remain the same as the Grande Punto.

New engines

Probably the more important feature about this car is that it houses two new engine ranges - the petrol MultiAir and MultiJet II diesel engines.  

MultiAir is Fiat's new electronic valve control system that controls air intake on a cylinder by cylinder manner. Valve lift is therefore flexible and varies constantly according to the engine's specific requirements.

This, along with various factors other means, is said to optimise combustion efficiency and have resultant benefits in terms of power, torque, fuel consumption and emissions.

In addition, all engines now come with Start and Stop technology that, rather than idling, shuts down the engine when the car is stationary.

We are unlikely to get the new turbodiesel engine, but South Africa will receive 1.4-litre derivatives of the petrol engine with MultiAir technology. A naturally aspirated 1.2-litre engine will also be included in the local line-up.


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