The Punto Evo has just been given a further boost with the option of the esseesse conversion from Fiat’s Abarth tuning brand.
The performance kit, which increases the 1.4 litre turbo petrol engine’s power from 165bhp to 180bhp and adds other technical and cosmetic equipment, can be specified when a customer orders their car or undertaken later -– as long as it’s within 12 months or 12,500 miles and carried out by an Abarth appointed dealership.
The tweaks involve an ECU upgrade to take the Punto Evo esseesse to 62mph from standstil in 7.5 seconds on to a top speed of 134 mph. That’s down from 7.9 seconds and 1mph faster than stock.
Stopping power is supplied by disc brakes all round (fully floating self-ventilated at the front, cross drilled at the rear), complete with Brembo M4x40 front callipers. Uprated Abarth springs and Koni FSD dampers are fitted front and rear, which results in a lower ride height. A six-speed manual gearbox provides the transmission, and the car features Abarth’s switch to transfer from ‘Normal’ driving mode to ‘Sport’.
Even though this upgrade relies heavily on modern technology, the esseesse kit stays loyal to Abarth by being delivered to customers in a high quality wooden crate. Once its contents have been emptied the crate then becomes the property of the customer as an… er… “interesting memento” (or something else to take up room in the garage).
The esseesse returns 47.1 mpg economy on the combined cycle and has a CO2 figure of 142 g/km — the same figures quoted for the standard car as kits applied after sale don’t have to be re-rated.
The esseesse kit adds around £3,000 to the cost of a standard Abarth Punto Evo (£16,852 OTR); Fiat is vague because it’s dealer fitted and the dealer’s set their own labour rates.