Fiat's all-new Argo revealed, will replace Punto in the lineup

Right from its launch in 1993, the Punto has been a big-seller for Fiat in quite a few markets including Italy, Brazil and parts of Europe. The third-generation model debuted in 2005 and between then and now, there was just a minor facelift bestowed on the car. That was way back in 2012 and the Punto was admittedly getting long in the tooth. Fiat couldn't unveil its replacement soon enough and that's where the Argo steps in. 

Yes, expected to be formally unveiled in Brazil in a few weeks from now, the Argo will replace the aging Punto in Fiat's lineup.

All we have right now are a couple of official images of what is likely to be Argo's sporty, range-topping trim level. And the car is quite a looker. The Punto, in its current form, looked a million bucks, with its Italian flair and clean lines making it stand out. The Argo is quite the opposite in terms of its design approach. In trying to keep up with the trend, the Argo has ditched the terms 'clean and European' for 'aggressive and contemporary'. 

Up front, the heavily sculpted hood and Fiat's new family grille imparts a sense of aggression to the Argo we don't generally associate with European hatchbacks. Large sweptback headlamps with LED DRLs on either sides appear to be seamless extensions of the grille. The profile of the bumper and lower air dam mimics the shape and size of the upper grille and headlights while the bright red accent indicates this is a sporty variant we are looking at. In profile, the prominent character line that runs the full length of the car, the flared wheel arches and the upward-sloping window profile imparts the same aggressive theme as the fascia. Potentially exclusive to this sporty trim level are the plastic cladding in the wheel arches and those snazzy-looking alloys shod with low profile Bridgestone Potenzas. The bootlid, again, is heavily sculpted and feature split wraparound taillamps and large 'FIAT' lettering at the center. Red accents in the bumper and the roof spoiler are possibly add-ons the regular variants won't get. The low-hanging exhaust is an eyesore, just as it is in the Linea T-Jet here, and has to go.

Fiat hasn't released official images of the interiors yet while Argo's powertrain options are still under wraps as well. 

Together with the Tipo sedan (which vowed us as the Aegea Concept), the Argo would be an excellent addition to Fiat India's lineup. Cars as appealing as these, powered by punchy T-Jet and frugal MultiJet engines, boasting the solid build and near-perfect ride and handling that Fiats are known for - who in their right minds would say no to such a combination? 

If priced and marketed well, these two cars could bring Fiat back in the fight and ensure the brand is not just dependent on revenue from selling engines to Maruti-Suzuki and Tata. Its highly unlikely though with FCA choosing to focus on the 'Jeep' brand for India. Still, miracles do happen and we are hoping for one to see these new-age Fiats on Indian roads.

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