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Abarth stings SA with 132kW Punto

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South Africa's hot hatch contingent is about to feel the sting of a bigger scorpion in the form of Abarth's new Punto Scorpione, but this creature is going to be a rare sight on our roads.

Not only is it priced at a jaw-dropping R365 000, but only ten of the world's allocation of 99 cars will be reaching our shores.

At least it looks far meaner than Fiat's standard Punto, thanks to matte finishes to the bonnet and roof, as well as glossy 18-inch alloy wheels. And it's a lot faster, of course.

Although it's based on the Punto 1.4T MultiAir, power in this scorpion is up from 99kW and 206Nm to 132kW and 270 Nm - thanks mainly to a bigger Garrett turbo. The Italians are claiming 7.5 seconds for the 0-100km/h sprint and a top-end of 216km/h for the newcomer, which sends its urge to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

For a soundtrack to match the performance there's a wider exhaust setup from the Esseesse catalogue.

The handling equation is sorted by a set of Koni shocks and lower springs and it should stop on a dime thanks to vented front discs and perforated rear discs, bigger brake calipers (painted yellow) and better brake pads.

Step inside and you'll find Alcantara trimmed seats with red and yellow stitching, aluminium kick plates, stainless steel pedals, leather steering wheel with red and yellow stitching, and sportier instruments.

The sting in the tail, of course is the R365 000 price tag - the standard Punto 1.4T MultiAir Lounge costs just R215 150. This Abarth will be available from Arnold Chatz dealerships only.

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