Fiat Punto 2012: the evolution of a best seller
The Punto 2012 confirms the distinctive aspects that destined the previous editions for success in all the European markets - not only is it constantly the top-selling car in Italy, but nearly 8.5 million vehicles have been produced from 1993 (the year of the first launch) until today - and intensifies the distinguished personality wîth an important aesthetic update, together wîth the new exterior colours and the seat upholsteries. Together wîth the aesthetic update, the two-cylinder 85 HP 875 cc TwinAir turbo engine named 'International Engine of the Year 2011' and the evolution of the 85 HP 1.3 MultiJet 2 are making their debuts, making it one of the diesel cars in its §egmènt boasting the best CO2 emissions. Renewed style in the spirit of 'elegance and dynamism'
On the outside, the Punto 2012 model presents a new front distinguished by a bumper entirely painted in the same shade as the body, wîth the direction indicators positioned alongside the air intake in a single perimeter that surrounds them. The bumper is incorporated and of the same body colour also at the back of the vehicle. In detail, its shape in relief describes a zone that divides the area dedicated to the number plate from that in which the auxiliary functions of the lights are positioned. Inside, brand-new fabrics upholstering the seats and original inserts of the dashboard that emphasise its stylistic elegance are evident. The new style innovations of the Punto 2012 are completed wîth a new design for the 15' alloy wheels and three new metallic bodywork colours: Glam Rock Blue, Tip Tap Red and Blues Grey. As for the 500 model, the TwinAir name on the Fiat Punto 2012 will indicate not only the two-cylinder engine, but also a new trim level marked by a unique and recognisable look: the availability of a dedicated colour, Energetico Green, and the exclusive glossy black roof, available as an optional.Eco Drive: 0.9 TwinAir 85 HP for new driving pleasure
Together wîth the updated look the two-cylinder 85 HP 875 cc TwinAir turbo engine - named 'International Engine of the Year 2011' - is making its debut. This is what confirms the model as a perfect balance between eco-friendliness (98 g/km CO2) and driving pleasure (85 HP at 5,500 rpm of power and 145 Nm at 2,000 rpm of torque). With the specific engine control calibration, this engine brings together two different operating modes that can be selected by pressing a button on the dashboard. Normal provides full engine performance to enhance driving liveliness and spirit, while Eco, which limits the torque, reduces fuel consumption to ensure a driving style that is truly eco-friendly and more economical.Source - Fiat
Another innovation in the field of engines is the evolution of the 85 HP 1.3 MultiJet 2. By adopting two new technologies, Intelligent Alternator and Intelligent Flow, it achieves the record-breaking level of 90 g/km CO2. These technologies, together wîth the use of low-viscosity transmission fluid, make the Punto 2012 one of the diesel cars in its §egmènt boasting the best CO2 emissions.
10 engines that meet all needs
The Punto 2012 continues to be a constant point of reference when it comes to engine innovation. They are increasingly lively and thrifty both wîth petrol (MultiAir and TwinAir) and diesel (MultiJet) supply, combining innovation wîth eco-friendliness every single time. Evidence of this lies in the methane or LPG engine, in addition to extending the Stop&Start wîth Gear Shift Indicator technology to all the Euro 5 diesel and petrol engines. This system automatically cuts out the engine and suggests the best gear in order to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 15-percent for an urban route. This long tradition of records is reinforced today wîth the Punto MY 2012 following introduction of the new 85 HP TwinAir turbo engine and the evolution of the 85 HP 1.3 MultiJet engine.
The widest range in its §egmènt
The range in Italy comprises three product lines - Comfort, Sport and Fun to Drive - each featuring a different content offer wîth the aim of satisfying different needs. The first line includes the Pop, Easy and Lounge trim levels, and addresses the traditional customer in a crescendo of comfort and style features. Instead, for a typically male customer lòòking for a car that looks distinctive and dynamic, the Sport line that includes the Racing and Sport versions has been created. In particular, the Fun to Drive line offers the exclusive TwinAir trim level dedicated to the revolutionary two-cylinder engine. It is characterised aesthetically and internally wîth glossy black pillars and mirror covers, special alloy wheels, 13 exterior colours, one of which is dedicated, Energetico Green, the exclusive glossy black roof option and special 'Sportex' seat fabrics.
10 engines that meet all needs
The technological excellence of the Fiat Punto 2012 is first of all found in the extensive and diverse range of engines that can be fuelled by petrol, petrol/LPG, petrol/methane or diesel. The optimal balance between performance, driving pleasure and fuel consumption is a common feature of all the engines.
