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Old 06-03-2012, 05:59 PM   #46
bisbonian OP
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Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post
Any updates? Can't stop thinking about these little gems...
I've been down in Mexico and then up in the White Mountains for the annual Devil's Highway Run so no driving of the Fiat.

However I did order a new shift knob as the stock one is just too light and feels cheap.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:16 PM   #47
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Any updates? Can't stop thinking about these little gems...
Abarth is sold out for 2012.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:35 AM   #48
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Abarth is sold out for 2012.

I know I heard. I'm fairly interested in just the sport model too. I never thought my NA Miata was too slow (0-60 in 9.1 compared to the 500's 0-60 in 9.2-9.8 to over 10 depending on who's testing it ) as I'm more interested in the driving dynamics and fun factor which seem to be quite high in the little Fiat. Gonna take one for a test drive soon. I've been thinking a lot about it lately -- while the Abarth is undoubtedly cool and much faster, I've never been a big fan of turbo engines. I don't care for the power delivery even on those that don't have much lag. Also, I'm not sure I want to pay the insurance premium, have super expensive tires on the thing and worry about it being stolen/molested because it's so rare. If I have the opportunity I will take one for a test drive as well though. In short, if I'm happy with the performance of the Sport, that's the one I'll end up with.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:32 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post
I know I heard. I'm fairly interested in just the sport model too. I never thought my NA Miata was too slow (0-60 in 9.1 compared to the 500's 0-60 in 9.2-9.8 to over 10 depending on who's testing it ) as I'm more interested in the driving dynamics and fun factor which seem to be quite high in the little Fiat. Gonna take one for a test drive soon. I've been thinking a lot about it lately -- while the Abarth is undoubtedly cool and much faster, I've never been a big fan of turbo engines. I don't care for the power delivery even on those that don't have much lag. Also, I'm not sure I want to pay the insurance premium, have super expensive tires on the thing and worry about it being stolen/molested because it's so rare. If I have the opportunity I will take one for a test drive as well though. In short, if I'm happy with the performance of the Sport, that's the one I'll end up with.
The more I drive it the happier I am with my Sport.

The handling feels more nimble than what I remember with my Miata and I'm beginning to rev the engine more so it's getting quicker.

My Insight did better if the revs were kept low as then I could use the torque of the electric motor to pull me along so I'm not used to winding the engine up. I had the same issue when I went from my Road Star Warrior to my DL1000, I was used to a red line at around 5k rpm and then went to a bike that started making power at 5k rpm and it took some learning for me to ride the bike in the right way.

If you go for a test drive make sure to check out the "sport" button. You have to have your foot off the gas when you engage the sport mode or I gather you won't actually enter sport mode. It makes a real difference that you can feel.

I myself have a distrust of turbochargers and wanted a car that was fairly low-tech. I find the performance is enough for me and the mileage is pretty good as well. That being said if the Twin-Air engine would have been available in the US I might have gone with that.

Still liking the car!
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:31 PM   #50
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Only 3,000 Abarth models were allocated... surprised that wasn't at least 10,000...
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:18 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post
I know I heard. I'm fairly interested in just the sport model too. I never thought my NA Miata was too slow (0-60 in 9.1 compared to the 500's 0-60 in 9.2-9.8 to over 10 depending on who's testing it ) as I'm more interested in the driving dynamics and fun factor which seem to be quite high in the little Fiat. Gonna take one for a test drive soon. I've been thinking a lot about it lately -- while the Abarth is undoubtedly cool and much faster, I've never been a big fan of turbo engines. I don't care for the power delivery even on those that don't have much lag. Also, I'm not sure I want to pay the insurance premium, have super expensive tires on the thing and worry about it being stolen/molested because it's so rare. If I have the opportunity I will take one for a test drive as well though. In short, if I'm happy with the performance of the Sport, that's the one I'll end up with.
My insurance company doesn't distinguish between the standard model and the Abarth. Yet.

I am getting a bad itch for a small car. I just traded off my Fusion for another Sienna. I now have a 2006 and a 2012. I am going to sell the 2006 outright when I get it cleaned up.
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:43 AM   #52
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:26 PM   #53
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As if the 500 wasn't already cool enough... they managed to get one in front of a Google Street view car... when it was mapping VW HQ

that is awesome!!!!

IMHO 101 hp isn't really that bad in a small car. One of my all time favorite cars is original VW Rabbit GTI (MK1 Golf to the rest of the world), it made a whopping 90hp, but with a close ratio gear box and a 3.94 final drive the car was really fun to drive. The Mini Cooper 1.6 I test drove when the first came out did fell like a slug though. I have yet to see a Fiat 500 on the road here in Colorado, but there was quite a few in the SF Bay area when I left there a few months ago.

