Despite the name, the Fiat Punto Evo is not a spin-off of Fiat’s Super 2000 rally competitor and has nothing to do with classic Italian hatchbacks whatsoever (think Lancia Delta Integrale Evo). No, what they’ve done is drop the daft ‘Grande Punto’ title and decided to call this facelifted range the ‘Punto Evo’.
The new Evo tag supposedly identifies ‘a level of car design that is capable of satisfying even the most demanding customers in terms of technology, driving pleasure and respect for the environment‘. OK, whatever you say Fiat, but what this facelift really boils down to is a reworked interior and cosmetic changes to the exterior including new lights at both front and rear.
As well as the nip’n’tuck the new Punto Evo will benefit from Fiat’s new Multi-air engine range. This is an electrohydraulic valve management system that allows direct control of the air inlet valves to improve combustion in each individual cylinder, stroke by stroke, without the use of a conventional throttle. As you’d expect in these greener times this has the effect of cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions (by around 10 per cent over the equivalent normal engine) but for hot hatch fans this also that power is increased by up to 10 per cent and torque by up to 15 per cent.
While the Punto Evo range might not offer much in the way of hot hatch thrills, I think it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing the new facelift and Multi-air technology filter down to the Abarth Punto before too long.