The adorable Fiat 500 continues to be a sales superstar in various countries across the globe, which has made its Punto sibling feel a bit left out. But Fiat is determined to keep the Punto fresh and has done some tweaking to the 2012 model that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

First launched in 2005 as the Grande Punto, the third-generation hatchback had began to show its age. To combat this, Fiat launched the reworked Punto Evo in 2009, but now even that update isn't selling.

On the 2012 Punto, Fiat turned back the clock a bit by stripping the hatchback of the black plastic moldings that once surrounded the Punto's wheel arches and nixed are some of the chrome bits that made the third-gen hatch seem a bit dated.

Now, the Punto is simple, stylish and nearly as fuel-efficient as hatchbacks come. The 2012 Punto gets two fuel-sipping 85-horsepower engines – one a 900-cc two-cylinder motor and the other a 1.3-liter MultiJet diesel. Fiat says MultiJet-equipped Puntos return a shocking 69 mpg on Europe's combined test cycle.

The revised model debuted alongside the 2012 Panda and a trio of Abarths in Frankfurt. You'll find details and video after the jump and can check out live photos of the Punto in our high-res image gallery.

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Fiat Punto 2012, international debut

The New Punto Model Year 2012 is making its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It will go on sale at the beginning of next year across Europe. The model confirms the aspects that destined the previous editions for success in all the European markets and intensifies the distinguished personality with an important aesthetic change, together with the new exterior colours and the seat upholsteries, not to mention significant technological progress with the introduction of the 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir turbo and the evolution of the 85 HP 1.3 Multijet.

In detail, on the outside the Punto 2012 model presents a new front distinguished by a bumper entirely painted in the same shade as the body, with the direction indicators positioned alongside the air intake in a single perimeter that surrounds them. On the rear section a shape in relief describes a zone that divides the area dedicated to the number plate from that in which the auxiliary functions of the lights are positioned. Inside, brand-new fabrics upholstering the seats and original inserts of the dashboard that emphasize its stylistic elegance are distinguishable. The new style innovations of the Punto 2012 are completed with a new design of the 15" alloy rims and new three metallic bodywork colours: Turquoise, Ruby Red and Graphite Grey. In addition, as for the 500 model, the TwinAir name on the Fiat Punto 2012 will indicate not only the revolutionary two-cylinder engine, but also a new trim level with a unique and recognisable look.

Therefore, with this new 2012 edition Fiat Punto reaffirms the values that have always distinguished the model: the dynamism and elegance of its lines, a perfect synthesis of Italian style and the technological innovation that since its launch has been a winning feature of the car. The model counts among its records that of being the first car of its class equipped with an advanced infotainment system (Blue&Me) or useful instruments for the customer so he can analyse his driving style in real time (eco:Drive info) and receive tips on how he can reduce environmental impact and optimising fuel consumption. The Fiat Punto also continues to be a constant point of reference when it comes to engine innovation. They are increasingly livelier and thrifty both with diesel (MultiJet) and petrol (MultiAir) supply, combining innovation with eco-friendliness every single time. Evidence of this lies in the methane or LPG engine, in addition to extending the Stop&Start with Gear Shift Indicator technology to all the Euro 5 engines. This system automatically cuts out the engine and prompts the best gear in order to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 15% for an urban route. This long tradition of records today is reinforced with the Punto MY 2012 following introduction of new two engineering gems to the range: the 85 HP TwinAir turbo and the evolution of the 85 HP 1.3 MultiJet.

85 HP 0.9 TwinAir turbo

The unprecedented TwinAir, which has won numerous awards in the industry - including "International Engine of the year 2011", "Best New Engine 2011" and "Best Green Engine 2011" - has now been placed on the Segment B top-of-the-range model of Fiat Group Automobiles.

The TwinAir project combines all the most modern technology designed by Fiat Powertrain (MulitAir) with the "downsizing" concept and is manifest in a small, low-weight engine that ensures excellent performance with low fuel consumption. The special engine tuning and its combination with a 6-speed gearbox confers to the car a perfect balance between eco-friendliness (98 g/km CO2) and driving pleasure (85 HP at 5500 rpm of power and 145 Nm at 2000 rpm of torque). The ECO button is also available. With a specific engine control calibration, it reduces fuel consumption to guarantee truly eco-friendly driving.

The Punto Twin Air customer therefore can choose between two driving modes: "normal", with full engine performance to enhance driving liveliness and vivacity, and "eco" for driving more attentive to economy.

85 HP MultiJet

The 85 HP 1.3 16V Multijet (with a torque of 200 Nm at 1500 rpm) - already today on the cutting-edge thanks to the IRS (Injection rate shaping) technology of the MultiJet II and to the special eco turbo-matching of the turbocharger assembly - takes a further step forward with the introduction of two new technologies (Intelligent Alternator and Intelligent Flow) that let it reach the level of 90 g/km of CO2 emissions. The first technology optimizes the recharging battery strategy during the "engine cut-off" phases, while the second is obtained through an oil pump with variable displacement and optimisation of the cooling circuit. These technologies, together with the use of low-viscosity gearbox oil, make the Punto one of the diesel cars in its segment boasting the best CO2 emissions.

