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Fiat's 'baby Maserati' hits SA!

2006-05-10 07:49

Sexy Grande Punto will rival the Clio and Polo

Developed by Italdesign-Giugiaro together with the Fiat Style Centre, the styling of the Grande Punto stands out in the current automotive scene for the beauty of the exterior line, which is modern, elegant and distinctly "Italian".

At first glance it appears that its styling resembles that of Maserati models such as the Coupé and Spyder.

What is more is that the Grande Punto shows what we can expect from future Fiat products such as the next generation Stilo.

According to Fiat the Grande Punto has also been designed from the outset to be a larger vehicle than the current model and it is available as a three and five-door.

The Grande Punto measures 403 cm in length, 168 cm in width and 149 cm in height; and with a wheelbase of 251 cm Fiat claims an "extraordinary amount" of interior space.

Initially the Grande Punto will be available with two petrol engines (the 48 kW 1.2 8v and the new 57 kW 1.4 8v), and one turbodiesel (the 55 kW 1.3 Multijet 16v) - the 88 kW 1.9 Multijet 16v will follow shortly.

There are three spec levels available and the base models are badged "Active". Next in line are the Dynamic models, which get more standard comfort features, while the range topping 1.9-liter model features the Emotion trim level.


Fiat says that the Grande Punto went through fifteen thousand hours of calculations, 60 crash tests, one hundred simulations with a Hyge sled and two hundred tests on components and subsystems to boost the car's safety levels.

All these safety testing have resulted in a top-of-the-class, 5-star EuroNCAP rating.

Total protection, starting from the specific safety features: up to 6 airbags (two are standard on the Active and six on the Dynamic).

The chassis is also new, designed specifically to absorb impact more efficiently. And the bodywork, the bonnet, the doors and the facia crossbeam all play their part in protecting occupants.

According to Fat the Grande Punto?s braking system is supplemented by one of the most advanced ABS anti-lock braking systems available.

It has four active sensors and a hydraulic control unit with 12 solenoids. The ABS system incorporates the EBD electronic brake effort distribution system.


A host of comfort features are available such as air conditioning (standard on all models unless deleted on the 1.4 Active), a high-quality, six-speaker audio system featuring steering controls and headlights with a follow-me-home function.

Buyers can also spec the Grande Punto with some nice optional extras, which include a large, panoramic opening sunroof (optional on Dynamic models only).


  • 1.2 Active, 5-door (A/C): R108 000
  • 1.4 Active, 5-door (No A/C): R108 000
  • 1.4 Active, 5-door (AC + radio): R116 000
  • 1.4 Dynamic, 5-door: R129 000
  • 1.3 Multijet Dynamic, 5-door: R137 320

    The New Fiat Grande Punto has 30 000 km service intervals (incl. Diesels). Fiat Auto South Africa offers Fiat owners a 24-month Manufacturer Warranty, unlimited mileage and an additional 12-month Dealer Extended Warranty or up to 100 000km in total, three years on paintwork and five years on rust anti-perforation.

    The new models are covered by the AA Fleetcare roadside assistance for 12 months.

    The big news is that the price includes a 5-year/90 000 km service plan - a first for this class of car.


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