Punto Tuning

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Punto Tuning

The Punto is a good car tuning project base to play with.

The Mk1 Punto GT is the best base for tuning by a long shot.

After that the Mk2 JTD is pretty tunable, and developments are being made all the time with the newer 1.4 T-jet and 1.9 M-jet.

The HGT can't be remapped and there's not much gain to be had out of the smaller engines.

The Mk3 and later Punto's are fantastic cars with a great range of engines.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Punto buying advice and common problems

Mk1 - Getting on a bit now. Rust seems to be the biggest issue as with many cars of this age. Check around the windscreen, rear wheel arches and alongside the sills and chassis rails as these are notorious. Red key is needed to code new keys and important in case the ECU throws a wobbly.

Mk2 - Wiper linkages always going common fault. Power steering failing also very common. Apart from that they're pretty sound.

Handling modifications are usually your first port of call for the Punto. Drop the car by as much as 35mm and fit stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

The Punto GT is a fantastic base for a tuning project. There are also plenty of engine swap options and specialist performance parts around for the Punto if you know where to look!

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes and the Turbo models. The more power you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars.

As with all engine swaps uprated brakes and suspension are recommended and pretty much essential. Brembo 4-pots from a coupe are a common swap, requiring custom brackets.

Fiat Punto Tuning modifications.

Here are the Mk1 engines offered and the power outputs.

  • 1.1 SPI 1108cc 54PS (40 kW; 54 hp) @5500rpm 86 Nm (63 lbft) @3250rpm
  • 1.2 SPI 1242cc 60PS (44 kW; 59 hp) @5500rpm 98 Nm (72 lbft) @3000rpm
  • 1.2 MPI 1242cc 73PS (54 kW; 72 hp) @5000rpm 106 Nm (78 lbft) @4000rpm
  • 1.2 16v 1242cc 86PS (63 kW; 84 hp) @6000rpm 113 Nm (83 lbft) @4500rpm
  • 1.4 Turbo 1372cc 133-136PS (98-100 kW; 131-134 hp) @5750rpm 208 Nm (153 lbft) @3000rpm
  • 1.4 Turbo 1372cc 131PS (96 kW; 129 hp) @5600rpm 200 Nm (148 lbft) @3000rpm
  • 1.6 MPI 1581cc 90PS (66 kW; 89 hp) @5750rpm 129 Nm (95 lbft) @2750rpm
  • 1.7 Diesel 1698cc 57PS (42 kW; 56 hp) @4500rpm 98 Nm (72 lbft) @2500rpm
  • 1.7 Diesel 1698cc 64PS (46 kW; 63 hp) @4500rpm 118 Nm (87 lbft) @2500rpm
  • 1.7 Diesel 1698cc 72PS (53 kW; 71 hp) @4500rpm 137 Nm (101 lbft) @2500rpm

Next up we have the Mk2 and we would highlight the JTD as being particularly worthy of mention, and developments are being made all the time with the newer 1.4 T-jet and 1.9 M-jet engines.

  • 1.2-L 8v 1242 cc 44 kW (60 PS; 59 hp) @5000 rpm 102 Nm (75 lbft) @2500 rpm
  • 1.2-L 16v 1242 cc 59 kW (80 PS; 79 hp) @5000 rpm 114 Nm (84 lbft) @4000 rpm
  • 1.4-L 16v 1368 cc 70 kW (95 PS; 94 hp) @5800 rpm 128 Nm (94 lbft) @4500 rpm
  • 1.8-L 16v 1747 cc 96 kW (131 PS; 129 hp) @6300 rpm 164 Nm (121 lbft) @4300 rpm

Diesel engines

  • 1.3-L MultiJet16v 1251 cc 51 kW (69 PS; 68 hp) @4000 rpm 180 Nm (133 lbft) @1750 rpm
  • 1.9-L D 8v 1910 cc 44 kW (60 PS; 59 hp) @4500 rpm 118 Nm (87 lbft) @2250 rpm
  • 1.9-L JTD8v 1910 cc 59 kW (80 PS; 79 hp) @3000 rpm[nb 2] 196 Nm (145 lbft) @1500 rpm
  • 1.9-L JTD8v 1910 cc 63 kW (86 PS; 84 hp) @3000 rpm[nb 4] 200 Nm (148 lbft) @1500 rpm
  • 1.9-L MultiJet 8v 1910 cc 74 kW (101 PS; 99 hp) @4000 rpm 260 Nm (192 lbft) @1750 rpm

Mk3 - released in 2005 there was an impressive Abarth version introduced, showing the potential of these cars.

Many engines were revised and tweaked, and generally offered better economy and more power and torque, which is never a bad thing.

