When Fiat facelifted the Punto in 2009 and renamed it the Punto Evo, Abarth were quick to follow with their own faster version of the new Punto. What they didn’t do was give us the range-topping Esseesse version, something that’s been missing from the range … until now.
The Abarth Punto Esseesse kit increases output from the turbocharged 1.4-litre engine to 180bhp, as well as adding a few other extras. It can be specified when ordering the car, or applied as an aftermarket fit by authorised dealers, as long as the car is less than a year old and has covered fewer than 12,500 miles.
An ECU upgrade liberates the extra power, dropping the 0-62mph time to 7.5 seconds and increasing top speed to 134mph. New fully floating self-ventilated discs are fitted to the front and cross drilled discs to the rear, complete with Brembo M4x40 front callipers, followed by a full set of uprated Abarth springs and Koni FSD dampers.
As its based on the Punto Evo and uses the same basic engine, the Abarth comes with Fiat’s MultiAir technology, Stop&Start system and a gear-shift indicator to help you achieve the official economy figure of 47.1mpg. However, being an Italian hot hatch the only gear-shift indicator you need is the rev limiter and that will play havoc with the economy!
The esseesse kit adds around £3000 to the cost of a standard Abarth Punto Evo (£16,852 OTR), although that cost may vary slightly depending on how much your local abarth dealer is charging for labour. It might be worth shopping around before you commit to the upgrade.
Oh, and you get to keep the Abarth-branded wooden crate that all of the kit bits come in. I’m sure it’s just what Abarth owners have always wanted.