Snapshot – Fiat India’s launch blitz is well and truly over for the next year or so, for the mass market segment that is. 2015 is the year when Fiat will get into brand building mode with a handful of high performance offerings under the Abarth brand name. These cars are meant to underscore Fiat’s rich racing heritage and performance car building capabilities, while also giving the enthusiast a stab at an affordable daily driver that is heaps of fun. CarToq profiles three new Fiat cars with the Abarth badge on the bonnet.
Abarth 500 Competizione
The first and the fastest Abarth car for India will be launched in January. It will also be the most compact car that Fiat sells in India, what with the 3.6 liter meter length to make for a tiny footprint. The Fiat Abarth 500 Competizione will look diminutive but will pack in a mean punch, what with its 1.4 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged petrol motor tuned to output 158 Bhp of peak power and 230 Nm of peak torque in sport mode. The car will use a 5 speed automated manual transmission (AMT) to deliver the twist to the front wheels, in the process becoming the first Fiat car in India to go AMT. In terms of performance, the Abarth 500 Competizione will zip to 100 Kph from standstill in under 8 seconds with a rated top speed in excess of 200 Kph. The car’s CBU (completely built unit) status will mean that it will cost a not-so-inconsiderable 30 lakh rupees, putting it firmly in brand builder category. With low numbers forecasted, the Abarth 500 Competizione will be Fiat’s answer to the mighty Mini Cooper S, whose 4th generation version will make a 2015 debut here.
Abarth Punto EVO
The Punto EVO in diesel guise and with 91 Bhp-209 Nm is a warm hatchback at best. To make warm hot, Fiat India is said to be working on a 1.4 liter T-Jet turbo petrol engined version of the Abarth Punto EVO. While the torquey engine will give the Punto EVO a big boost in the poke department, the Abarth badges and the styling kit will give the car the sharp looks to go with the additional pep. It remains to be see if the Abarth Punto EVO gains suspension upgrades to push the ride and handling envelope further. Whatever be the case, the Abarth performance hop up and cosmetic kit for the Punto EVO should do its bit to make an already fine car more appealing than ever before. For the Abarth spec Punto, expect to pay at least a lakh rupees more than what you’d fork out for the Punto 90 Hp EVO. The higher price has to do with the fully imported 1.4 liter T-Jet motor, additional excise duties due to the engine’s 1,368cc displacement and of course for the Abarth kit.
Like the Punto EVO, the Avventura Diesel is endowed with diesel pep as the crossover shares the 1.3 liter Multijet motor with its hatchback sibling. With the Avventura, Fiat has been aiming squarely at the EcoSport, a crossover that gets a turbo petrol motor whose small, 1 liter displacement belies the 124 Bhp-170 Nm punch it packs. An Avventura with the 1.4 liter T-Jet turbo petrol engine will be a good foil to the Ford EcoSport, and the icing on the cake will be the Abarth body kit to accompany. Something on these cards is what Fiat India is working on as far as the Avventura crossover is concerned. The Avventura Abarth is expected to make its debut next year, as the flagship variant in the crossover’s line up sold in India. Expect pricing of the Abarth Avventura to be slightly higher than the Punto Abarth hatchback.