RE: Abarth Punto Evo SS: Spotted

RE: Abarth Punto Evo SS: Spotted

Thursday 8th March

Abarth Punto Evo SS: Spotted

It's about time that views of hot Punto evolved, and what better way to help the process along than to buy one?



Only 805 Abarth Puntos were ever sold in the UK, which perhaps contributes to their oft-overlooked status. Despite being out of sight and mind, however, the Abarth Punto Evo was a very enjoyable car in its own right. Even more so when properly appointed with the optional Esseesse and Assetto packs, providing the extra focus somewhat lacking in the standard car.

The Esseesse Pack was a £3,500 option from new, and included an ECU remap (upping power from 155hp to 180hp and torque from 170 to 200lb ft) a larger Garrett turbocharger (forcing air into the engine at 1.5bar rather than the standard 1.3) a BMC air filter, and a sports exhaust. Underneath, meanwhile, the included Assetto handling pack provided stiffer springs, for a 15mm lower ride than standard, and cross-drilled Brembo brakes to slow the 17-inch diamond cut wheels even faster than usual.


All these add-ons left the Punto Evo capable of reaching 60mph in 7.5 seconds, hardly lightning quick, but then the Abarth's true value is in the sum of its parts. When Chris Rees drove one for us a few years back he extolled its virtues thusly: "The 1.4 MultiAir engine is an undoubted cracker, though: torquey, free-revving and charismatic (as long as you keep it in Sport mode)."

"The Punto Abarth drives like a modern version of a Fiat Uno Turbo, or Strada Abarth - a fair slug of torque-steer, giving you a twitchy bucking bronco of a ride. Say what you will, but that's something I miss in modern cars - so much more entertaining than most of today's clever-diff hot hatches."

This particular example is an earlier Grande Punto and has, to put it kindly, been very well run in, with over 90,000 miles showing on the odometer. Should that be a deterrent there are other, less leggy carsin the classifieds, although these come at a considerable premium and without the same equipment levels. Obviously the ideal would be a similar car with 50-60,000 miles for around £6,500, but there aren't any of those.

Despite its mileage, however, this example looks remarkably clean. Boasting a full dealer service history and described as having no rust, dents or dinks of note and a clean interior free of wear to the seats or dashboard, it seems to have been very well cared for.

An undeniably handsome and understated hatch, the Punto may not be able to challenge the likes of the Mini Cooper S and Renault Clio RS for segment supremacy but, certainly at this price point, it'll provide a refreshing and well-sorted alternative to the usual suspects.


SPECIFICATIONS - ABARTH PUNTO EVO ESSEESSE

Engine: 1,368cc, 4-cyl turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 180@5,750rpm
Torque (lb ft): 199@3,000rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: 169g/km
First registered: 2008
Recorded mileage: 97,000 miles
Price new: £18,395
Yours for: £4,500

See the original advert here.

 

 

Author
Discussion

Tayto.king

Original Poster:

2 posts

124 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
The car in the picture is an abarth grande punto with the earlier more reliable/ less complicated t_jet engine, same as Abarth 500. I think there were only 360 of these brought in to the UK and only about 100 of these converted to esse esse spec.
Later spec abarth punto evo had the multi air engine, which although is impressive always felt very controlled compared to the 80's boost surge you get from the t_jet engines in the earlier spec Grade Pinto pictured.
I've owned both and prefer the Grande pinto.

Jimmy Recard

15,104 posts

115 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
I didn’t know there was an Abarth Punto. I really like that.

Mike335i

2,029 posts

38 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
We have this engine in 155hp spec in the wife's alfa, it is quite a good little engine, can do high 40s mpg and feels quite pokey in a small package.

culpz

3,893 posts

48 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
These are great value for money, along with the Abarth Grande Punto too. I was looking at them on the last PH article on these and never realised just how cheap they can be had and for good ones aswell. They seem pretty bulletproof too, on the whole, especially the engines.

However, I just can't help but feel that the quick little 500 is just more cool and desirable, for me, anyway. That may even be exactly what i wrote last time but i do feel that the 500 Abarth's have just got something more special about them and a more feisty little character.

99dndd

1,103 posts

25 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
I saw one of these yesterday when driving home from work.

Looked good.
Advertisement

Cambs_Stuart

326 posts

20 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
A colleague in Switzerland has one in black and they are good looking cars in the flesh.
Much more interesting than the car porn from Geneva!

rastapasta

426 posts

74 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
Cambs_Stuart said:
A colleague in Switzerland has one in black and they are good looking cars in the flesh.
Much more interesting than the car porn from Geneva!
Yeah they are quite common out here. I think any punto out here is generally an Abarth, and more often than not one with this performance package fitted.

Vocht

1,207 posts

100 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
As mentioned, the car featured is not in fact an EVO but is the older '1st gen' Grande Punto Abarth Esseesse. The cars really are quite a bit different, with completely updated interior/exterior styling and engines, the EVO being a multiair engine. You'll also be looking at at least double the price of the 1st gen for an EVO Esseesse!