The engines are matched wîth five- or six-speed mechanical or robotised sequential (Dualogic) gearboxes that have been optimised for excellent manoeuvrability and very low noise levels.
The following engines are available at launch:
85 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo E5 Start&Stop
69 HP 1.2 8v E5 (with and without Start&Stop)
69 HP 1.2 8v E5 Start&Stop (long ratios)
77 HP 1.4 8v E5 Start&Stop (mechanical or Dualogic gearbox)
105 HP 1.4 MultiAir 16v E5 Start&Stop
135 HP 1.4 MultiAir Turbo 16v E5 Start&Stop
75 HP 1.3 MultiJet 2 16v E5 (with and without Start&Stop)
85 HP 1.3 MultiJet 2 16v E5 Start&Stop
95 HP 1.3 MultiJet 2 16v E5 Start&Stop
70 HP 1.4 8v petrol-methane E5
77 HP 1.4 8v petrol-LPG E5
The 1.4 MultiAir available wîth two different power levels, 105 HP and 135 HP, is confirmed on the Fiat Punto 2012. The engine represents a real point of departure from the current petrol engine scene. Compared wîth a traditional petrol engine wîth the same cubic capacity, the MultiAir engines provide a significant increase in power and torque, as well as much lower fuel consumption and emissions.
At the heart of the MultiAir is a new electrohydraulic valve management system that enables reduced fuel consumption (by controlling air directly via the engine intake valves, without using the throttle) and harmful emissions (via combustion control), as well as improved performance. As befits a flag-bearer for the downsizing concept, MultiAir is a versatile technology that is easily applied to all petrol engines and may potentially be developed for diesel engines.
The 135 HP 1.4 MultiAir Turbo guarantees the Fiat Punto 2012 all the performance and temperament of a sporty, well-balanced car designed for customers who want good driveability and fuel economy. Thanks to the turbocharger, the torque delivery of the 135 HP engine is optimum under all conditions and ensures outstanding acceleration and great response at all revs, setting a new benchmark for petrol engines. The new 135 HP engine's top speed and time to accelerate from 0-100 km/h puts it at the top of the mini category: 200 km/h (205 for the Sport version) and just 8.5 seconds. Excellent performance is combined wîth respect for the environment (Euro 5 type-approval) and good fuel economy. This excellence is reflected in particularly low CO2 emissions, equal to 129 g/km, wîth a combined fuel consumption of just 5.6 litres every 100 km.
Balance and temperament are also attributes of the 105 HP 1.4 MultiAir power unit. This engine is located in the middle of its reference market, where it represents the best choice. The 105 HP MultiAir also complies wîth Euro 5 standards and records 133 g/km of CO2 (combined fuel consumption is just 5.7 litres every 100 km). Performance is excellent: from 0-100 km/h in 10.8 seconds and top speed of 185 km/h.
All this tells you that MultiAir has all the necessary attributes to be as revolutionary in the field of petrol engines as JTD and MultiJet were in their day for diesel engines. Fiat's long tradition in engines continues.
The Fiat Punto 2012 can be fitted wîth the 1.3 MultiJet 2 turbodiesel engine wîth three different power levels (75 HP, 85 HP, 95 HP).
What's brand new in the diesel engine range is the introduction of the 85 HP 1.3 16V MultiJet 2 (with a torque of 200 Nm at 1500 rpm). Already today at the cutting edge thanks to the IRS (Injection Rate Shaping) technology of the MultiJet II and to the special eco turbo-matching of the turbocharger assembly, it takes a further step forward wîth the introduction of two new technologies (Intelligent Alternator and Intelligent Flow) that let it reach the level of 90 g/km of CO2 emissions. The first technology optimises the battery recharging strategy during the 'engine cut-off' phases, while the second is obtained through an oil pump wîth variable displacement and optimisation of the cooling circuit. These technologies, together wîth the use of low-viscosity transmission fluid, make the Punto one of the diesel cars in its §egmènt boasting the best CO2 emissions.
The 1.3 MultiJet 2 is available wîth 75, 85 or 95 HP, and all versions are equipped wîth the particulate filter and Start&Stop system. In addition, turbocharging is carried out either by a fixed geometry turbocharger (75 HP) or a variable geometry turbocharger (85 and 95 HP). The engines have next-generation turbochargers that, combined wîth the new second-generation MultiJet injection system, ensure the best possible turbo function at any engine operating level, wîth torque delivery at low revs up to 25 per cent higher than the previous generation. The second-generation MultiJets are therefore the latest development in the Common Rail injection system which, after the JTD (1997) and MultiJet (2003) engines, gives the Fiat Group yet another first in this field.
