I'm seriously geeking out over this car.... - Page 4
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This is a discussion on I'm seriously geeking out over this car.... within the New Cars/Prototypes Forums forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Originally Posted by rage-wrx 2013 Fiat 500 Turbo unveiled with 135-HP 1.4L MultiAir, priced from ,500* Interesting!...

  1. #46
    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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  3. #47
    Registered User Officer Cartman's Avatar
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    I did the Abarth Driving Experience in Las Vegas earlier this year as part of a media trip, and it was an absolute blast! These cars are just so much fun to drive, and the exhaust note is out of this world!

    Granted, they don't have WRX-like acceleration, but that's not what these cars were made for.. They handle like nobody's business, and autocrossing them was ridiculous! I'd probably pick the Abarth over the Mini Cooper S, maybe even the JCW..

    Here's the write-up we did after the event:
    Review: The FIAT 500 Abarth Driving Experience - Guys Gab

  4. #48
    Registered User britishbikes's Avatar
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    I got one. It might be ok on a 40ft wide, glass smooth track, but on the road it is nervous, always darting around on every little camber change, especially on the throttle. The steering is heavy and yet still manages to be numb. On the brakes, it likes to step out of line and go into a weave, like when you see some guy who loaded his Uhaul too heavy in the tail. If you trail brake, it will get sideways. This is especially true above 100mph (!) The brakes themselves have exellent feel and have not faded with me.

    Of course none of these bad things happen at any legal or semi-legal speed. Just that as you approach the limit, it starts to lose composure and precision well before it runs out of grip. . You end up driving around all the handling issues. I doubt there is much anyone can do to fix these things besides driving a Cayman or WRX instead. Or an R6. It is tall, short of wheelbase and nose heavy. And FWD.

    Seats have almost not bolstering, but are comfortable on the straights. Back seats are hard, but useable. Better than our 19something pony cars' back seats. Much better.

    The engine is a gem. It has a flat torque curve from 2500 to 4000rpm, likes to be shifted at about 5.5K, and flattens out a little after that. It is very stout in the midrange. 5 gears are plenty. It tends to bog then blast under some conditions as the turbo spools up. SRT guys tuned the engine. No mufflers. Top speed on GPS is 130mph. Does not seem artificially limited, just runs out of steam at 130. It gets about 21mph when you cane it, and about 34 when cruising on the highway

    Suspension damping and spring rates are exellent, not hardcore stiff, but never mushy or wallowy. Bump compliance is good. It takes g-outs pretty well. It has enough clearance to go over uneven driveways almost like normal car. Body roll is moderate but not an issue, given all the other things that go wrong with the handling.

    If you are a serious car guy who likes to have the fastest and best handling car in the twisties this is not it. But it is about as good as a tiny 1.4L FWD car can be.

  5. #49
    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    So I finally drove one tonight!

    Some interesting tid bits:

    * I heard the seating position sucked.
    ---It doesn't, fits 5'7" of awesome just fine and comfortably.

    -- The stock suspension is excellent. Much better suited for daily use than my 05 MCS with the sport package.

    -- The exhaust sounds wonderful.

    -- The back seats have more room than an FRS.

    -- I did not notice torque steer.

    -- It is rather neutral handling.

    -- The brakes are great.

    -- Transmission seemed nice, the throw was slightly long.

    --It was far less nervous at speed than my old Mini.

    -- Turn in was great.

    What I learned;

    1. It would be a great 3rd car/commuter.
    2. Damn my wrxs clutch is stiff.
    3. Damn my wrx is fast.
    4. I wouldn't trade my wrx for one,
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  6. #50
    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    They have a bunch of neat little goodies for it here:

    Home 500 MADNESS - FIAT 500 Parts and Accessories

    I met the owner of this company at SEMA and saw the Porsche RS themed Abarth in person. Nice car.

    I can't get this little car out of my head.......

    I need to go drive something else that's better to quiet the noise and calculator running in the background of my head.
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  7. #51
    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Here's something to get it out of your head: Imagine what happens to the occupants when you get plowed by a soccer mom on a cell phone driving a GMC Yukon Denali XL.
    The Hawk-Eye Alliance #90|The Blobeye Syndicate #0|The Stink-Eye Mob #0|N.E.R.D. Founding Member & #3
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  8. #52
    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    Here's something to get it out of your head: Imagine what happens to the occupants when you get plowed by a soccer mom on a cell phone driving a GMC Yukon Denali XL.
    I ride a motorcycle.....
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  9. #53
    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06wrx4me View Post
    I ride a motorcycle.....
    As do I...so why do you need a Fiat?
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  10. #54
    Registered User britishbikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    As do I...so why do you need a Fiat?
    What doesn't come through in my review:

    This car has more soul than most motorcycles.