The 2012 range

The Punto 2012 is also revamped in its range structure, made clearer and slimmer, optimally epitomizing the editions currently on the market - the Grande Punto and Punto Evo - with the goal of giving the Punto model only one identity with a single styling and enhancing the winning combination of "style and technology".

In detail, the range comprises 3 trim levels (Pop, Easy and Lounge) available on the different engines, plus a dedicated trim level combined with the TwinAir engine, each featuring a different offer of contents with the goal of satisfying different needs.

The Pop trim level represents the entry level, offered as an accessible, essential, simple and functional version. The second trim level (Easy) is the "feature model" of the range thanks to its wealth of equipment, and it offers an outstanding price to accessories ratio. Available in 3 different combinations of interior fabrics (red, blue and grey), this version is the expression of a colourful, youthful, casual, modern, contemporary and technological soul. The top-end is on the other hand represented by the Lounge trim level, which offers both rich and high-tech equipment to provide both ultimate comfort and a strong personality combining elegance and sportiness in an expert aesthetic union.

Finally, the TwinAir trim level was created to enhance the introduction of the 2-cylinder engine by reflecting its lively and agile soul, as the bright and vivid launch shade of Verde Lime combined with the glossy black roof demonstrates. Added to this exclusive body shade are other distinctive styling features such as the burnished alloy rims with dedicated design and diamond treatment, glossy black pillars and mirrors and burnished headlights. The version is also immediately recognisable thanks to the TwinAir logo on the rear tailgate.

Internally, the car is personalised with new interiors featuring grey and black "Sportex" fabric and a grey embroidered TwinAir logo on the front headrests. Another TwinAir logo is placed on the dashboard near the climate control system.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Travis C. Vasconcelo
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great job Fiat!!! Another stellar design from the italian wizardy that is Fiat. Can't wait to see it over here under the Dodge banner!
        D By
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Travis C. Vasconcelo
        I hope not. Outside is nice, but so far the new Fiat interiors for the new Panda and Punto I have seen are awful.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The photos of the grey car are last year's model. The hideous chrome strip and the dark bumper inserts have gone and it looks far more like the original. Phew! As for the interiors, they are great, far nicer than any of the opposition which depend on fake aluminium and other unpleasant accents. The Punto, like other Fiats, has some colour in the interior, not just deadly grey on grey. This improved appearance, plus the twin Multiair engine, should pick up sales no end.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yup. Silver car in the photo gallery is still a Punto Evo.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As was said. Though i still think the first, the Grande Punto, was the best of them all. The first one came close, the second one is just weird, Punto Evo (first facelift of the grande) is horrible, the latest facelift in somewhere in between.
      Klayton Kelly
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks pretty good. Here's hoping we might see a Dodge version. I think it'd make a good Dodge with a slightly reworked front clip and interior.
        Mike Pulsifer
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Klayton Kelly
        Actually, I hope they just bring it over here as a FIAT and let Dodge build its identity as a "sporty" brand.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The exterior looks great. I hope they fix up the interior and bring it over to the states.
      Orin O'Neill
      • 4 Years Ago
      @JayH and @Mike, the fact that Fiat 500s are sold in separate "Studios" makes it rather clear the plan for the Fiat brand in North America is for them to be automotive baubles, e.g. 500, MINI, 2012 Beetle. Given the realities of the current economy, I think simple and inexpensive is an excellent idea. I'm perfectly happy with steel wheels/plastic wheel coves, windows you crank yourself, and cloth upholstery. A Punto like the one described in the article would make a great Dodge Dart (those were simple and inexpensive, too). A slightly fancier one would make a nice Chrysler Valiant, too...
      • 4 Years Ago
      The underpinings could produce a nice small car for the Dodge Division. Dodge Dart SRT4. Hmmmm....
      • 4 Years Ago
      this car was old when it came out in looks so old now next to anything else sold in europe. fiat/chrysler come out with a new car every week in the US and in europe they still sell cars from 6 years ago.
      • 4 Years Ago
      trying to imagine what it would look like with a cross-hair grille
      • 4 Years Ago
      this should be sold in america as a fiat, not dodge.. along with the linea...
      • 4 Years Ago
      No it won't set the world on fire. Yes, we'll take it. Just the kind of small hatch Dodge badly needs. Even if it's the last or current model release, so what. To object to it is to confuse not new with not good. Can't wait to see the five-door Punto in Dodge livery. We wait with cash in hand. Make it happen, Marchionne!
        Mike Pulsifer
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why Dodge? Why not FIAT? Let Dodge have the "sporty" cars while FIAT's the place for small cars. MORE FIATs! MORE design variety on our roads, not this sad state of affairs we have here now.
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