Mention the name "Evo" around any car nut, and the first car to come to mind will undoubtedly be the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. But before the Japanese got their hands on the term, the Italians used it to distinguish some seriously fast variations on some already seriously fast cars. The Evoluzione tag has been slapped on everything from the gravel-munching Lancia Delta Integrale to the track-bound Ferrari FXX, the supercar-breeding 288 GTO, and various hotted-up iterations of the Mercedes-Benz 190 E to name just a few. Now, Fiat has unearthed the performance handle for the latest revision of its core product, the Grande Punto.
Unfortunately, the new Punto Evo is no fire-breathing Abarth version, it's just a humble revision of Fiat's bread-and-butter. Visually, the Punto Evo is distinguished from the Grande Punto it replaces by revised bumpers and lights, growing barely an inch in length while the other dimensions stay the same. The interior, however, has been thoroughly revised, and it features a new touchscreen info-tainment system made in collaboration with both Microsoft and Tom Tom.
And while the Punto may not be getting any new Evo-worthy powerplants, the engine range has been updated to include the company's new Multiair engine (also featured in the Alfa MiTo) that directly controls airflow and combustion rates in each individual cylinder to optimize power delivery, emissions and fuel consumption. We'll be on hand to bring you the new Punto Evo live from the Frankfurt Motor Show where it's set to debut next month, but in the meantime, you can check out the press releases after the jump and the images in the gallery below.