We're a fan of hot hatchbacks (the Volkswagen GTI has won our coveted Automobile of the Year twice), and Fiat's Punto Evo is definitely a hatchback on our wish list. German tuner Novitec got its hands on the little Fiat and turned up the power to make it even more desirable.
Novitec's powered-up Punto seems to have beaten Abarth, Fiat's in-house tuning wing, to the punch. An Abarth Esseesse version of the Fiat Punto Evo is headed to the Paris Motor Show, but for those who already own one (or can't wait), Novitec's Punto Evo may do the trick. It will likely be cheaper than the Abarth Esseesse, as upgrade kits start at a mere €419 ($558) for turbocharged, gasoline-powered Punto Evos, and €335 ($446) for turbo-diesel models.
The upgrades include a simple ECU reflash that nets 160 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque from the turbocharged, 1.4-liter MultiAir four-banger. That represents an increase of 25 horsepower and 29 pound-feet of torque and puts it square in the sights of the standard Abarth Punto Evo, which puts out 163 horsepower from the same 1.4-liter engine. Novitec's tuning package bumped that figure up to 184 horsepower -- four more than the upcoming Abarth Esseesse. The engine tuning package for the 1.6-liter MultiJet turbo-diesel engine increases output to 144 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque, up from 120 and 236 respectively.
In addition to engine tuning, Novitec offers a number of exterior upgrades for the Punto Evo as well as a wide variety of exhaust options. Novitec sells over 26 different mufflers and exhaust tips to give the tuned Punto Evo an aggressive note and look to go match its increased power. Prices for the exhaust system start at €200 ($266).
For a sportier look, Novitec will also install new headlamp surrounds, along with a new hood, complete with a power dome and hood scoops. New, lowered side skirts flow to the back of the car where they meet one of three new rear bumpers, one of which comes complete with a rear diffuser. Buyers can also opt for one of two rear spoilers and choose from four different wheel styles.
The last modification Novitec offers involves crafting a better-handling car. A full suspension is offered with stiffer springs and adjustable shock absorbers, which can raise or lower the car by around two inches, as well as performance-tuned dampers. Each suspension component can, however, be ordered individually.
For those of you lucky enough to live in Europe and impatient enough to skip the Abarth, Novitec's Punto Evo tuning packages are available now.