Less is definitely more

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New name, new focus & new price for the all-new Fiat Punto Emotion

The hoary old adage that you get what you pay for certainly doesn’t apply to Fiat’s latest offering, the all-new Punto Emotion 1.4i. Visually virtually identical to the current Grande Punto five-door, the newcomer comes in at a very tantalising R158 500, offering so much more for so much less.

The question is, how and where exactly does the newcomer fit into Fiat’s existing line-up? Oscar Rivoli, Managing Director of Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa answers that question: “We perceived a gap in our line-up for a quality, well-specced, family-oriented yet affordable hatch. The new Punto fills that need and then some. Buyers are becoming a lot more discerning; they demand more in terms of features and safety, yet value-for-money is still at the top of their list – the new Punto Emotion ticks all of these boxes.”

The next obvious question is: what happens to Grande Punto? Grande Punto will evolve, allowing Fiat to tackle the highly competitive compact hatch segment on two fronts: the new Punto Emotion (with other value-based models to follow) will compete at the lower end of the price spectrum, while the forthcoming Punto Evo (in essence an evolution of the Grande Punto) which was recently launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show, will do battle at the top end.

What does the new Fiat Punto Emotion offer?

In a word ‘everything’ – style, pace, spec, safety and super value for money.

Stylistically, the Punto and the Grande Punto share the same design blueprint which is characterised by those unmistakable sportscar-inspired tear-drop headlights, sharply raked windscreen, softly bulging flanks and high-level, organically-shaped rear taillights. Body-coloured bumpers / door handles, front fog lamps and 15-inch alloy wheels round off the package.

Engine

The Punto Emotion is powered by Fiat’s trademark FIRE engine, boasting 1368 cc, and 4 cylinders in line, with a bore of 72 mm and stroke of 84 mm. There are four valves per cylinder, activated directly by two overhead camshafts. The engine delivers 66 kW at 6000 rpm, and peak torque of 115 Nm at 4500 rpm.

Thanks to a favourable power-to-weight ratio, the Punto has a top speed of 165 km/h, and dispatches the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in a commendable 15.72 seconds. Fuel consumption is impressive too: 9,5 l/100 km in the urban cycle, 6,1 l/100 km out of town and 7,3 l/100 km in the combined cycle.

Some of the engine’s highlights include:

  • Drive-by-wire throttle – facilitates greater responsiveness for fuel efficiency
  • Increased compression ratio (10.8:1) and the high torque values at low speeds, make it possible to limit fuel consumption
  • Euro 3 compliant engine with a catalytic converter positioned in the engine bay (and welded to the exhaust manifold flange using a new technology) which reaches very high temperatures faster, thus reducing emissions even while the engine is warming up. To minimise the environmental impact, the engine also incorporates a ‘returnless’ fuel supply system, which eliminates fuel recirculation within the tank, thus reducing vapour formation. The CO2 emissions are pegged at 168 grams per km.

Luxury & Convenience Features

The Punto’s ‘Emotion’ tag indicates that it gets the Full Monty treatment when it comes to spec. The following features are all standard:

  • Power steering with adjustable steering wheel and audio controls
  • Blue&Me Telecommunication system –Gives full bluetooth mobile phone connectivity and allows messages to be read out via voice command
  • CD/MP3 with 6 speakers
  • Remote central locking
  • Front & rear power windows
  • Electric mirrors
  • Automatic climate control
  • On-board computer including outside temperature display
  • Dual-tone dashboard
  • Leather-sheathed steering wheel & gear lever knob
  • Boot light
  • Height-adjustable driver’s seat
  • 60:40 split rear seats

Thanks to all these features that the Punto Emotion throws in as standard, the only cost option at this stage is metallic paint (R1 184 incl.).

Safety Features

Despite its affordability, the Punto Emotion doesn’t scrimp on safety. Take a look at these standard items:

  • Dual front airbags with CSA / Crash Severity Algorithm (recognises the severity of the impact and deplys the airbags accordingly) and ECS / Early Crash Sensor (allows airbags to unfold completely to avoid occupants from hurtling towards the steering wheel).
  • ABS braking system with EBD
  • Fire Prevention System – cuts off the fuel supply to the engine in the event of a collision
  • Programmable (up to a max of 3,5 minutes) Follow-Me-Home headlamps
  • Automatic Check Service System reminds you when your car is due for a service
  • FCS / Fiat Code System rolling code immobiliser

Pricing & Servicing

  • Fiat Punto Emotion 1.4i     –    R158 500 (incl. VAT)

Enhancing the ownership prospect, the new Fiat Punto Emotion 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. And, contributing to the low cost of ownership is the standard five-year 90 000 km service plan.

As with other models in the Fiat stable, the new model is 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.

Technical Specs

  • Engine    1.4 – 16v – 66kW
  • No. of cylinders, arrangement    4, in line, front trasv.
  • No. of valves    16
  • Bore x stroke (mm)    72.0 x 84.0
  • Capacity (cc)    1368
  • Emissions compliance    Euro 3
  • Compression ratio    10.8:1
  • Max. power output: kW    66 kW at rpm    6000
  • Max. torque: Nm-EC    115 at rpm    4500
  • Timing gear (control)    1 OHC
  • Toothed timing belt
  • Fuel supply MPI phased sequential electronic
  • Ignition Static with digital electronic control
  • Transmission
  • Drive front
  • Clutch control hydraulic
  • Gearbox, no. of speeds    5 + reverse

Gearbox:

  1. 1st     4.273 : 1
  2. 2nd     2.238 : 1
  3. 3rd    1.520 : 1
  4. 4th    1.156 : 1
  5. 5th     0.872 : 1
  6. Reverse    3.909 : 1

Gearbox family    C510

  • Final ratio    4.4 : 1

Steering

  • Type rack and pinion with
  • hydraulic power steering
  • Turning circle (m)    11.1

Brakes

  • Front: (mm)    Disc 257 x 22 (ventilated)
  • Rear: (mm)    Drum 228 x 40

Suspension

  • Front independent MacPherson type, double-acting telescopic dampers and stabiliser bar
  • Rear torsion axle, telescopic hydraulic dampers

Measurements

  • Wheelbase (mm)    2510
  • Length / Width / Height (mm)    3987 / 1687 (excl. mirrors) / 1495
  • Luggage capacity (litre)    280
  • Kerb weight (kg)    1145
  • Fuel tank capacity (litre)    45

Wheels

  • Alloy wheels (15″)    195/60 R15

Performance

  • Top speed (km/h)    165
  • Acceleration (sec.): 0 to 100 km/h 15,72
  • EC Consumption (l/100 km) as per EC Directive 1999/100
  • urban cycle    9,5
  • out of town    6,1
  • combined cycle    7,3
  • CO2 exhaust emissions (g/km)    168