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Performance car purists will be glad to hear that the new Abarth Punto SuperSport has some serious gonads under its sporty clothing - unlike Renault which has taken to painting just about any of its entry-level hatches blue, plakking whites stripes on it and calling it a Gordini.
Which does absolutely nothing other than devalue the Gordini brand.
But Renault is French, therefore pragmatic, while Fiat is Italian and ever mindful that Abarth made its name modifying the original 500 'Topolino' for the racetrack, so the Supersport's 1.4-litre MultiAir engine has been tweaked to deliver a distinctly nasty 132kW at 5750rpm, which the Scorpion Crew say will take it away from the lights and up to 100km in seven and a half seconds and up to more than 216km/h flat out.
Tell that to your Twingo.
To keep things on the straight and marrow, the pointiest Punto runs big, red Brembo brake callipers on ventilated front and solid rear discs, and low-profile sports rubber on matte-black, multi-spoked 17” sports rims.
The SuperSport comes with a full Abarth body kit and is finished, not in the Scorpion Brand's signature pearl white, but in a beautifully understated pearl grey, except for the bonnet and roof, which are matte black with contrasting, glossy central stripes in body colour.
ONLY 199 WILL BE MADE
The interior is well-specced, but still with the emphasis on performance rather than luxury.
It has fabric-covered sports bucket seats, alloy pedals, special sill plates, leather-trimmed steering wheel with satellite controls for the Blue & Me infotainment system, branded floor-mats and chromed centre-stack trim elements.
Only 199 Punto Supersports will be built at the Mirafiori plant in Turin, and will sell for at €21 900 (R230 000) each including Italian VAT. They're available to order from specialised Abarth dealers or from the Abarth website.