It pulls like crazy. The mid-range acceleration is insane, enough to give the flying Polo owners an inferiority complex.
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Update: In 4th year, 39,000 kms
As and when the car culture of Delhi is overtaken by cringe, I have been building the car slowly, with quality stuff sourced from different people. Delhi is just not a good place to showcase your builds, ever since cringe content has taken over more than 90% of the target audience. But then, the beauty of finding and sourcing stuff has its own stuff of challenges and rewards. And I think I have built the most balanced Abarth Punto in this region. But of course, the car does have its share of unexpected quirks.
What’s the condition of the strut mounts?
People driving Fiats must be aware of the poor quality noisy strut mounts which make grinding noise after 1-2 months of being installed. Fiat is yet to provide a new design or remedy, but touchwood, my car is still on OE mounts. So no complaints there.
Is the AC of the car reliable?
In one word, a big no. The infamous AC malfunction happened in my car last month, wherein first, the cooling coil gave up, and this lead to a catastrophic chain of failure of condenser and compressor. My car was at Jhalak Cars wherein Khan tried every possible step to save on costs but eventually, the entire AC system was replaced and the bill came up to be about 57k. Thrills do come at a price.
Upgraded suspension a must
I was running Eibach pro kit lowering springs, but now the time had come to upgrade the dampers. I researched and discussed with a few Abarth Punto owners in my circle and all of them recommended going for Koni Active FSD Sport dampers. Ordered a set this April through wicked wheels and it came at end of June, the prices were a juicy Rs.73,960.
The suspension upgrade has been worth every penny. The dampers are gas charged, and match the height of the springs. While the travel mm is reduced, the damping properties are fantastic, and ride quality is as amazing as its handling. The high-speed dynamics and cornering have improved by leaps and bounds, and this is a complete package now, wherein you can drive the car daily as well as have fun on weekends on winding roads as well.
The Brembo discs of the car measure 284 mm up front and 251 mm at the rear, so it has its base covered. I added EBC yellow stuff pads, purchased from my friend in Bhopal who shipped me the pads within a week. Cost a cool Rs. 20k for those. The braking is point blank, improved by leaps and bounds and brake fade, which on stock pads was a bit of a cause of concern, has been eliminated.
The most important, a better remap, to complete the package.
I changed the ECU tune from Quantum to Wolf multi Octane map. Sreekanth Komama flew down to Gurgaon to update my ECU and the software was flashed in 15 minutes flat. The claimed power figures are as follows:
- upto 165 bhp on map 1 (91 octane)
- upto 170 bhp on map 2 (95 octane)
- upto 185 bhp on 99/100 octane (map 3)
I filled XP100 and we tested the car on map 3. The ECU took about 200 kms of drive to adapt to the new tune map and again, wolf’s proven map for T jet made the old quantum map feel from a prehistoric era. The driveability improved by leaps and bounds, and the car was a flying terrestrial jet on map 3. Torque figures are about 290 nm. Pulls like crazy, and mid-range acceleration is insane, enough to give the flying Polo owners an inferiority complex. I run the car on Xp95 (map 2) and get consistent FE of 11-13 kpl on city driving with the air conditioning on for 70% of the time.
I added a smoke black tinted Alfa Romeo Giulietta cabin light sourced from eBay UK with two spotlights, a custom gear knob lens (from Abarth 595) and cruise control with footwell lights. All thanks to my friend Ashish from Gurgaon for doing the connections.
I had made up my mind to dispose of all the audio equipment and go back to basics. Stock audio is back and so is the reduced weight due to no speaker mounts, no heavy damping and no ill-fitted panels. A performance car cannot be an audio car, it’s on my principle.
Again, installed back the OE setup and couldn’t be happier. Custom exhaust began to develop rust and intermittent leaks within a bit over a year, so threw the crap out and scrapped it. In this stage of life, it’s more important to have a balanced build rather than running behind fitting everything for the sake of fitting it.
I added a few more merchandise items as usual, and the build list of the car is now like this:
- Wolfmoto performance remap, upto 185 hp on 100 octane map
- Bonalume Short throw shifter
- Eibach Pro kit lowering springs
- Koni Active FSD Dampers
- Eibach 15mm wheel spacers all round
- Forge motorsport intercooler
- Forge motorsport intake
- Forge motorsport blow-off valve
- Forge motorsport underbelly subframe brace
- Garrett mechanical boost and vacuum indicator gauge
- EBC yellow stuff pads on OR Brembo discs
- Michelin Pilot Sport 4 205/55 R16 tyres
This is a thrill machine, and the privilege to own this masterpiece, one out of 357 odd ever made, is unparalleled. It’s a piece of history dumped in a graveyard wherein the ghosts roar to keep the legacy alive. I am sure Fiat India has now completely forgotten that this existed.
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