ABOUT : The Fiat Punto Mk2

In 1999, the year of Fiat's 100th anniversary, and it's time to replace the original Punto with a modern counterpart. The new model was actually a mid-life update of Giugiaro's previous design, however, 80% of the parts were new. The car also had an exterior design update and a new rear suspension setup. The Mark 2 was well received by the motoring press and was again noted to have best use of interior space in it's class, along with much improved passive safety.

This time around, the lines of the car are the result of work by Fiat's Styling Team. To head this design team was German designer Peter Fasbinder, whom admits to have maintained the fundamental forms of the previous model. As a whole the car is now more angular, with a more defined profile and a clear influence of new edge automotive design. This supports the resignation of the traditional smooth design forms that had been the familiar style within the last generation of Fiat cars. The most recognisable design feature transferred from the original Punto is Giugiaro's high mounted rear optics. This reflecting how the team's morals centered upon improving upon aspects of the previous model, than looking for a complete new solution.

The Punto Mk2 was again available in 3 or 5 door variations, with a selection of manual and automatic transmissions, including a 5 speed manual, a 6 speed manual and a CVT (Speedgear). The Speedgear can be used in the fully automatic mode, or as a sequential shift, with either six or seven preset ratios (depending on the model). The range of engines comprised of; Petrol 1242cc 8V [60bhp], petrol 1242cc 16V [80bhp], 1910cc diesel [60bhp], 1910cc JTD diesel [80bhp] and at the top of the range, a petrol 1747cc 16V [130bhp - an engine shared by Fiat's Barchetta and Coupe].

The 3 and 5 door Puntos have slight design differences. The 3-door has a more aggressive stance, especially from the front. Initially all models came with a drivers airbag, with passenger and side airbags offered as optional extras. In mid 2002 the model range was revised with the addition of central locking and drivers and passengers airbags as standard across the entire range.

Other standard features include electronic power steering that offers 2 levels of assistance and a 'follow-me-home' feature for the headlights, which stay on for a predetermined time after you exit and lock the car. The HGT also features as standard a satellite navigation system, ABS and traction control. In late 2002 the range was revised further, a sign of the increasing competitiveness in this market segment. All Mk2's from this point came with colour coded bumpers, a CD player and rev-counter.

The greater rigidity of the Mk2 body shell and new rear suspension setup, allows for a good balance between comfort and road handling behavior, whilst greatly reducing interior noise and vibration. Good demonstration of the general quality set, heightened by a careful quality finish.

The mk2 was moved aside for the mk2b in 2003, after 4 years of service.

- Original promotional shots of the Fiat Punto Mk2 -


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