Confusingly some engines came in different power figures thanks to special factory tuning, ECU mapping and different parts, and some were limited to specific regions, but we've tried to cover them all here.

Grand Punto

  • 1.2 8v Fire 1,242cc 65PS (48 kW; 64 hp) @5500rpm 102Nm(75 lbft) @3000rpm
  • 1.4 8v Fire 1,368 cc 77 PS (57 kW; 76 hp) @6000rpm 115 Nm (85 lbft) @3000rpm
  • 1.4 16v StarJet 95PS (70 kW; 94 hp) @6000rpm 125Nm(92 lbft) @4500rpm
  • 1.4 16v T-Jet
    120PS (88 kW; 118 hp) @5000rpm 206Nm(152 lbft) @1750rpm
    155PS (114 kW; 153 hp) @5500rpm 230Nm(170 lbft) @3000rpm
    180PS (132 kW; 178 hp) @5750rpm 270Nm(199 lbft) @2500rpm

Diesel engines

  • 1.3 16v MultiJet 1,248cc
    75PS (55 kW; 74 hp) @4000rpm 190Nm(140 lbft) @1750rpm
    90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) @4000rpm 200 Nm (148 lbft) @1750rpm
  • 1.6 16v MultiJet 1,598cc 120 PS (88 kW; 120 hp) @3750rpm 320 Nm (236 lbft) @1750rpm
  • 1.9 8v MultiJet 1,910 cc
    120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp) @4000rpm 280 Nm (207 lbft) @2000rpm
    130PS (96 kW; 128 hp) @4000rpm 280Nm(207 lbft) @2000rpm

PUNTO EVO

  • 1.2 8v Fire 1,242cc 65PS (48 kW; 64 hp) @5500rpm 102Nm(75 lbft) @3000rpm
  • 1.2 8v Fire Euro5 69 PS (51 kW; 68 hp) @5500rpm
  • 1.4 8v Fire Start&Stop 1,368 cc 77 PS (57 kW; 76 hp) @6000rpm 115 Nm (85 lbft) @3250rpm
  • 1.4 8v Bipower
  • 77 PS (57 kW; 76 hp) @6000rpm 115 Nm (85 lbft) @3000rpm
    70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp) @6000rpm 104 Nm (77 lbft) @3000rpm
  • 1.4 8v GPL 77 PS (57 kW; 76 hp) @6000rpm 115 Nm (85 lbft) @3000rpm
  • 1.4 16v MultiAir 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) @6500rpm 130 Nm (96 lbft) @4000rpm
  • 1.4 16v MultiAir Turbo
  • 135 PS (99 kW; 133 hp) @5000rpm 206 Nm (152 lbft) @1750rpm
    165 PS (121 kW; 163 hp) @5500rpm 250 Nm (184 lbft) @2250rpm
    180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) @5750rpm 270 Nm (199 lbft) @2500rpm

Diesel engines

  • 1.3 16v Multijet 75 1,248 cc 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) @4000rpm 190 Nm (140 lbft) @1500rpm
  • 1.3 16v Multijet 90 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) @4000rpm 200 Nm (148 lbft) @1750rpm
  • 1.3 16v Multijet 95 95PS (70 kW; 94 hp) @4000rpm 200Nm(148 lbft) @1500rpm
  • 1.6 16v Multijet 1,598 cc 120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp) @3750rpm 320 Nm (236 lbft) @1750rpm

Punto

  • 0.9 8v TwinAir 875 cc 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) @5500rpm 145 Nm (107 lbft) @2000rpm
    Diesel engines
  • 1.3 16v Multijet 75 1,248 cc 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) @4000rpm 190 Nm (140 lbft) @1500rpm

As with most things your tuning options, depends on your budget. Here are some recommendations for the GT engine. As far as bang-per-buck goes so to speak a full "Seb2" setup as it's called is the way to go. This consists of an uprated cone or panel filter, 2.25" or larger downpipe back exhaust including decat, decent boost controller, FMIC and Power on the Road Seb2 chip. Running 1.2bar boost should see around170bhp on a good engine and make for a 15 second flat quarter mile on average.

Seb2s drive a lot better on and off boost, and achieve better fuel economy than standard. It is possible to upgrade the turbo to a TT Stage 1 which was what our member MasterAuron did. The highest Seb2 figure achieved to our knowledge is 185bhp and impresive 14.5s quarter mile with a TT Stage 1 - NB this car had a full interior and was not a stripped out racer!

You're looking at as little as £300 for the whole setup if you pick up everything second hand but in good condition.

