2 June 2005

The GM/Fiat alliance might be finished, but its fruit is nearing showrooms. Both the Vauxhall Corsa and Fiat Punto have been snared by our scoop photographers in three-door form. Despite the light disguise, it’s obvious that the siblings are both more stylish and more sporting than the current versions.

The Giugiaro-styled Punto (above), vital to Fiat’s survival hopes, will be the first of the two to arrive in the UK, due next spring after the car is likely to be revealed at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

The new engine range should encompass five petrol and three diesel units, with a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol range-topper rumoured to pack around 180bhp. Vauxhall’s Corsa (right), which shares the same underpinnings as the Punto, will go on sale next summer. The sporty-looking three-door with two exhaust pipes, pictured here near the Nürburgring track in Germany and clearly inspired by the Astra Sporthatch, is the 1.8-litre SRi, which will use the same 138bhp engine due in the new Zafira MPV. The SRi will only be the hottest Corsa for around six months, though, as work will soon start on the 180bhp VXR that will do battle with the next-generation Renaultsport Clio.

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