A little off topic but if VW brought a Lupo GTI over here it might make the micro car segment a little more competitive here in the U.S. According to one of my old Co-workers MINI wants $1200 over the sticker on a Cooper S convertible in San Jose, that's just crazy if you ask me.
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Old 06-16-2012, 04:19 PM   #54
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:18 PM   #55
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Either post a review of the driving dynamics or stop with the caption-less 500 porn.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:56 PM   #56
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Either post a review of the driving dynamics or stop with the caption-less 500 porn.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:17 AM   #57
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Congratulations!

Hopefully your dealership is better than the one who sold me my Fiat.

I've ended up learning that so much of what they told me was utter bunk.

Contrary to what they told me, and what I posted earlier, you CANNOT take your Fiat to your local Chrysler dealership for warranty work. That is unless your local Chrysler dealership has a Fiat franchise.
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:59 AM   #58
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Either post a review of the driving dynamics or stop with the caption-less 500 porn.


Fair enough.

This is just a nice little car. From the soft leather with red stitching covering the instrument cluster hood to the meaty leather shift knob or the thick, flat bottom steering wheel; cradled in firmly bolstered seats one finds the interior to be a pleasant and substantial place to be.

Depress the very long throw clutch pedal to the floor and twist the key and you are rewarded with a snuffling roar that settles down into a thumping burble at idle. The exhaust tuning on this car is, well, sublime. It does sound a lot like the SRT4 Neon but a touch quieter and more refined. Peeking under the car you'll see nothing but one big pipe running to the muffler/chamber at the rear of the car. I'm guessing the cat is integrated inside it.

Setting out you'll find the turbo lag to be pretty bad -- until you press the sport button. With the sport mode engaged there is virtually NO turbo lag and car moves with sincere urgency from every RPM. I think Fiat should have just left the sport mode off the Abarth; it's a stupid gimmick. The only time I could see a point to driving with the sport mode off is on slippery/wet roads.

Keeping the magic button on, a deep stab into the accelerator sends the boost gauge twirling up to the maximum pressure of 18PSI and then car gets pissed. The burbling exhaust turns into a raucous roar and you hear the turbo start to whistle loudly and the little scamp just jumps forward with some serious authority. At this point, you'll be carrying some speed and might want to chuck it into a corner. This experience is pretty much point and shoot -- you turn the wheel where you want and the car just goes there with no drama. The little Abarth follows its nose around like a bloodhound on the scent of Civic Si's and Mini Coopers. The turn in is so immediate, in fact, that it can be surprising, and also somewhat difficult to drive straight down the road because the steering is indeed so sensitive. I suspect I'll get used to this in time. The Miata I'm coming from also had very sensitive steering. Besides being very sensitive, the steering is heavily weighted (in a good way) and nice and linear. The car does roll somewhat but takes a set quickly and just arcs through the corner with surprising grace and athleticism, no doubt aided by the light weight.

The suspension is really, really well done. The ride is firm but controlled and the damping is very good absorbing hits well while still allowing for a high degree of precision and road feel. It can get a little bouncy over very rough sections of road -- but compared my old Miata this thing rides like a family sedan. The car doesn't beat you up just cruising down the road -- actually it feels very nice and comfortable and the exhaust settles down to a quiet hum always ready to jump on the back of your head the minute you dip into the loud pedal. It really is a car that you could comfortable drive several hours to a track, blitz the course with your hair on fire, and then drive back home listening to the fantastic Bose sound system while being coddled by the very quick functioning automatic climate control.

Add the fact that the little Abarth comes with features like the USB port for hooking up multimedia sources or downloading your driving dynamics, bluetooth connectivity, heated mirrors, full trip computer and electronic options center and you realize that it's a very substantial little piece of engineering with a little brute crammed under the hood.

In short, I just love the thing. I also got extremely lucky and was in the right place and the right time to nab what is possibly the last 2012 Abarth that will be sold in NM! The only things I don't really like so far is, even in Abarth trim, the shifter is pretty rubbery and I have missed a few gates trying to downshift quickly. There will be a short shifter in it within a year or two I suspect. ALso, as mentioned, the clutch has a very long throw and the high-up seating position has you on top of the pedals and you are moving your left leg up and down pretty significantly every time you use the clutch. I put 130 miles on the car in less than 24 hours and ended up with a sore left leg -- not because the clutch is stiff -- it's almost too soft -- but because the throw is so ridiculous. I will adjust to this in time.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:27 PM   #59
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That is what I am talking about.

Nicely done. I want a hot hatch but a used GT500 is sending out a siren call.

First world problems.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:29 AM   #60
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The Abarth is just 100% cool. The car looks and sounds like an Italian car should (makes you forget that it's assembled in Mexico).
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