Fiat has unvelied the new Punto Evo Abarth before its first scheduled public outing at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. The Abarth version of the Fiat Punto Evo features a new performance mode selection system that modulates engine, braking and steering action to offer a choice of two different driving styles – Sport and Normal. The currently selected mode is displayed on the dashboard. If you are looking for a safe, relaxing drive, all you have to do is select Normal mode, while if you feel the need to enjoy the full performance, flip the switch to Sport position which makes the car more responsive, using electrical servo systems to modify handling and deliver the ultimate sporting feel. Due attention has also been paid to safety of course, so Sport mode also engages the Torque Transfer Control system automatically.
The Fiat Punto Evo Abarth’s 1.4 Multiair petrol engine also features Fiat’s innovative Start&Stop system. This switches the engine off automatically when the vehicle comes to a halt and the engine is left to idle, and restarts it again as soon as you are ready to move off. As soon as you take your foot off the brake or engage first gear, the system immediately restarts the engine to give you instant power and responsiveness. On top of this, if you accidentally stall the engine while moving off, all you have to do is press down on the clutch to re-start it automatically.
In the area of safety, the Fiat Punto Evo Abarth sets new standards thanks to 7 airbags, including a driver knee airbag. The Fiat Punto Evo is one of very few cars in its segment with a driver knee airbag fitted as standard on all versions. The Fiat Punto Evo Abarth also boasts a powerful and effective braking system. Disc brakes are fitted to all wheels, with ventilated discs and Brembo double piston, fixed calipers at the front. The suspension system is derived from a tried and tested Abarth configuration. Front suspension is provided by independent McPherson struts, while rear suspension is semi-independent with a torsion bar. Abarth has also fitted a larger anti-roll bar together with front springs that are 20% harder than those of a standard suspension system. The result is impeccable road holding plus a high level of passenger comfort.
The front bumper has been extended in width to incorporate the side flaps. The black intake cowl on the front has also been made deeper to match the lateral air outlets. This corrects and controls air flow and significantly improves aerodynamic efficiency around the sides of the car, just as on the full rally version. The diffuser, designed to optimise air flow, is a major feature of the bumper. The diffuser is the same as on the previous version, but has been given a new surround to enhance its looks and align its styling with the front splitter. The reversing lights and rear fog lights have been moved to the centre of the diffuser, forming a focal point as on formula racing cars.
The side flaps and skirts are finished in the same colour as the body, emphasising the car’s aggressive nature and its “stuck to the road” handling. The side graphics have also been restyled to match the front bumper and given new dimensions. The result is more in proportion with the side of the car and gives the body colour areas a sleeker appearance. Another new feature is the completely redesigned 17” spoked wheels, with the Abarth scorpion logo in the centre.
As was to be expected from Abarth, a high performance kit will be made available to coincide with the launch of the Fiat Punto Evo Abarth to boost engine power even further. In keeping with Abarth tradition, the tuning kit will give the new car more power than the basic model, enabling the Multiair 1.4 16v Turbo engine to develop a maximum power of 180 HP. Following Abarth’s performance tuning philosophy, the “SS” kit also includes modifications to chassis components, including perforated, ventilated discs, high performance brake pads, lower springs, and 18″ Abarth “SS” alloy wheels painted in white or titanium, and fitted with performance tyres.