FIAT PUNTO MK2
: The Fiat Punto Mk2
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.
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.
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].
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
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.
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 -