    It is still a practical car.

    It is faster than go-to-jail speed in most states.

  11. #55
    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    My nearly 14-year-old kid has announced that she loves the 500 as a car option. It's intriguing as an option if I wasn't a little afraid of Italian car gremlins (Are they a problem in modern Fiats?) and the idea of my daughter in a car with about as much sheet metal around her as an old skool phone booth.
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  12. #56
    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfieldsWRX View Post
    My nearly 14-year-old kid has announced that she loves the 500 as a car option. It's intriguing as an option if I wasn't a little afraid of Italian car gremlins (Are they a problem in modern Fiats?) and the idea of my daughter in a car with about as much sheet metal around her as an old skool phone booth.
    The new 500 have been out in Europe since 2007-ish and don't seem to have any. It has won countless European accolades including car of the year. The Abarths Engine is the same 1.4L multiair turbo that the Dodge Dart has, so you aren't gonna have to worry about availability of parts anytime soon. They regular Fiat 500's would be a nice first car IMO. Not a ton of power, great MPG and I believe the service is included for the first 36k miles, all for around $15k.
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  13. #57
    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    I'll investigate all options. I would like to know how it does in impact testing.
    --Ray
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfieldsWRX View Post
    I'll investigate all options. I would like to know how it does in impact testing.
    They get perfect crash test scores, however; F=MA. If placed against an immovable object (semi in front of car in stopped traffic) and hit from behind by a fullsize 'Merican automobile say a suburban or a giant pickup, there is gonna be carnage.

    I worked for our in house crash testing department for a while 10 years ago. We have to certify anything that gets installed on the side of the road is safer than having nothing there at all. That department also does crash reenactments when someone is suing the municipality. There are 3 levels of vehicles necessary to crash test an object on the side of the road; essentially small, medium, large. We used Geo metros, 88-98 Chevy 2wd 1500 pickups, and U-haul type box trucks.

    When testing new guard rail or decorative concrete barriers, the impact angle was 45 degrees and the speed was 100kmh or 62mph. Crash dummies were used (damn they are heavy).

    Despite what emotion may dictate as the results, the geo metro would survive completely intact and driveable, with the impacting front wheel side being the worse for wear, but you could literaly drive it home. Damage to occupants was light bruising with no broken bones. Essentially like a ping pong ball it would glance off because there is very little M in the F=MA equation.

    The Chevy would disintegrate on impact, it was ****ing alarming. The dummies regularly sustained broken legs. Funnily, the spare tire that is held on with that 1/8" cable winch mechanism would always break and turn into a projectile. In one test it rolled 200'+ and took out one of our $10k high speed cameras.

    The box truck was always a wild card. With the M being so large and the CG being so high, results varied wildly. Essentially if you were crash testing a shorter barrier, the box truck would either bounce over and roll on its side, or use it as a fulcrum and land on its lid. The absence of airbags always left the occupants with some sort of damage. With a higher barrier you'd see everything from a non event glancing blow to major damage with the vehicle landing on its side. It depended more heavily on the texture of the surface being crashed into than the other vehicles.

    It's an emotional decision. If she is going to hit something, she'll be fine. If she is sandwiched in freeway traffic, it depends on the speeds involved. If her freeway time is very limited like mine was when I was her age, she'll be fine. Otherwise, I'd recommend a mid 2000's large sedan like the Chevy Impala, Camry, Corolla, Accord. They have large crumple zones at both ends, and tons of air bags.
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  15. #59
    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    Seems to depend on who you talk to. Older article, though.

    2012 Fiat 500 Gets Contradictory Safety Ratings
    --Ray
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  16. #60
    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfieldsWRX View Post
    Seems to depend on who you talk to. Older article, though.

    2012 Fiat 500 Gets Contradictory Safety Ratings
    The problem, according to the NHTSA, is in rear seat passenger crash testing. With a female crash test dummy in the rear passenger seat, the Fiat 500 earned just a two star rating, which dragged the overall rating of the car down.
    The Fiat 500 did relatively well in rollover testing, producing just a 14.5 percent chance of rollover and earning a four star rating. Side crash testing for the driver produced very good results, too, earning a perfect five star rating.
    Thats what I'd expect honestly. There is no rear crumple zone. So if she was driving alone or with one passenger shed be fine. Which the law here in CA states that no driver in there first year can carry a passenger under the age of 25.
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