The new generation version of the Fiat Punto hatchback has been much eagerly anticipated by many not only in India but also abroad. Thanks to a latest report from the Brazilian arm of Car and Driver, we have been treated with some vital information. Most importantly, it will carry an evocative name with an induced sportiness called ‘Super Palio’ for the Brazilian market and it will be launched there next year.
Car and Driver Brasil has reported that the hatchback will not be encouraged to retain the Punto moniker as the next-gen model will succeed both the Punto and the Palio. Codenamed as X6H, there will be an all-wheel drive variant as well which will act as a replacement to the Fiat Idea Avventure.
The new Fiat Punto had already been captured testing on ice for the very first time in Sweden earlier in February but it wore a full camouflage that time around. The production version will be based on the stretched out Fiat 326 platform that also underpins the Uno and Palio. It will measure less than four metres in length and will come available with a new engine.
The 1.3-litre three-pod 16V engine is expected to produce a peak power close to 105 hp. It will be accompanied by a 1.6-litre and a 1.8-litre E.torQ motor coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission. The spy images released by the same website have revealed that the interiors could be steps ahead of what has currently been offered by Fiat.
The steering wheel design takes design influences from the Fiat Tipo and the central HVAC vents are placed alongside the steering wheel. The company’s Uconnect infotainment system with a free-standing display is likely to be offered and the next-gen Punto could spawn a sedan version as well, internally codenamed as X6S – the new Fiat Linea or Grand Siena in some markets. The new models will be manufactured at Fiat’s Betim facility in Brazil and Cordoba plant in Argentina.
Launched in 2009 for Indian customers, the Fiat Punto did not receive any makeover for the first five years. The highly powerful Abarth version based on the Punto Evo was a brilliant addition to the line-up and most recently the entry-level Punto Pure was introduced at the Auto Expo 2016.