The fastest version of the Fiat Punto has arrived in Australia with the launch of the turbocharged T-Jet version of Fiat’s top-selling small car, boasting a 0-100 kmh time of just 8.9 seconds; yet, at the same time the highly efficient new engine also endows the Punto with a combined fuel figure of a modest 6.6 litres per 100 kmh.
“The new Fiat 1.4 litre T-Jet really is the engine of the future,” says David Stone, General Manager for Fiat cars in Australia. “Normally a performance car needs a significantly larger engine to gain a high performance output. Punto Turbo Sport, the already highly efficient 1.4 gains a turbocharger to produce power and torque levels the equivalent of a 2.0 litre engine. As a result, the Punto Turbo Sport is not only one of the quickest sub-$30,000 hot hatches, it is also one of the most economical.”
The new engine is a light pressure turbocharged version of the 1.4 litre Star-Jet engined that arrived at the launch of the Fiat Punto. The low inertia turbo lifts power from 57 to 88 kW and torque from 115 to 206 Nm, with an amazing 200 NM available from just 1700 rpm and more than four seconds is cut from the 0-100 kmh acceleration time. But, at the same time, with an average fuel consumption of 6.6 l/100 km and carbon dioxide figure of 155 g/km, the Punto is cleaner and more economical than its key rivals.
Despite these large increases in power and torque, the weight increase is very low, benefiting not just performance and fuel consumption, but also handling and road holding as the Punto T-Jet maintains the weight balance of a small-engined car.
The first in new range of compact, 1.4 litre turbocharged engines that deliver the power, torque and performance of much larger engines, the advanced design provides instant response and excellent in-gear performance across the range. Thus the 8.9 second 0-100 kmh time is representative not just of excellent through the gear performance, the new engine also offers strong responsive performance in every gear at low engine speeds.
The Punto Turbo slots in into the middle of the range, with the same Sport equipment and trim package as the range topping diesel-powered Punto Sport 1.9 JTD. This means it is comprehensively well equipped in all areas. Like all Puntos it is five star EuroNCAP rated and has ABS brakes with ESP stability control, ASR/MSR and Hill Holder and follow-me-home lights for personal security. Immediately identifiable from the outside, the Punto Sport has 17 inch alloy wheels, colour matched spoilers and side skirts and a chrome finish on its exhaust pipe.
Inside there are sports seats trimmed with sports upholstery, sports instrument panel, a leather trimmed sports steering wheel and gear knob. Equipment includes power steering, electric windows and mirrors, cruise control, air conditioning and remote central locking with remote boot release. The Sport package also includes sports suspension for sharp, responsive cornering to go with the responsive new engine.
“With the arrival of the T-Jet Turbo, the Punto range now offers one of the most complete and varied choice of small car power plants,” says David Stone. “Each power unit offers it own blend of performance, economy and purchase price to offer buyers of small cars the ability to tailor a Punto to their own particular budget and motoring needs, knowing that which ever Punto they buy, they will own a car with benchmark safety, superb good looks and a small car that has something only a Fiat can offer – Italian Soul!”
The new Fiat Punto Sport T-Jet has a recommended retail price of $25,990 and deliveries will start on 10 January 2007.
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