What is it?
This is the new Fiat Punto Evo. Maybe it’s the performance connotations associated with a certain Japanese marque, or maybe it’s just a racey name, but when Fiat revealed that it was making the Punto Evo, the initial imagery involved big wheel arches and flaming exhausts rather than clever variable valve technology and excellent equipment levels.
Don’t be disappointed. The new Punto delivers on a number of levels that its desirable if slightly underwhelming predecessor failed on; enough that the identity change is justified despite the Evo being a facelift rather than all-new model.
The star of the new Punto is the 1.4-litre Multiair engine, which we’re testing in 103bhp guise. By controlling the inlet and exhaust valves Fiat has managed to make a small petrol engine that has a better spread of torque, more power and uses less fuel than a conventional equivalent. A stop-start system also helps achieve the decent claimed economy figure.
This is the first time we’ve driven the car in the UK.
What’s it like?
It’s the new Multiair engine that really improves the new Punto. Unlike a conventional naturally aspirated motor, you can keep the engine spinning at below 2000rpm around town and still have enough torque available to accelerate without changing down a gear, despite the low torque output of 96lb ft.