Created just for an event, this vehicle can become the next flagship version in South America.

Does it make any sense for a carmaker to produce a vehicle just for an event? Sometimes it does, as we have seen with the cars Volkswagen presented recently at the 2008 GTI Meet in Austria such as the Scirocco GT24, GTI Performance Concept and Passat R36 Styling Study. For others, presenting a vehicle as a show car is just an excuse, as the BMW M1 Homage will someday prove, since BMW would not invest so much money just to leave its customers mouthwatering. We could say the same for the Fiat Punto Turbo, which was recently presented at Quatro Rodas Experience, a test-driving event promoted at the Interlagos F1 racetrack, in Brazil.

Considering the nature of the event, and the fact that the Punto Turbo was available for visitors to drive it (four units available), it is quite difficult to believe the official version of the story. According to Fiat, this was just a demonstration exercise or, as the name of the event states, just for experience. If it really was like that, why would there be four units of the vehicle, and not only one? Why didn’t Fiat import four units of the Grande Punto Abarth to present to its Brazilian customers? Why use a 1.4-litre 16V turbo engine that generates 155 bhp instead of the engines that are already used in Brazil? These would be cheaper choices. Quite frankly, the press relations crews of lots of carmakers are getting used to releasing stories that only few would believe, just like Porsche did denying it will have a smaller SUV than the Cayenne. If only it was not caught testing in Nürburgring…

The name Punto Turbo is also a clear sign the car is aimed for production. Fiat has a long tradition of preparing turbo versions of its cars and has already released in the past the Uno Turbo, the Tempra Turbo and the Marea Turbo. There was also a Stilo Abarth before the Scorpion returned to Europe, but an Abarth version in South America would be better suited with the new 1.9-litre engine Fiat is developing for Linea, the sedan version of Punto. Equipped with a turbo, of course, but that may be just wishful thinking.

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