The next-generation Fiat Punto will be manufactured in India and Fiat will be looking at exporting it to other markets as well. India and Turkey will be the two key plants were the vehicle would be manufactured and sold across the globe.
The new Punto will be based on Fiat’s SCA (small car architecture) and will be sharing the platform with the new-generation Linea, 500X, 500L, new Fiat B-segment SUV and the Jeep Renegade. This is the new platform Fiat India has commenced work on. The R&D and design team in India was earlier about 30 people and now the strength is 700 employees, who are designing and developing this new platform and products. The team is directly co-ordinating with the Turkish centre to exchange ideas and develop the products simultaneously.
The Punto has been codenamed as X6H and the platform is called as X3U. The new Punto’s testing will commence in the second half of 2015 in Turkey and the Punto, Linea and the new B-segment SUV (Ecosport competition) will be launched in India in 2017. Fiat has spent about $1 billion at its Turkish plant to develop these new products.
The new Punto and Linea might be renamed and they will lighter, faster, more spacious and efficient than the currently sold hatchback and sedan. The Punto for India will continue to be powered by the 1.3-litre multijet but the Linea will get the 1.5-litre multijet that is being developed for the Indian car market. The other engines on offer will be the 1.4-litre FIRE and T-JETs.
The Jeep Renegade that will commence production next year in India, will be based on the same platform. This will getting the 1.5-litre diesel engine too and it will be competing with the Renault Duster, Hyundai ix25 and the Nissan Terrano. However, as it will be a Jeep it will demand some premium too.