Punto Tuning

"Thank you for reading my Punto tuning guide"

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

The small light chassis handles well, and responds to mods that increase power.

It is a fun car to drive, whatever engine you have and there are certainly many candidates out there for an engine swap or power upgrade.

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 hissy fit.

Punto Tuning

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 optimally somewhere in the region of 35mm and fit stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

The Punto is a fantastic base for your car tuning project. There are plenty of specialist performance parts around if you know where to look!

Fiat Punto Tuning modifications.

There have been many revisions to the Punto lineup over the years, the Mk1 Punto GT stood out in the first generation and showed what the car was capable of. Those GT parts can be used to raise performance on the other models from the Mk1 range making for a cheap upgrade path.

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 102 Nm (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 125 Nm (92 lbft) @4500rpm
  • 1.4 16v T-Jet
    120PS (88 kW; 118 hp) @5000rpm 206 Nm (152 lbft) @1750rpm
    155PS (114 kW; 153 hp) @5500rpm 230 Nm (170 lbft) @3000rpm
    180PS (132 kW; 178 hp) @5750rpm 270 Nm (199 lbft) @2500rpm

Diesel engines

  • 1.3 16v MultiJet 1,248cc
    75PS (55 kW; 74 hp) @4000rpm 190 Nm (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 280 Nm (207 lbft) @2000rpm


  • 1.2 8v Fire 1,242cc 65PS (48 kW; 64 hp) @5500rpm 102 Nm (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 200 Nm (148 lbft) @1500rpm
    • 1.6 16v Multijet 1,598 cc 120 PS (88 kW; 118 hp) @3750rpm 320 Nm (236 lbft) @1750rpm


  • 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

Mk1 & Mk2 Punto tuning

Mk1 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 1.2 bar boost should see around 170bhp 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 impressive 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 down pipe. Again, this was achieved on standard internals.

Punto engine Tuning

Engine swaps options for the Punto

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.

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.

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

Engine tuning mods for the Mk3 Punto onwards.

This list of the stages and kits are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you start.

Getting the best modified mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport parts just don't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Mapping - remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

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

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

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

Your aims when tuning should be a flat and wide torque output. You want to avoid sending all the torque to be at the top end of the rev range unless you are creating a competition car.

In this article we shall give a limited introduction to the best modifications for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance modification.

One of the biggest mechanical modified parts you can do on your NA (naturally aspirated) engine is to fit a fast road camshaft.

The intake & exhaust flow 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 camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip to fully realise your gains.

When pushing up the power you will need to increase to the fuelling. More power needs more fuel.

Using high octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your Fiat project after fitting other uprated modifications. To get sufficient fuel you may need to improve the injectors on your engine.

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.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Please note that WE DO NOT FEEL YOU GET POWER GAINS FROM INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car extensively and are finding that the standard air intake has become a limitation.

Derestricting the flow of air into the engine is a primary goal of performance tuning 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 actually rob you of power.

Sports exhausts will certainly help air flow out of the engine but do not go too large or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Getting the head ported and polished will assist in flowing more air into each cylinder. This is definitely a job for a professional with a flow bench. Your clutch can seriously let you down if it starts to fail and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 40%. Fit a power clutch to avoid power loss through the transmission. The best mods we would do for your Punto are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

NA (naturally aspirated) engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story. A remapped turbo will give phenomenal power gains and take full advantage of the strength of the block. The most phenomenal power gains for NA (naturally aspirated) engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. It is usually simpler to add a supercharger than it is to install a turbo. With a turbo the boost curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it more challenging to map.

It is more straightforward to map a supercharger because the boost is correlating to engine speed on a linear curve. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for DIY mechanics first priority in your Punto tuning project.

We found that most Punto factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe out for cornering or toe in for stability, -1 to 2, and a little negative camber will usually benefit your cornering and handling.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 27mm - 36 mm and fit performance stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

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.

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

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our car forums where you can discuss Punto options in more detail with our Punto owners.

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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One Response to “Punto Tuning”

  1. Alex says:

    Hiya am putting a 1997 gt3 in to my 2000 punto but need some custom enhine mounts do u no where I can these

    Cheers alex

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