ABOUT : The Fiat Punto Mk2B

In May 2003 a heavily revised Punto was released. Significant changes to the appearance were joined by new engines and features. The whole front end had been subjected to a makeover. This included the bonnet, head lights, bumper design, wings and a Punto premiere of a bonnet mounted grill. At the rear, the bumper was changed to match other updates, and further details were changed to include the adoption of the new 'round' Fiat badge.

This evolution of the Punto demonstrated how Fiat listened and responded to the changing characteristics of it's users, reflecting upon the very different tastes, ages and professions. Styling differences between the 3 and 5 door versions are replaced from the Mk2 options. The Punto now reflects the Stilo and Marea marketing strategy, with styling depending on the type of Punto model (and options package). The sportier versions, the 'Active' (or 'Active Sport') Sporting and HGT, all feature a different look with the 3 and 5 door versions sharing variations. The 'Dynamic' and 'Eleganza' models offered extra visual improvements, added driver aids and safety features.

In the engine department, the same Mk2 Punto choices remain; petrol 1.2 8V (60bhp), 1.2 16V (80bhp), 1.8 16V (130bhp) and a diesel 1.9 JTD (85bhp). These were joined by three new motors: 1.4 16V FIRE engine with 95bhp (derived from the 1.2 engine), 1.9 MultiJet JTD with 100bhp, 1.3 16V MultiJet turbo with 70bhp (a new compact diesel, incorporating all the latest technology such as common-rail, DOHC, EGR-cooling, turbocharging).

Fiat have worked hard to deliver additional electronic and transmission features. A new transmission, 'Dualogic', is introduced. This is similar to the old 'Speedgear' unit, being a manual gearbox controlled by hydraulic actuators, to provide a sequential shift with fully-automatic mode. Also dual-zone climate control is introduced to add comfort and ease of use, as well as rain and parking sensors.

Additional safety features include Fiat's ESP, MSR and up to six airbags. Novelties include the "hill-holder", designed to aid hill starts. It does so by keeping the brakes applied for 2 seconds if the car is stationary in 1st gear and a sensor calculates that it is on an incline. Revised colours, interior trims and various changes including the instrumentation and wheels completed the package.

The length of the Mk2B model is slightly increased over the preceding model. The length of the 3-door increased 40mm to measure 3,840 mm and the 5-door previous measurement of 3,835 increased to 3,860 mm. The width and the height remain the same with respect to the old model.

At the time of writing, the mk2B is soon to take the back seat in late 2005 as it makes way for the next Punto generation, the all new Mk3.

- Original promotional shots of the Fiat Punto Mk2B -


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