A peculiar feature of the Euro 5 versions is the adoption of a new MultiJet Common Rail injection system that, thanks to a balanced hydraulic servo-valve, controls the quantity of diesel injected in the combustion chamber wîth great precision, wîth an injection sequence which is faster and more flexible than in the past. By reducing the amount of time between injections, these injectors optimise fuel introduction to the chamber and therefore make the diesel combustion process more gradual, wîth positive effects for consumption, emissions, NVH and handling. In fact, the new common rail injector on the Euro 5 engines cuts consumption and CO2 on the type-approval cycle by around 2-percent, while at the same time reducing harmful emissions.
The two bi-fuel systems (petrol/methane and petrol/LPG), which unquestionably give the new Punto 2012 the most complete and eco-friendly engine range in the §egmènt, are further proof of Fiat's commitment to protecting the environment. What's more, Fiat is the undisputed global leader in the §egmènt of original dual-fuel petrol/methane cars (OEM) and, more recently, of dual-fuel petrol/LPG cars.
The two 'green' versions have a 1.4 8v Fire Evo II engine wîth 77 specific HP (for example, the Natural Power delivers 70 HP when operating on methane) designed specifically to integrate fully wîth the two fuel supply systems.
The Punto 2012 Natural Power fitted wîth the methane fuel supply system guarantees low CO2 emissions (just 115 g/km), excellent handling and good performance. Its top speed is 156 km/h, whereas it accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 16.9 seconds. The same is true wîth the Punto 2012 EasyPower (LPG/petrol) that meets the specific demand of this market's growth. It ensures low CO2 emissions (114 g/km) and fuel consumption (7.0 l/100 km in the combined cycle).
Technologies for sustainable mobility
In addition to being a constant point of reference in terms of engineering innovation, resulting in increasingly lively and thriftier engines, the new Fiat Punto 2012 reaffirms those values that have always distinguished the model: the dynamism and elegance of its lines, a perfect synthesis of Italian style and the technological innovation that since its launch has been a winning feature of the car. The model counts among its records that of being the first car of its §egmènt equipped wîth an advanced infotainment system (Blue&Me) or useful instruments for the customer so he can analyse his driving style in real time (eco:Drive info) and receive tips on how he can reduce environmental impact and optimising fuel consumption.
All Fiat Punto 2012 innovations form an integral part of 'Air Technologies', the new brand that contains all the low impact technologies able to combine respect for the environment wîth driving pleasure, and expresses the attitude wîth which Fiat calls people to experience their cars: wîth optimism, fun, economy and respect. From alternative fuel systems, gearbox and traction management systems, Start&Stop, Gear Shift Indicator, technical solutions designed to improve vehicle dynamic efficiency and the exclusive eco:Drive software that allows drivers to check and correct their driving behaviour wîth the aim of reducing emissions and saving fuel: these are the thematic areas of 'Air Technologies' that translates the Fiat philosophy of converting the needs of the people into concrete solutions immediately available today for all.
Renewed style in the spirit of 'elegance and dynamism'
The characteristic value of a distinctly unique architecture for a vehicle which is still the forerunner of its type once again emerges in the design of the Punto 2012. This saloon has a feisty attitude and offers space inside wîth an unambiguous image of speed and modernity.
Having established itself as an instant classic in a vehicle class that had never existed before, the Punto 2012 confirms Fiat's tradition of always creating cars in perfect tune wîth Italian design that are able to give voice to the attitudes and expectations of demanding car owners attentive to performance and total usability of space, and also to represent them wîth clear-cut, dynamic and recognisable lines.
The Punto 2012 has an updated exterior wîth front and rear bumpers that are a blend of the strong points of the Grande Punto, launched in 2005, and the Punto Evo, introduced to the market in 2009.
In detail, the front bumper sports new graphics that today enhance the technical and functional zones, such as the two air intakes, now enclosed in a single trapezium-shaped perimeter, and two side appendixes, which contain the direction indicators.
Now the bumper band is integrated wîth the rest of the bumper and is still the same colour as the body, while the round fog lights wîth cornering function are located in the lower air intake.
The grille is black and has a hexagonal mesh pattern on all the trim levels. It creates a sharper contrast wîth the body colour on the rest of the bumper. Higher up, the Fiat logo stands out in the centre of the bumper, while the other exterior details have remained the same as those of the previous Punto generation. The result? A highly refined design which doesn't sacrifice clean lines.
As for the front, the rear bumper has also been redesigned wîth the band integrated wîth the rest of the bumper, and it too is painted the same shade as the bodywork. The rear fog light and reversing light are still arranged beneath it but now have an elongated shape and are integrated wîth the surrounding surface.
