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Grande Punto: The GenZ cookie car

With the launch of its new car, Fiat looks at a passport for a brighter future, notes Sayanhya Roy.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2006 13:41 IST

First there was the Punto. Then there was the Grande Punto. For Fiat, the difference is everything. With the introduction of the Grande Punto, Fiat appears to have fought back from the brink and obtained the passport to a brighter future, at least for now.

The inside story: The Grande Punto marks a shift within Fiat to a more ‘soft touch materials’ age.

It is probably a car designed around a cookie. Not because it is round, but it seems almost edible at first sight.

       Grande Punto:  Sleek and soft

Yet, despite its apparent lack of adequate dimensions on the exteriors, it can comfortably hold four adults in peace because the car has been awarded a five-star rating in the European New Car Assessment Programme after 15,000 hours of calculations and 60 crash tests. Typical to Fiat, the Grande Punto’s interiors have been well sculpted and the fascia is sleek.

The vehicle benefits from a 1.4 litre block in the bay that produces 77 bhp and gives it a top speed of 165 kmph. A naught to hundred kmph acceleration comes in a leisurely 13.2 seconds.

Whither Palio Since the Grande Punto remains Fiat’s greatest chance of recovery, the Palio might gradually be phased out of the Indian roads. The next generation Punto feels more up-market than its contemporaries and will feed the demands of a large section of car buyers who crave for a hatchback, though not necessarily a cheap one.

First Published: Nov 14, 2006 13:24 IST