The new Punto, as launched in 1999, has spawned a few more potent official variants, as well as many unofficial ones. The official ones are outlined below.
Abarth Cup Car
In 2002 Fiat Auto Ireland initiated a single-make race series using the 1.8 16v Punto Abarth as a starting point. Locally modified to an agreed standard the cars get 170bhp as well as a raft of other modifications including uprated front brakes (for 2003 these are Coupé units), deletion of the power steering, an optimised and adjustable suspension setup (Leda dampers and Eibach springs) and of course slick tyres. The normal preparation to meet FIA competition safety regulations is also applied. The series, based around double-header (one sprint and one feature race) meetings, has proved a great success.
For the FIA Super 1600 regulations Fiat developed a car based on the Punto HGT.
Mechanically it uses a 1579cc version of the HGT engine, achieved with a shorter stroke. The pistons, connrods, flywheel, intake and exhaust manifolds are all new, as are most other significant engine components. The power output is 215bhp @ 8,300rpm. A Magnetti Marelli combined ignition and injection control system is used. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a sequential six-speed gearbox (by Hewland) and a self-locking differential. A single-plate metallic ceramic clutch is used.
The suspension retains the same basic layout, but is heavily revised in detail and is available in two settings, one for tarmac and one for gravel. Each uses different spring and damper settings as well as giving different ride heights and being optimised for different wheel sizes (7x17 for tarmac and 6x16 for gravel). It uses tubular wishbones and cast aluminium uprights, whilst it is rose-jointed throughout and is fully adjustable.
The brakes employ Brembo callipers on all four wheels. The front discs depend on the surface and usage, whilst the rears are the same as the HGT road car. A hydraulic handbrake, adjustable pedal box and adjustable bias are all fitted. No ABS or servo is fitted.
The body is 122mm wider and 40mm lower than the road car, and includes fibreglass wings front and rear as well as a rear roof-lip spoiler.
Estimated performance is 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds, whilst the top speed depends on the gear ratios chosen.
2004 saw the same basic car getting a similar facelift as the road cars, with new headlights, wings and the round Fiat badge at the rear.
Fiat Punto S1600 rally film : See the S1600 Punto in action in the 2004 Italian Rally Championship.
Driveline transverse engine at front with front wheel drive Engine 1597cc (82.5x74.7mm) 16V dohc four in-line with 215bhp @ 8,300rpm Suspension front : MacPherson strut with telescopic dampers and coil springs plus anti-roll bar
rear : torsion beam axle with telescopic dampers and coil springs
wheelbase : 2460mm
track (front / rear) :
Brakes front : discs, diameter 355mm (tarmac) or 300mm (gravel) with four piston Brembo callipers
rear : discs, diameter 240mm with two piston Brembo callipers
hydraulic handbrake operating on the rear
Gearbox 6 speed sequential
single plate clutch, diameter 200mm
Steering Rack and pinion
electrical power assistance
Here there is a cutaway of the Punto rally.
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