Snapshot: Soon, Fiat India will showcase the Punto Cross crossover styled hatchback. The 2014 Indian Auto Expo will be the location for not one, but two major showcases for the Italian car brand. While the facelifted Linea is a given, Fiat will take a stab at the crossover styled hatchback segment by unveiling the Punto Cross. The Fiat Punto Cross will take on the likes of the Toyota Etios Liva Cross and the Volkswagen Polo Cross hatchbacks. The car is likely to be launched in the first half of the year.
The above render has been crafted by CarToq’s rendering artist, who has combined the butch elements of a crossover into the Fiat Grande Punt0 hatchback’s design. The Punto Cross is likely to be a fully loaded, top-end model of the hatchback. Expect the 1.3 liter Multijet turbo diesel engine to be standard fare, along with a 5 speed manual gearbox.
On the Grande Punto, the 1.3 liter turbo diesel motor comes in two states of tune: 75 Bhp-190 Nm and 91 Bhp-209 Nm. It remains to be seen as to which state of tune Fiat chooses for the Punto Cross hatchback. Traditionally, crossover styled hatchbacks have never done well in the Indian car market.
By offering nothing in terms of bad road handling ability such as increased ground clearance, up-rated suspension components and all wheel drive systems, save for butch looks, crossover styled hatchbacks have not hit pay dirt at the hustings.
The Skoda Fabia Scout and the Volkswagen Polo Cross are two examples of slow sellers in this category of cars. However, the Punto Cross has a major factor that could somewhat swing things in its favour. In stock form, the current Fiat Grande Punto hatchback comes with a 195 mm ground clearance as standard.
A firm ride and handling package are other features inherent to the Punto. By adding butch, crossover styling to this hatchback, Fiat India’s marketeers stare at a wonderful opportunity to market the Punto Cross as a front wheel driven crossover that can take the rough and tumble of Indian roads with absolute aplomb.
With other front wheel driven crossovers such as the Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano selling well, a well kitted out Punto Cross stands a fighting chance, especially with that tailgate mounted spare wheel. Over to you, Fiat India!