From 1993 to 2018, the Punto was Fiat’s B-segment (subcompact) hatchback. It competed against cars like the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta, Opel Corsa and Renault Clio. The third and last generation, introduced in 2005 and riding on the then new GM Fiat Small Platform, was initially marketed as the Grande Punto.
An updated Grande Punto was renamed Punto Evo in 2009. And from 2012 to 2018 things were finally back to normal. Punto.
Now to this utterly-black (me like!) beastie. One can say that Abarth was born again on February 1, 2007. The Abarth & C. S.p.a. company became an independent unit, fully controlled by Mothership Fiat’s car division. Their first product was the 2007 Abarth Grande Punto.
This series of Abarths was powered by Fiat’s turbocharged 1.4 liter 16v T-Jet engine with a maximum power output of 155 DIN-hp @ 5,500 rpm. If you wanted more power from this engine you could opt for the Abarth Esseesse performance kit (179 DIN-hp @ 5,750 rpm, among other things). Esseesse as in SS, Super Sport.
The Fiat Grande Punto, with its attractive Maserati snout, was a commercial success. In the first quarter of 2006, it was the best selling car of western Europe.
From the 2009 Abarth Grande Punto to its successor, a 2012 Abarth Punto Evo. Now with the turbocharged 1.4 liter 16v MultiAir engine under its hood, good for 163 DIN-hp @ 5,500 rpm.
That’s more than adequate for a subcompact hatchback with a curb weight of 1,160 kg (2,557 lbs). The top speed of these Abarths is around 210 km/h (130 mph).
Inside an Abarth Punto Evo.
Building sublime and desirable small cars has always been Fiat’s expertise. These days, mainly by offering around 500 variatons on the 500 theme, Abarths included.