Written on: 28/06/2010
I have owned this car for approximately 2 years, originally purchased to take the engine and running components out and put them into a MK2 Punto, The MK2 punto being lower spec i decided to keep this car and complete the necessary body repairs.
my car is 12 years old (R reg: 1998) with now only 53,500 genuine miles, everything works on it as it should all electrics etc, i like the fact that the car itself carries a high spec (this is the top of the range model MK1 Fiat Punto)with electric mirrors, headlamp washers, disc brakes all round and A.B.S. (Automatic Braking System) with mettallic carbon grey in colour (exceptionally rare). Being bought from an auction i never received any service history however my mechanic has informed me that this car is in exceptional condition for a fiat and looking at the engine tells me this car has had an easy life... The MOT station commented also on the condition and after replacing the handbrake cable, brake hoses and cleaning the discs (the car had been standing for a while) passed with no advisories.
Since then i have lowered the suspension 40ml on G-max gas shocks and replaced the airbox for a Pipercross Induction Kit, i did not drive the car on standard suspension as this was being done at the same time as the bodywork. It was my father who told me the standard suspension was not sufficient and advised me to uprate it as it was him whom drove the car back from auction approximately 1.5 years ago now.
My experience of this car at first was "f*ck me this is fast" it comes as i am a Motorcycle rider, the day picking this car up from the auction i dropped my father off on my CBR 600 FS which is estimated 110BHP and 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. I rode the motorcycle home and he drove the car.... Firstly it was an immediate wheelspin out of the yard along a long straight whith terrible uneven road, the car was very quick taking off.... after a while driving we ended up down some country lanes in which again the car was very quick, along the straights my CBR was faster than the GT and had enough power to overtake when pushing it very hard. This car showed itself to be exceptionally fast, a car would never usually even be in the sights of a sports bike when riding fast however it proved necessary to 'ride fast' just to stay with the Punto GT which at times tried to take off without me!
My father informs me that it was driving down the uneven road at the very first stages that he almost lost the car, and at first told me that i would require at least 5 years driving experience before getting into a vehicle like this (which according to him goes like a 3.0 litre capri), i am 22 and the argument was quickly lost due to the fact that he has always encouraged me to ride a motorcycle and supported me totally through the purchase of my CBR 600 FS and further to this raced tuned 2 stroke bikes which i had and was riding.... It was in the agreement that i would change the suspension.
My personal experience of the GT is one that is most positive 'I love my car!' and have the keyring to prove it :)being Fiat i do worry about When something will go wrong however this compares nothing to my CCM 650cc supermoto Motorcycle which required something to be done every single week.... and so far bar general servicing, nothing has gone wrong with my Fiat :)
The Car is Very fast, i always give my car time to warm up before booting it however it can take a while.... to give you an idea of the performance I have stayed with one of the new 59/10 plate Jaguar XF's which was giving it some however could not break away from me at all the smallest 2.7 engine produces over 200BHP upto bigger 3.0, 3.5's, 4.5 engines producing nearly 500BHP).... at another point in the same night i pulled up behind a 1.8 SEAT 20 Valve Turbo (177BHP and 1300kg) (my car being lowered looks a little meaner than usual~) and seeing him look i knew a test of performance was inevitable. the incredible thing was that i stayed with him flat out all of the way (i thought he would get away a litlle bit to be honest, but he didn't)
This car is absolutely exceptional for performance, it is a difficult car to drive at normal pace due to the fact it 'urges' to be driven at a higher pace, it's colour and standard look do not attract the police and so far i have not been stopped, my aim is to look like i am half sensible if i get stopped and not look like a boy racer as i do not wiish to be ridiculed or made example of by the Police, this car really suits that as it truly is a 'Wolf in sheeps clothing' People really do not expect this kind of performance to come out of a car like this... i have actually toyed with scoobies also but most of the time people will look at it and be like 'but it's just a punto'
My friends love it and i love it, people who have spent £5,000 - £30,000 on their cars will hate it as it doesn't have the "i have a brand new BMW" factor. If your not trying to show off and a fast practicle performance car is what you are after, than this car has everything!