The replacement for Fiat's ageing Punto arrives at Frankfurt show
29 July 2005

If Fiat is to survive as a volume car maker, this is the car that will have to be a success. The new Punto, or Grande Punto, as Fiat wants it to be known, is revealed in these first official pictures ahead of a UK launch early next year.

Sharing a platform with next year’s new Vauxhall Corsa and designed by Italdesign-Giugiaro in partnership with Fiat’s own design centre, the new Punto will make its first public appearance at next month’s Frankfurt motor show. In line with the new Grande name, it grows considerably over the current car and features Fiat’s new corporate look first revealed on the Croma. Like the current 12 year-old, six million-selling Punto the new car will be sold in both three- and five-door forms, and at 4030mm long it stretches 190mm over the existing model. It's wider too, up 20mm at 1680, while the more swooping roofline drops by 10mm. Two petrol engines and four diesels will make up the launch package. The petrols are 1.2-litre 65bhp and 1.4-litre 77bhp units, while the oil-burners are 1.3 MultiJets with 75 and 90bhp, and 1.9-litre MultiJets with 120 and 130bhp. A replacement for the top-spec HGT version should follow after launch.

Pricing won’t be firmed up until nearer the UK launch date, but expect nothing more than a modest rise as Fiat needs to be successful against the likes of the forthcoming Renault Clio, facelifted Ford Fiesta and next year’s new Vauxhall Corsa.

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