Having said that, as fun as these cars are, I know that these 1st gen models really are to be avoided as even with a FSH and low mileage, they're still made from cheese. Their gearboxes are prone to problems and I suspect aren't easy or cheap to source nowadays (Not sure if they're the same in the EVO?).

GTEYE

1,208 posts

146 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
The first car to be awarded zero stars by Euro NCAP

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/fiat/punto/102055/fia...

I think I'll pass thanks....

Merry

756 posts

124 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
GTEYE said:
The first car to be awarded zero stars by Euro NCAP

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/fiat/punto/102055/fia...

I think I'll pass thanks....
I think that's more them moving the goalposts and the car being in production for a while. 5 stars when first tested.

A Rover 100 it is not.

GTEYE

1,208 posts

146 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
Merry said:
GTEYE said:
The first car to be awarded zero stars by Euro NCAP

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/fiat/punto/102055/fia...

I think I'll pass thanks....
I think that's more them moving the goalposts and the car being in production for a while. 5 stars when first tested.

A Rover 100 it is not.
Absolutely right.....but.....the world has moved on and the Punto largely hasn't.

It's more or less the same car since it came out in 2005.

Can anyone explain why it's not been updated for pretty much 2 lifecycles now?

sinbaddio

1,227 posts

112 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
Already classed as sold - someone's keen!

LewisR

665 posts

151 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
" a BMC air filter"
- What's it from ? An Austin 1100 ?

Tomy90

157 posts

46 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
Always had a soft spot for these

Unfortunately by the time I was able to upgrade my Grande Punto they had done the horrible Evo facelift.

Mike1990

609 posts

67 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
Always quite liked these at the time, although I’d rather have the last of line Supersport but they are still pulling pretty strong money!

These have the same Vauxhall’s M32 ‘box i believe.

J2daG1990

952 posts

62 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
Correct me if I am wrong but I thought the Essesse package came with different alloys as well?

The alloys in the car in the pic are the standard ones that came with the Abarth Grande Punto.

The Essesse came with multi-spoke 17" alloy wheels which looked a lot better than the standard ones.

Edited by J2daG1990 on Thursday 8th March 13:04

J2daG1990

952 posts

62 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
Vocht said:
As mentioned, the car featured is not in fact an EVO but is the older '1st gen' Grande Punto Abarth Esseesse. The cars really are quite a bit different, with completely updated interior/exterior styling and engines, the EVO being a multiair engine. You'll also be looking at at least double the price of the 1st gen for an EVO Esseesse!

Having said that, as fun as these cars are, I know that these 1st gen models really are to be avoided as even with a FSH and low mileage, they're still made from cheese. Their gearboxes are prone to problems and I suspect aren't easy or cheap to source nowadays (Not sure if they're the same in the EVO?).
Based on looks alone, I'd be avoiding the later EVO model. They ruined the front bumper.

Jimmy Recard

15,104 posts

115 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
GTEYE said:
The first car to be awarded zero stars by Euro NCAP

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/fiat/punto/102055/fia...

I think I'll pass thanks....
Because it doesn’t have autonomous braking or a seatbelt warning chime for seats other than the driver’s. I personally don’t mind having a car without those features

Mike335i

2,029 posts

38 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
Vocht said:
As mentioned, the car featured is not in fact an EVO but is the older '1st gen' Grande Punto Abarth Esseesse. The cars really are quite a bit different, with completely updated interior/exterior styling and engines, the EVO being a multiair engine. You'll also be looking at at least double the price of the 1st gen for an EVO Esseesse!

Having said that, as fun as these cars are, I know that these 1st gen models really are to be avoided as even with a FSH and low mileage, they're still made from cheese. Their gearboxes are prone to problems and I suspect aren't easy or cheap to source nowadays (Not sure if they're the same in the EVO?).
Gearbox is the infamous M32 box as per Vauxhall Astra VXR, which is prone to eating its bearings. Used to be an expensive problem, but for around £300 you can have the bearings replaced by a specialist and all us well again.

Engine is generally sound, unlike the newer multi air units. They have been around since moses was a lad!

The outer exhaust shell rots away, but isn't actually a problem, especially if it is an Essessse unit.

Suspension components seem to be the more frustrating maintenance issue as they are not durable (especially bushings/top mounts).

Turbobanana

1,185 posts

137 months

Thursday 8th March
quotequote all
Jimmy Recard said:
GTEYE said:
The first car to be awarded zero stars by Euro NCAP

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/fiat/punto/102055/fia...

I think I'll pass thanks....
Because it doesn’t have autonomous braking or a seatbelt warning chime for seats other than the driver’s. I personally don’t mind having a car without those features
Quite. Seems an odd reason to dismiss something.

As regards why Fiat didn't update it - why bother? If you can sell as many as you need to, why spend R&D money on it? I suspect when this was made it was only lip service to offer anything larger than a 500 anyway.