New Punto During Testing
We are pleased
to see that the new Punto prototypes are in evidence. Tests on these
prototypes have continued all year. It appears that Fiat's recent trends
towards larger wheels - as seen on the latest Punto HGT displayed at
the Bologna Show (December 2004) may be available on the full range
rumours have this Mark 3 in full production towards the end of 2005
or perhaps 2006 for supply to the UK, and our right hand drive models.This
prototype's shape is very Punto in proportion and curves. Fiat are wise
to stick close to the image and brand maybe. Why mess too much up with
such a successful marque?
of the car - in particular the stance of the rear axle when cornering
- suggests the rear suspension has been revised again. The outer rear
wheel is offering more negative camber than is usual for the Punto Mark
plenty of duct spaces available around the front valence, to provide
lots of cooling opportunities - not to mention style points. Focus on
the front - and positions of the grafted on disguises - suggest we can
expect quite a different look here. I still remember the pleasant surprise
on first sight from the Cinquecento Sporting. So let's hope for more
of the same in true Italian style.
The Punto has
always been a class leader in aerodynamics. The Mark 2's drag coefficient
of cd 0.31-2 may well be under threat of improvement too (judging by
the careful use of spoilers and front/rear edge curves combined with
the new roof line).
are the advances made in the small turbo diesels by Fiat. The JTD diesel
has become a class leader with several manufactures looking to include
versions in their own ranges. In turbo form it's probably only a few
seasons before we see this diesel's torque and free revving capability
actually winning races against petrol engines. Reports of the new small
turbo diesel suggest this engine could be as an impressive advance as
the 1242cc 16 valve sporting. 150bhp and huge fuel economy has been
Roll on 2006!