Snapshot: Fiat India will launch a crossover-styled version of the Grande Punto hatchback. Likely to be named the Punto Cross,the car has been spotted testing in Italy, and will be launched in India this year. The car will use the Punto hatchback’s mechanicals, with the exterior design to get butch styling elements to resemble an SUV/crossover.
The tribe of B-Segment hatchbacks styled as crossovers is increasing each passing year. The Fiat Punto Cross, based on the Grande Punto B+ segment hatchback will be the latest addition to this tribe, with a 2014 launch in India. The Fiat Punto Cross will take on the likes of the Volkswagen Cross Polo and the upcoming Toyota Etios Cross. The Punto Cross als joins is the fifth such product in the Indian car market, if the now-discontinued Fiat Palio Adventure and the Skoda Fabia Scout are considered.
CarToq’s video review of the Volkswagen Cross Polo is now up. Click here to watch it.
Notably, Fiat pioneered crossover styled hatchbacks in India during the early noughties with the Palio Adventure model. Though the car sank without a trace, it brought strengths such as a high ground clearance and rugged looks to a car that drove and handled like a sedan/hatchback. In a sense, it’s deja-vu for Fiat India, when the car maker will launch the Punto Cross here, later this year. The Punto Cross has been spotted testing in Italy by Quattroroute.it, and the web publication goes on to mention that the car is headed to Indian shores.
The spyshots of the car depict rugged styling, replete with non-body coloured bumpers and a tail-gate mounted spare wheel to make for a butch stance. The car is also likely to leverage the ample 190 mm ground clearance of the Fiat Grande Punto, a major selling point given the pockmarked state of most Indian roads where more ground clearance is always welcome. From the spyshots, the car also appears taller, hinting at additional changes to improve the ground clearance further.
Fiat India is likely to sell the Punto Cross with a turbo diesel engine, to ride on the crossover/SUV appeal that the product encapsulates. One tune of the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine – available in 75 Bhp-200 Nm and 90 Bhp-210 Nm – is likely to be used on the Punto Cross. This engine will be paired to a 5 speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels of the car. The Fiat Punto Cross is likely to be a fully loaded, top end variant, with twin airbags, ABS+EBD, climate control and Bluetooth connectivity.