Abarth Fiat Punto Evo review

We drive the new Abarth hot hatch, a 163bhp version of the smart Fiat Punto Evo

Evo rating
Price
from £16,500
  • Looks good, clever engine
  • Artificial steering weighting

What is it?The Punto Evo was launched at the start of the year with its clever MultiAir 1.4-litre engine and 133bhp. Now Abarth have added another 30bhp on top of that, tweaked the suspension and given it a racy styling makeover.Technical highlightsThe MultiAir engine is very fuel efficient thanks to the hydraulic control of the inlet valves, and combined with a larger Garrett turbine produces 163bhp. It also uses an electronic diff (TTC) to get that power on the road effectively. What’s it like to driveDifficult to give a definitive answer at this stage as our test drive was limited to Fiat’s test track at Balocco, however it feels as if the chassis has been improved over the last Abarth Punto, being more stable and responsive than before. The steering has more weight, but it’s a little artificial. How does it compare?It lacks the intimate involvement of the Renaultsport Clio, but we won’t really know where it slots into the big hot hatch scheme until we get a punt in the UK.

Anything else I need to know?There will be a more powerful (180bhp+) Esseesse version arriving in November, so might be worth waiting for that one.

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Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 1368cc, turbocharged
Max power163bhp @ 5000rpm
Max torque184lb ft @ 2250rpm
0-607.9sec (claimed 0-62mph)
Top speed132mph
On saleNow, £16,500
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