Grande Punto Line-up gets a major spruce up for 2009

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Johannesburg International Motor Show 2008
Launch: Imminent
Available: Now
New models: 1.2 3-dr Active, 1.4 T-Jet 5-dr Dynamic, 1.4 T-Jet 3-dr Sport*

*Model on display on Fiat Stand in Hall 5

For 2009 Fiat has waved the make-over wand over the entire Grande Punto range. And, in response to customer demand, Fiat has also taken the opportunity to realign the local Grande Punto line-up.

What this means is that two models – the five-door 1.3 M-Jet and the three-door 1.9 M-Jet – fall away, to make way for three exciting new petrol additions.

The newcomers essentially top ‘n tail the revitalised Grande Punto range: the fizzy 88 kW 1.4 turbo-petrol mill now becomes the performance flagship and is shoehorned into the five-door 1.4 T-Jet Dynamic and the three-door 1.4 T-Jet Sport, while the three-door 1.2 Active becomes the new entry-level player.

Fiat’s General Manager of Marketing, Craig Westray says: “Two years after the launch of the Grande Punto, we have used the opportunity of the Series II range to adjust it to respond better to changing market trends and customer demands – we are delighted to announce the arrival of this revitalised model line-up.”

Sparkling new engines

The new 1.4 16v T-JET is the first in a new family of turbocharged petrol engines that offer performance, prompt response to the accelerator, low consumption, constructional simplicity, sturdiness and reliability.

It delivers a maximum power output of 88 kW at 5000 rpm and peak torque of 206 Nm, with an amazing 200 Nm already available at about 1700 rpm. Both the three-door 1.4 T-Jet Sport and the five-door 1.4 T-Jet Dynamic boast sport-biased, 5-speed manual boxes to capitalise on the clout of the new engine.

Elasticity is outstanding, which means fewer gear changes and an enjoyable, relaxed drive, but if you want a gutsier response, you only have to put your foot down. This result is achieved thanks to the low inertia of the turbocharger which delivers the best performance in response to the accelerator.

The smooth acceleration enhances the ‘enjoyable drive’, generating the performance of a true sports car, with a top speed of 195 km/h and 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in just 8.9 seconds. Yet consumption remains low: just 6.6 l/100 km in the combined cycle and reduced CO2 emissions (155 g/km).

The current economic climate has spawned the return of the tried and tested 1242 cc Fire engine which makes its comeback in the three-door Fiat Grande Punto Active with a number of refinements designed to make it a champion of thriftiness where consumption is concerned, but without detracting from performance.

Married to a five-speed manual box, the engine delivers 49 kW at 5500 rpm and takes the car to a top speed of 155 km/h. That’s not all. With the 1.2 8v engine, the new car has very low fuel consumption, among the best in its category.

The merit goes to the engine configuration, which aims to achieve generous torque at very low revs (with benefits in terms of enjoyment and elasticity), and to the ratios chosen to optimise the balance between performance and consumption. The result is torque of 10.4 kgm (102 Nm) at 3000 rpm and consumption of 7.9 l/100 km (urban cycle), 5.1 l/100 km (out of town) and 6.1 l/100 (combined cycle).

Exceptional levels of equipment

We should also underline that in the second half of 2007 the Grande Punto range received a facelift, with significant improvements to the interior, to emphasise its young spirit and increase the impression of superior quality within the passenger compartment.

To make it even more attractive and original, for 2009 the new car now has new upholstery and colours, and more attractive, practical shades and surface treatments for the facia. The instrument panel is also new and more opulent with chrome rings.

In terms of spec, the Grande Punto is no shrinking violet. Despite its entry-level status, the three-door 1.2 Active for example, boasts such niceties as dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, remote central locking, power steering, front electric windows/mirrors and a trip computer.

The five-door 1.4 T-Jet Dynamic chips even with even more kit including air conditioning, a six-speaker audio system with steering controls, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, rear headrests, six airbags, ESP incorporating traction control and Hill Holder, colour-coded door handles and mirrors as well as 15-inch alloys.

The range-topping three-door 1.4 T-Jet Sport gets the ‘Full Monty’ treatment with the following items over-and-above the 1.4 T-Jet Dynamic: centre amrest, front foglamps, auto-locking doors, side skirts, rear spoiler, leather steering wheel and gear knob, and 17-inch alloys.

A whole host of options are available, ranging from sport decals to a rain sensor.

Pricing & servicing

  • 1.2 3-dr Active MY2009 – R116 000
  • 1.4 5-dr Active MY2009 – R124 550
  • 1.4 5-dr Dynamic 16v MY2009 – R152 500
  • 1.4 T-Jet 5-dr Dynamic MY 2009 – R171 900
  • 1.4 T-Jet 3-dr Sport MY2009 – R179 900

Enhancing the ownership prospect, the new Fiat Grande Punto Model Year 2009, as with other premium products in the Fiat stable, has 30 000 km service intervals and enjoys full after-sales support in South Africa thanks to a comprehensive parts inventory (housed and distributed in an all-new, state-of-the-art facility) and the back-up of trained technicians at Fiat dealerships countrywide.

Fiat Auto South Africa offers a three-year 100 000 km Warranty (three years on paintwork and five years on rust anti-perforation) as well as a five-year 90 000 km
service plan. Please note that the service plan applies to Model Year 2009 / Series II versions only.

The new models are covered by the AA Fleetcare roadside assistance for 12 months. The service is active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is available by calling the dedicated toll-free number 0800 223 727.

IN 2008 FIAT CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF BUSINESS IN SOUTH AFRICA. FROM A SINGLE MODEL LINE-UP AND NOT ONE STAND-ALONE DEALERSHIP, THE COMPANY NOW BOASTS A VERY COMPREHENSIVE RANGE AND A DEDICATED DEALER NETWORK. FIAT GROUP AUTOMOBILES SOUTH AFRICA – 10 YEARS YOUNG AND HERE TO STAY!