FIAT WILL TAKE the wraps off its thoroughly updated Punto small car at this month's Frankfurt Motor Show, revealing a car that's more economical, more mechanically sophisticated and better-equipped than the model it replaces.
Featuring Fiat's newly-developed Multiair and Multijet petrol and diesel engines, the 2010 Fiat Punto Evo promises improved fuel economy, reduced carbon emissions and more power.
With the petrol-powered Multiair 1.4 litre petrol engine fitted, power output is up to 10 percent greater and fuel consumption down by up to 10 percent compared to a non-Multiair engine.
Torque output increases 15 percent, CO2 emissions drop 10 percent and nitrous oxide emissions fall a whopping 60 percent.
A methane-fueled powertrain will feature in the Punto Evo's European range as well, and will complement a LPG-powered unit.
A fuel-saving start-stop system will be a standard feature across the Punto Evo range, improving economy during urban commuting.
Exterior styling has been refreshed by the addition of a new front and rear bumper design, along with revised headlight and tail-light lenses.
Side sheetmetal remains unchanged, but the new bumpers increase overall length to 4060mm.
The cabin has undergone a number of revisions, with a new dashboard, seats design and instrument panel giving the Punto Evo a more dynamic and modern look.
Fiat's newly-introduced 'Blue&Me-TomTom' integrated navigation system will also feature of the Punto Evo.
Safety equipment has not been overlooked; stability control, ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and a full complement of seven airbags are standard equipment.
The Punto Evo will replace the existing Punto in Fiat's Australian line-up, and is slated for launch here in the third quarter of 2010.
Pricing details and local specification levels are still unknown, but that information will likely surface around the middle of next year.