Fiat India is turning up the heat here and the latest bit of buzz emerging from the Italian brand revolves its Abarth performance brand. Fiat India, which will launch the Abarth brand in the country, in the next few months, plans to launch a Abarth prepped Grande Punto hatchback as its first product. To keep the Abarth tuned Grande Punto affordable, Fiat plans to localize many components to keep the price at a level that actually encourages Fiat fans to go ahead and buy the Abarth-spec Punto. Fiat could localize the body kit of the Abarth spec model while the high performance components are expected to be imported.
The Fiat Grande Punto Abarth edition hatchback is expected to get a much more powerful petrol engine. The 1.4 Liter turbo petrol motor that the current India-spec Linea sedan features, is expected to get additional power and torque. The 1.4 Liter turbo petrol motor on the Punto Abarth could output a peak power of 160 Bhp while peak torque could be about 230 Nm. With that much power under the hood, expect the Punto Abarth to hit a top speed in excess of 200 Kph, while the nought to hundred sprint should come up in well under 10 seconds.
Currently, the petrol powered Fiat Grande Punto suffers from anaemic engines that simply feel underpowered for the hefty B+ segment hatchback. So, the more powerful turbocharged petrol motor is just what the doctor ordered for the Grande Punto. Apart from the more powerful engine, the Punto Abarth is expected to get a once over in terms of ride and handling to go with the increased power output. Given that the Grande Punto is highly renowned for its excellent ride and handling, an even sportier Punto could annihilate every car this side of INR 30 lakhs.
Expect the Punto Abarth to get nattier with a new body kit, a sticker job and Abarth badging. The 2013 Fiat Grande Punto Abarth is expected to come with a sub INR 10 lakh price tag, The car is expected be sold from Abarth lounges within Fiat independent dealerships. Rather than big volumes for a high performance petrol car like the Abarth spec Punto, Fiat India will be looking at building the Fiat brand in India. The Italian car maker has big plans for the Indian car market, with the likes of the Jeep brand and Abarth being lined up.