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Fiat unveils the Punto Grande - the voluptuous economy car


July 28, 2005

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July 29, 2005 Fiat has released the first pictures of the Punto Grande, a car that follows in the wheeltracks of the original hugely successful Punto hatchback, which has accounted for over six million sales since its launch in 1993. The new Punto Grande's global objective is to regain leadership of the highly competitive and crucially important European compact hatchback market. In order to accomplish this aim, Punto Grande has been designed from the outset to be a larger vehicle than is typical for the class, so as to offer the highest possible safety standards, class leading quality credentials, and the best range of diesel engines available in this category today, all at a very competitive price.

The Punto Grande will be unveiled officially at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September, with right hand drive production slated for the middle of next year and, therefore, an Australian launch is on the cards anytime after then.

Boasting stylish, Italian good looks, the new Punto Grande will be available in three and five door body styles and four distinct versions at launch. Designed by Italdesign-Giugiaro, in partnership with Centro Stile Fiat, the style of the Punto Grande is distinguished by the beauty of its exterior line.

As with the exterior, the interior represents the epitome of Italian style, thanks both to the quality of materials used, and the care with which detailing has been considered. The result is a cabin environment notabl for its bright, friendly feel, as well as its obvious functionality.

Punto Grande is thus designed to quicken the pulses, while offering a level of security, solidity and construction quality of a vehicle from a higher segment. Underpinned by attention to detail unusual in this market segment, Punto Grande is also an exceptionally comfortable vehicle - a factor indicated by its generous external dimensions that put it at the top of the class. Punto Grande measures 403cms in length, 168cms in width and 149cms in height; and with a wheelbase of 251cms, an extraordinary amount of internal space is guaranteed.

Punto Grande has also been meticulously engineered to be both agile and responsive to drive. This lively new car is powered by a potent range of environmentally-friendly petrol and diesel engines, all of which conform to Euro4 emissions standards, and all of which blend top performance with low fuel consumption.

At launch there will be two petrol engine options: 1.2 8v (49 kW) and a new 1.4 8v with 58 kW; and four turbodiesels: 1.3 16v MultiJet (56 kW), or 1.3 MultiJet with a variable geometry turbine (68 kW); and 1.9 MultiJet with either 90 kW or 97 kW.

Pricing and specifications will be announced at a later date.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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