A little innovative fun Fiat

IF you are looking for a car with an engine that is different with nothing to pay for road tax or congestion charges then look no further than the Fiat Punto with the tiny Twin Air Turbo petrol engine which packs quite a punch, writes Bryan Longworth

New Fiat Punto
New Fiat Punto

It is the latest 875cc power unit for the popular Punto that produces 85bhp and the mighty midget won the 2011 International Engine of the Year award and Best Green Engine in 2011.

Fiat say the innovative two cylinder engine drives like a four cylinder, but potential owners who have not driven a car with a twin cylinder unit will know immediately they are driving something different because of the sound from under the bonnet.

For the turbo charged engine is noisier than a four cylinder unit and has more vibration, but this can be translated into a sporty sound especially when accelerating, which some owners may not like but others will.

It has a six speed manual gearbox and can be driven in two modes - normal for full performance and eco for town driving which reduces fuel consumption and emissions.

The Punto 0.9 Twin Turbo five door I tested has a combined fuel consumption of 67.3mpg although the on board trip computer showed the consumption to be much lower than this.

Apart from sounding different from any other Punto this model - that also looked different in its bright green paintwork - shares the good looking Punto body with its roomy interior and it has light steering and positive handling.

Considering it has such a small engine this Punto is really quite lively and can be driven in a sporty style with the sound of the engine adding to this.

The Twin Air model is based on the easy trim level with 15 inch multi-spoke diamond finish wheels, glossy black mirror covers and door pillars, unique seats and darkened privacy gloss plus a reasonable sized boot.

My only grumble concerned the speedometer which is to the left of the instrument binnacle and difficult to see in certain conditions - it was easier to see the less important rev counter to the right.

Overall I enjoyed my time with the twin pot Punto. but because of its engine some may well go for one of the other petrol or diesel units.

My Verdict: An innovative fun Fiat.

Fact file:

Model: Fiat Punto Twin Air Turbo five door.

Engine: 0.9 two cylinder petrol.

Output: 85bhp @ 5500rpm.

Transmission: Six speed manual.

Top speed: 107mph.

Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 10.7 seconds.

Fuel consumption: 67.3mpg combined.

CO2 emissions: 98g/km.

Price: £12,700 on the road.