The next-generation versions of the Fiat Punto hatchback and the Linea sedan will make their global debuts in 2016. Fiat’s factory in Turkey will play host to both the cars. In India, Fiat will launch the next-generation Linea in the second half of 2017, with the next-generation Punto primed for an end-2017 launch. The facelifted Linea, which received its makeover earlier this year and the Punto EVO, which was launched a couple of months ago, will continue to sell in India until their replacement models arrive.
Both cars have been the mainstay of Fiat in India for the last few years. Both cars feature a high amount of localization and are produced at the Tata-Fiat joint manufaturing facility at Ranjangaon, off Pune. While some reports on the interweb suggest that the next-generation Punto and the Linea would be underpinned by the 326 platform, AutoNews reports that both new cars will use the US Wide platform, which also underpins the 500L hatchback. Official confirmation about the platform that the next-generation Punto and Linea will use hasn’t come just as yet.
Both cars are expected to adopt turbocharging technology on both petrol and diesel engines, given tightening emission norms standards across the globe and also the ever growing demand for better fuel efficiency. Variable valve technology and direct injection are two other features that the engines of the next-generation Punto and Linea are likely to pack in. Taut handling and sublime ride quality are features that the current generation Punto and Linea are known for. Expect the new models to also pack in these attributes.
Fiat’s next big volume bagger for the Indian car market will be a compact SUV. Code-named the X3U, the compact SUV, which is due for a 2016 launch in India, will use the 326 platform that underpins the second generation Palio range of cars. The X3U compact SUV will be Fiat’s answer to the likes of the Ford EcoSport and the upcoming Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha. A sub-4 meter length and a 1.5 liter turbo diesel engine derived from the 1.6 liter Multijet unit are the two other details of te X3U compact SUV, which will sit above the Avventura in terms of price and positioning.