Past this there is Seb4.1, which requires a Seb4 chip, hybrid turbo (GT25R sort of size), custom elbow uprated fuel pump and regulator and larger injectors on top of Seb2 spec. This should see at least 200bhp, but the highest we are aware of  with this setup is 226bhp with 2.5" elbow and downpipe. Again, this was achieved on standard internals.

Punto engine Tuning

Engine swaps options for the Punto mk1 & 2

There are plenty of engine swaps out there on the Punto. GT conversions (from smaller engined models 60s etc etc) are probably the most common as running donor GT's with poor bodywork can be picked up for peanuts.

The 16VT from the Fiat Coupe will fit into a Mk1 and Mk2 with custom mounts and some slight loom splicing. You will also need to use the 16VT gear linkage. Exhaust needs to be adapted also. Further details can be provided in our forum if needed. There's a few about and more currently being built.

The 20VT from the Coupe will also fit but some cutting needs to be done to the chassis legs so it's wise to leave that one alone unless you know what you're doing. This is beyond the scope of this article.

A swap of the 1.4 GT engine into the Mk2 has also been done but only once as far as we know by a lad in Malta that uses it for hillclimbs.

Loads of other engines and combination can and have been done. Turbo-charged 1.6 16V bravo engine is underway for example, and the Sporting (90) 1600 bottom end can be used with an otherwise GT engine and some custom work to create a 1.6 GT.

Engine tuning mods.

These mods sports upgrades are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you start.

Getting the correct grade of sports modifications for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport parts just won't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

Stage 1 mods: Panel air filter, Remap, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels.

Stage 2 mods: high flow fuel injector, Fast road cam, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, Power/Sport clutch.

Stage 3 mods: Sports gearbox, Competition cam, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Engine balancing.

You should keep as much low end torque as you can and aim to achieve a wide power band across the rev range rather than a narrow top end power hike.

The whole aim of our advice is to give a brief overview of tuning upgrades and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your tuning project, the best performance modifications and all aspects of modding cars.A fast road cam often proves to be one of the best NASP power mods you can do mechanically to your engine.

The exhaust and intake durations play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car difficult to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a reflashed ECU to fully release the power gain.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to ramp up the fuelling.

Using high octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Fiat project after fitting other tuning modifications. Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel.

A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Air induction kits are only beneficial to add power if your cars air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most low power engines will see NONE OF A LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Derestricting the air flow into the engine is the primary part of car tuners so get a better flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound sporty but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not do much to increase power and often rob you of power on most cars.

Sports exhausts can help increase the flow of gases through the engine. But if the exhaust pipe is too big, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the exhaust flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Getting a professionally gas flowed head with larger valves can fully release the engines power. A good multi plate fast road performance clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never skimp or expect your standard OEM clutch to cope. The best mods we would do for your Punto are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful. However a flashed ecu on a NASP engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods. Adding forced induction will see phenomenal power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are usually easier to add than a turbo. It is difficult to map fuelling with a turbo as the boost builds exponentially with engine speed.

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them more straightforward to map. Alternatively you could fit water injection to cut down knock.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Air induction kits are only beneficial to add power if your cars air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most low power engines will see NONE OF A LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Derestricting the air flow into the engine is the primary part of car tuners so get a better flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound sporty but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not do much to increase power and often rob you of power on most cars.

Sports exhausts can help increase the flow of gases through the engine. But if the exhaust pipe is too big, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the exhaust flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Getting a professionally gas flowed head with larger valves can fully release the engines power. A good multi plate fast road performance clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never skimp or expect your standard OEM clutch to cope. The best mods we would do for your Punto are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged cars. On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful. However a flashed ecu on a NASP engine will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods. Adding forced induction will see phenomenal power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Superchargers are usually easier to add than a turbo. It is difficult to map fuelling with a turbo as the boost builds exponentially with engine speed.

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them more straightforward to map. Alternatively you could fit water injection to cut down knock.

For some further reading, see our articles on Breathing mods and  Remaps and have a browse of our Fiat forum.

Punto Mk2 Tuning

Fiat Punto Wheel modifications.

Because alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks.

Large Punto alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio.

17" will fit the Mk1 and Mk2 with rolled arches.

Most big 17's just don't look right in the Punto arches and this has a detremental affect on handling and steering.

The Mk3 Punto was better designed for the 16's and 17's and we've seen a few fitting 18's but shudder to think what the ride is like on those.

15's are perfect for performance imo whilst 16's arguably look the best.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Punto options in more detail with our Punto owners.

There is a more updated version of this Fiat Punto Tuning article on TorqueCars.com.

It would also be worth reading our unbiased Fiat tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification. (Many thanks to our member, Master Auron for these tips and pics and we suggest you check out his progress on "project reaper" in our forum.

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