Being a car guy, the weekends comes as a great sigh of relief every time as we get to do some really cool stuff with the vehicles around us. Like the time we took the Elantra on the track with NASA, this time it was the turn of the more aggressive Fiat Punto Abarth. The Abarth is the fastest hatchback on sale in the country and is priced quite competitively as well. For Rs. 11 lakh, there are not many that can compete with the 145 horses this car has under its hood. The 1.4 liter turbo engine makes a healthy 212 Nm of torque as well which gives this little beast more than enough push.
The first time that I got into this car, ignition on, in first gear and dropped the clutch. The first thing that went through my head was how shi**y the tires were. It was running Apollo Alnac '4G', which is by far the most non-grippy tire I have come across. The treadwear rating on the tire was 400, which basically means that it is made to last and not to provide grip. Also, the traction rating was 'B', which is again far from ideal. Just to give you a comparison, the Yokohama S Drive tires have a 'AA' traction rating and the Michelin Primacy 3 LC/ST have an 'A' rating. I knew that l had my work cut out for the track. The suspension was another thing which was an issue - it is said to be 20 mm lower than the stock Punto Evo. but not at all different in the way it reacted.
CorsaVeloce You were pretty fast in the Punto Abarth. A stock car with that sort of timing is pretty good. Clocking 2.46 in the Punto Abarth without any weight reduction and with those Apollo Alnac 4G stock tyres really is a feat. This is one car that requires minimum mods for the track. Here's the video of the fast lap. (I've beeped out the expletives at the end :-) ) [youtube_video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS2W2XjUJw4[/youtube_video]