What is it?
This is the range-topping version of the new Fiat Punto Evo.
The new 1.4-litre Multiair petrol engine gets turbocharged induction to increase output to 133bhp and torque to 152lb ft. Miraculously, despite the higher power output the turbo’d Multiair engine produces less CO2 and better economy than its cheaper, naturally aspirated sibling with claimed figures at an angelic 129g/km and 50.4mpg combined.
The Punto Evo 135 is only available in top-level Sporting trim with a five-speed manual gearbox.
What’s it like?
The engine is the real step forward for Fiat. It offers a wide spread of torque and is good fun to push toward the red line, yet is also affordable to use everyday thanks to standard stop-start tech and advanced electronically-controlled valve control.
There is non of the peaky power delivery that you can get from other small turbocharged units and this engine, though perhaps not as free-revving as you might want, is a great unit for people wanting accessible performance occasionally and refined, punchy progress for the daily commute.
There are some let downs. Rather than the slick, new six-speed gearbox that is installed in the lower powered Punto Evo, the 133bhp turbocharged car sends drive through the old five-speed box. Unfortunately the older ‘box is nowhere near as rewarding to use, having a rubbery and vague movement that doesn’t encourage hard use.