Fiat has been extensively testing the replacement for the Punto internationally, ahead of the model’s expected debut sometime later this year. Codenamed X6H, the next-gen hatchback will be underpinned by a stretched iteration of the Fiat 326 modular architecture and will be badged as the Fiat Argo.
The current third-generation Fiat Punto has been around since 2005 and in its over-decade-long stint has received many updates. Some revisions have been like the India-specific updated Punto Evo on sale currently.
Images of test mules of the Argo have been doing the rounds on online portals with not much visible except for the basic outline of the body shell. Interior images of the test mule hint at a new interiors design with a steering wheel looking similar to the one on the Tipo hatchback. Other interior images have revealed the possibility of the new car receiving a City drive mode that could possibly up the car’s mileage during city driving. Another addition to the car’s interior could be the company’s UConnect infotainment system.
Mechanically, the Argo is expected to use a mix of new and existing engines with the new units likely to include the company’s 100hp, 1.4-litre four-pot petrol and a substantially larger 1.8-litre E-Torq petrol motor from the Toro pick-up. Fiat could also use the 0.9-litre TwinAir turbo-petrol motor in the hatchback though that option is likely to only be available in the Euro-spec car. The car is expected to be offered with manual and automatic gearbox options with interior images detailing a car with an automatic unit with steering-mounted paddles.
The next-gen Punto is expected to make its international debut in Brazil sometime later this year with Fiat Brazil having released a microsite for the new car.
It is not known if Fiat has any plans to bring the new car to India to replace the ageing Punto Evo. The automaker recently introduced a new entry-level Punto Evo Pure to replace the Punto Pure, an entry-level hatchback based on the old Punto on sale in the country.
Issue: 213 | Autocar India: May 2017
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