Fiat India is considering local assembly of the Abarth 500 high performance car, in a bid to reduce the sale price of the car. Due for launch in the coming months, the Abarth 500 will initially be imported through the completely built unit (CBU) route. Doing thus would mean a high import duty and the price of the car is likely to be pegged at about the 25 lakh rupee mark, making it un-affordable and unattractive to many driving enthusiasts, who would have otherwise bought the car. To get around the high price, Fiat will kickstart CKD assembly next year. On a similar note, the Abarth Punto would be produced locally, going a step ahead of CKD assembly.
Consequently, the Abarth Punto will be the most affordable car from the high performance Abarth range in India. CarToq sources indicate that the localization process for the Abarth Punto and the Abarth 500 has already begun in India. Vendors in and around Pune have been enlisted to produce parts for both these cars. While the key components such as engines and gearboxes will be imported, parts such as door handles, bumpers and allied visual trim will be produced in India, leading to lower costs. Many of the locally produced parts will also be sold as body kits to existing Grande Puntos, making the cars visually more alluring.
While the Abarth Punto is likely to feature a high performance Multijet diesel engine, the Abarth 500 will be powered by a 1.4 liter T-Jet turbo petrol engine in 160 Bhp state of tune. After localization, an uptuned version of the 1.4 liter T-Jet turbo petrol engine, currently found on the Linea and that outputs 114 Bhp-207 Nm, is likely to be outfitted to the Abarth 500. Abarth is a high performance car division of Fiat and has been churning out cars with high engine outputs and sporty chassis tuning such as the Abarth Punto and the Abarth 500. Founded by Carlo Abarth, Abarth began life as an independent racing and Italian road car label in 1949. Fiat bought Abarth in 1971.
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