Fiat Punto Natural Power
The second generation Punto, codenamed Project 188, was launched in September 1999 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The styling was all-new while retaining t...More »
Fiat Punto Natural Power
The second generation Punto, codenamed Project 188, was launched in September 1999 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The styling was all-new while retaining the original Punto's distinctive shape and design, while the chassis and interior were completely overhauled, with a new torsion beam rear suspension. The new Punto also became the first Fiat in decades to carry the original round Fiat badge, to celebrate Fiat's centenary.
At the launch event of the hatchback, the Fiat Wish concept car was also presented, which was hardtop convertible version of the Fiat Punto, very similar in styling with the Peugeot 206 CC. The model was conceived by Pininfarina to celebrate the centenary of Fiat.
The 1.1 and 1.4-L turbo engines were discontinued due to emissions issues and the entry-level models had only a 1.2-L petrol unit, with either 8 or 16 valves, giving 60 hp (45 kW) and 80 hp (60 kW) respectively, or a 1.9-L diesel, with common rail injection and turbocharger or naturally-aspired with mechanical injection.
Two sporty versions were offered. The 1.2-L 16 valve Sporting model with a six-speed manual, and the 1.8-L HGT which could reach almost 130 mph (210 km/h). The 1.2-L 16V model also has a Speedgear CVT-equipped variant (with a sequential manual shift mode consisting of six gears, seven for the Sporting model). The 1.8-L HGT accelerates from 0-60 in 8.0 seconds. It was considered a big improvement in handling over the Punto GT. The HGT was also available (in limited numbers) as an "HGT Abarth" which added deeper bumpers, rear spoiler, side skirts, new alloy wheels and interior trim. The HGT Abarth had no technical improvements over the regular HGT.
The second generation Punto has also adopted the Dualdrive electric power steering and came with two operation modes, using an electric motor, rather than a hydraulic pump driven by the engine. This resulted in reduced fuel consumption and less environmental impact. It has a fuel economy of 5.6 l/100 km (50 mpg-imp; 42 mpg-US) - urban and 3.9 l/100 km (72 mpg-imp; 60 mpg-US) - extra urban for the 1.9-L diesel. The 1.8-L petrol does 8.8 l/100 km (32 mpg-imp; 27 mpg-US) - urban and 5.3 l/100 km (53 mpg-imp; 44 mpg-US) - extra urban.
In early 2003, Fiat celebrated the rollout of the 5,000,000th production Punto. In the same year, the second-generation facelift brought further revisions to the platform, including extensive changes to the exterior styling and engines, partly due to changes in pedestrian safety regulations.
The round Fiat badge, found only on the bonnet of second-generation models, was introduced on the tailgate of the second generation facelift. On 1 June 2005, Fiat produced the 6,000,000th Punto at the Melfi plant.
Engine changes included a new 1.4 L 16v engine, alongside the staple 1.2 and 1.2 L 16v variants, and the introduction of two HGT versions, the 1.9 L MultiJet diesel engine and the 1.8 L 16v petrol engine, which could reach almost 130 mph (210 km/h) continued over from the pre-facelift version. There was an introduction also of the 1.3 L common rail diesel MultiJet engine.
Despite the launch of the slightly larger Grande Punto at the end of 2005, the second-generation Punto remained in production, marketed as the Punto Classic, and has been sold in many emerging markets in addition to the newer versions. It was launched for the first time in Chile in 2007. It ended production in Italy in November 2010.
The Punto was initially released in four different trim leveles: S, SX, ELX and HLX, that were later renamed to Actual, Active, Dynamic and Emotion. Three special versions of the three-door hatchback were also available: Sporting, HGT and Abarth. The top level included such features as ABS, front and side airbags, window bags, remote locking, front power windows, electrical power steering, air conditioning, trip computer with four functions, CD player, CD changer, alloy rims and fog lamps. Options such as navigation and burglar alarm were also offered. After the facelift, it also received EBD, ESP with ASR and hill holder, climate control with double zone heating, MP3 player and subwoofer (HGT only), rear parking sensors and cruise control as an option. A revised instrument panel with a larger display could now show the instant consumption too.
Four petrol engines with multi-point injection system were available, as well as one indirect injection diesel and three common rail turbocharged diesel engines with intercooler (JTD and MultiJet). The 1.8-L 16v and the 1.9-L MultiJet engines were available only with the three-door version in the HGT trim level.
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