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Old 06-18-2012, 12:54 PM   #61
Uncle Pollo
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congrats on the little monster!!

sniper, you, and I have to get together for the sandia mountain small car breakfast rally.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:10 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by PolloAsesino View Post

sniper, you, and I have to get together for the sandia mountain small car breakfast rally.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:02 PM   #63
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I drove one while working the checkpoints for a rally last year. The car belongs to the museum I work for, and was brought in by an Irish gentleman a couple of years before they were imported to the U.S., so it's right-hand-drive.



Although the stock suspension definitely need some tuning, on a relatively smooth road the car was fine. Ergonomics are excellent, visibility as well, and it's nicely optioned. I like the speedo/tach design, even when lit up at night.

If I were in the market for a new car, I would certainly consider one. I would definitely go with a Sport, to get the suspension. I don't particularly care for having a turbo on a daily runabout car. Not after having that damn Saab, anyway.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:05 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Censport View Post
I drove one while working the checkpoints for a rally last year. The car belongs to the museum I work for, and was brought in by an Irish gentleman a couple of years before they were imported to the U.S., so it's right-hand-drive.



Although the stock suspension definitely need some tuning, on a relatively smooth road the car was fine. Ergonomics are excellent, visibility as well, and it's nicely optioned. I like the speedo/tach design, even when lit up at night.

If I were in the market for a new car, I would certainly consider one. I would definitely go with a Sport, to get the suspension. I don't particularly care for having a turbo on a daily runabout car. Not after having that damn Saab, anyway.
Ah yes, my good friend Jim Magill. The silver Panda and the Multipla at Lane were his as well.

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Old 06-18-2012, 08:42 PM   #65
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Ah yes, my good friend Jim Magill. The silver Panda and the Multipla at Lane were his as well.

Yes, he has been very kind to the museum.

I was quite surprised when I drove the Multipla. It's as good to drive as it is painful to look at. Haven't had a chance to drive the Panda yet.




Yet.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:44 AM   #66
Terrytori
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Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post


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.
Nice review of a car for which I have an ever growing affection.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:23 AM   #67
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Tremendous ad - someone posted the translated transcript:

"What are you looking at? Uh!? What are you looking at?! (slap) Are you undressing me with your eyes? Poor guy...you cant help it? Is your heart beating? is your head spinning? Do you feel lost thinking that I could be yours forever...?"

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Old 06-20-2012, 06:38 AM   #68
LuciferMutt
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Ticked over 200 miles on the Abarth this morning. 100 more miles of break-in. Already have a short road trip planned for August.

No issues with the car, it's running great.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:10 AM   #69
cogitate
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Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post
Ticked over 200 miles on the Abarth this morning. 100 more miles of break-in. Already have a short road trip planned for August.

No issues with the car, it's running great.
Beautiful car. Keep us posted! (original poster, too)


My daughters car took a shit and we are going to get rid of it. Went to look at and test drive the Fiat yesterday. Much nicer in person than on the web. She drove it and liked it a lot. We will see.


ps, they had two Abarths there. One was sold, one was a demo. I really, really, really liked it. It is a good thing I did not drive it. Yet. They told me if I ordered one it would be October delivery.
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:16 PM   #70
LuciferMutt
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Beautiful car. Keep us posted! (original poster, too)


My daughters car took a shit and we are going to get rid of it. Went to look at and test drive the Fiat yesterday. Much nicer in person than on the web. She drove it and liked it a lot. We will see.


ps, they had two Abarths there. One was sold, one was a demo. I really, really, really liked it. It is a good thing I did not drive it. Yet. They told me if I ordered one it would be October delivery.

Got about 800 miles on it right now. As it breaks in, I'm getting better and better MPG and the engine is really smoothing out. 35MPG from my last tank over mixed city/freeway driving which got me 330 miles from the tank. The suspension is firm but it's not punishing, if that makes any sense.

Black was a poor color choice for the southwest but it was the only one they had. I have to make my first payment this week though

They are fun, comfortable little cars that drive a lot bigger than they are, in a good way.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:41 PM   #71
bisbonian OP
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I ended up installing a Sprint Booster on mine.

As with most cars today there is no cable from the gas pedal to the throttle body, all the talking is done electronically.

Whether to help with mileage/emission standards or just because some drivers can't handle a car with good throttle response Fiat decided to "soften" the tuning software for the gas pedal.

Pressing the sport button makes the car respond much better but there's more that can be done.

The Sprint Booster installs between the gas pedal and the plug for the gas pedal and reprograms the signal coming from the gas pedal.

There are 3 settings; off, sport and race. Being an ADVrider just just leave it at race and go on with life.

I have no idea how it works but it works. With the Sprint Booster set to race the throttle response is just a bit better than what it used to be with the sport button engaged.

With the Sprint Booster set to race and the sport button engaged there is a very noticeable improvement and the car feels a lot faster.

Modifications for these cars aren't cheap, but I feel like I got my money's worth out of this one.

Otherwise, I've got about 3500 miles on my 500 Sport.

I think I'll change the oil this weekend, but haven't had much luck finding a filter in town. I've been trying for 3 weeks to get the local place to get an oil filter in but their warehouse doesn't have one. I had to give them the part number and almost choked when they told me $26.

When I said that I could get it from the dealership for $8 they came up with, "oh yeah, we can sell it for $7.99". I ended up buying a handful from Rock Auto for $5.55 each (Wix). The more you buy the more shipping evens out so I ended up buying 5.

It's still a good car for me, I like it very much.
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:25 PM   #72
LuciferMutt
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I find the throttle response in the Abarth to be very good in sport mode.

In normal mode it flat out sucks. I drive in sport mode all the time. It's the first button I press after starting the car.

HOWEVER -- normal mode has it uses -- like trying to crawl slowly through a parking lot or driving slowly through neighborhood streets -- in sport mode the throttle is just too damn twitchy.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:57 PM   #73
Vt-Stromer
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New Fiat

I just bought a new to me 30 year old Fiat.......

Should be here later in the week.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:24 AM   #74
LuciferMutt
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I just bought a new to me 30 year old Fiat.......

Should be here later in the week.

Spyder? Post pics when you get it!
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:47 PM   #75
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Love the Abarth - just waiting for a few engine upgrades (and for the need of a new car) to pull the trigger.
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