The Fiat logo is on the hatchback and now serves to unlock the doors, and the 'Punto' logo is beneath it in the centre, stylised wîth the ruby red dot, the same colour as the Fiat logo.
The Punto 2012 sports new, fresher and more youthful materials and colours on the inside as well. In particular, different types of fabrics according to the trim levels have been developed for the seats: grey denim wîth ruby red embroidery for the Pop; Denim Extra wîth electro-welding in three different shades (grey, blue and red) for the Easy and Racing; and lastly a refined black Castiglio fabric wîth inserts and surfaces in a hexagonal pattern similar to the design of the front grille cover the anatomical configuration seats of the Lounge and Sport. The black leather upholstery is available as an optional on all the trim levels (except Pop)
The dashboard fascia, soft touch starting from the Easy trim level, is covered wîth a particular black 3D finish, Diamond, on the Easy and Racing versions, while the covering is made using a distinctive embossing, Stone, that emphasises the perfect blend of elegance and sportiness on the Lounge and Sport versions.
New bodywork colours
Three new metallic bodywork colours complete the list of new Punto 2012 style innovations: Glam Rock Blue, Tip Tap Red and Blues Grey.
Specially designated Project 178, the Fiat Punto debuted in September of 1993. A supermini vehicle, the Fiat Punto was the replacement for the Fiat Uno. For 1995 the Punto was awarded European Car of the Year. The first generation lasted from 1993 throgh 1999 and was styled exclusively by Giorgetto Giugiaro.
The Fiat Punto was an almost instant success, in part due to the legendary styling of Giugiaro, but also due to competitive pricing which beat out GM's Corsa and Volkswagen's Polo. The vertical taillights were considered to be the most innovative and recognizable Punto feature, and these weren't even designed by Giugiaro.
Though the very powerful 1.6 Sporting was available, entry level Punto were the 1.1 and 1.2 liter petrol engine, and the 1.7 diesel engine. The most versatile performing engine was the 1.4 GT Turbo was introduced, and was capable of reaching over 130 mph and could reach 60 mph in barely 7.6 seconds. At the time, the cabriolet convertible version was one of the cheapest open-top vehicles in the world.
Designated Project 188, the second generation Fiat Punto was introduced in 1999. All new styling was introduced though the classic Punto design remained the same. The chassis and the interior were completely overhauled. To celebrate Fiat's centenary, the second generation Punto became the first Fiat in decades to carry the original round Fiat badge. The mark 2 was produced from 1999 through 2003.
Due to emission problems, the 1.1 and 1.4 turbo engines were deleted, and the entry-level models featured only a 1.2 petrol unit or a 1.9 diesel engine. For this generation, there were two available sporty versions, the 1.2 16 valve Sporting model that came with 6 speed gearbox, and the impressive 1.8 HGT that was capable of 130 mph. Featuring much better handling, the HGT did have slower acceleration than its predecessor, the Mark 1 GT.
The 5,000,000th production Fiat Punto was produced in early 2003. The platform underwent even more extensive updates that included major styling changes, along with the deletion of the 1.2 liter Sporting and the addition of a new 1.4 16v engine. The 1.3 liter common rail diesel Multi-Jet engine was also introduced. The Mark 2 Revision B was introduced from 2003 through 2005.
Introduced on the tailgate of the Mark 2B, the round Fiat badge had previously only been found on the hood of Mark 2 models. Fiat produced its 6,000,000th Punto at the Melfi plant on June 1, 2005. In Europe, this Punto is the fourth-best selling compact vehicle at this time.
Zastava, a Serbian manufacturer purchased a license agreement with Fiat in October of 2005 to take this version.
Designated Project 199, the Mark 3 Fiat Punto was introduced in 2005 as the third generation model. Titled officially the Grande Punto, this model was debuted at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show. Once again styled by the famous Giugiaro, the Mark 3 was based on the Fiat/GM 'Small' platform.
This generation featured a variety of engines that included the 1.2 Fire 8v, a brand new 1.4 Fire 8v and four Multi-jet Diesels; two 1.3 16v units, and two 1.9 JTD Multi-jets with 120 and 130cv. The GT version was the top of the line model that was powered by a turbo-charged 1.6 engine that developed 180-200bhp.
Due to its inexpensive price, and the ease and availability of spare parts, the Punto has always been a popular ride for amateur racing drivers. The Punto Rally, the S1600 and the Punto Abarth are competition rally versions of the Fiat Punto.By Jessica Donaldson