Fiat will launch powerful versions of the Punto Evo and Avventura in the first half of this year. Both cars will get the 113bhp, 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol motor from the Linea T-jet.
While the Punto Evo and the Avventura are dynamically well sorted, they weigh as much as a typical mid-size sedan, which takes a slight toll on their performance. The added muscle of the T-jet motor should do well to exploit the cars’ handling capabilities. With the T-jet engines, the Punto Evo will be the most powerful car in its segment, and will directly compete with the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI, though both cars offer very different mechanical packages. While the Polo is powered by a modern 1.2-litre, direct-injection turbo motor mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic ‘box, the Punto will derive power from an old-school turbocharged engine and a manual ‘box, which is likely to appeal to enthusiasts.
We expect the Punto Evo T-jet to cost around Rs 7 lakh and the Avventura T-jet to be priced at around Rs 8 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). When launched, the Punto Evo will be the most powerful hatchback under the Rs 10 lakh mark. With a manual gearbox and over 110bhp on tap, we can’t wait to get our hands on it.