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Author Topic: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?  (Read 8818 times)

Offline android_808

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Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2016, 07:40:22 pm »
I haven't been able to test drive one yet, but I've always thought the 124 should have more power than the 595 range.  From the look of the car you would expect it to be quicker than the 595.   It's a sports car ie lower, sleeker etc as opposed to a taller supermini/hatch.  However, on paper at least, it has less power and similar 0-60.

If they release an uprated/esseesse/competizione version, possibly in a coupe, then if finances allow I may take a closer look.

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    Offline 124Abarthreplica

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #16 on: December 17, 2016, 02:16:41 pm »
    Thinking recently, I may have been disingenuous to the car.

    After all it's main competition is the MX5 in terms of performance and market place but not price.

    And kudos and niche do cost money :whistle:

    Offline AusAbarth

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #17 on: January 04, 2017, 01:08:52 am »
    OK I finally got to test drive the A124 and……………………and I am sad to say it failed to impress.  It was nothing in particular but a case of a whole bunch of small disappointments that added up to – “Nah, I do not think so” when I handed back the key.  In summary.

    Styling

    One thing any Italian car must have and that is it needs to look Italian.  When I popped over to my home during the test drive my wife made the following comments – “what is it ?, I know it says Abarth but is it some form of badge engineering ?”, “it does not look Italian !!”.   Unfortunately, the first time I saw one in the flesh at a dealers another person drove up in a pristine original 124 Spider and parked it alongside the new A124.  Made the new A124 look “porky”, awkward and clumsily designed in comparison.  As I have said previously the front grille retreatment is sooooo OTT try hard sporty, the rear looks way over designed, those wheels are just nothing.   I drove it around the inner west of Sydney (with a very high proportion of Italian heritage) and hardly got any admiring glances, certainly less than my A500.  Maybe it was the black colour that made it look a bit amorphous 

    Performance

    Unfortunately, we had a double demerit period on our roads so there was a heavy police presence. But more annoying is the fact that during such periods most other motorists not only decide it wise to not exceed the speed limits but stay under by 10 to 15 km/hr – just to be sure.  So really I did not have that many chances to wring her out. Now I thought with that low weight and 170 bhp it should be a sprightly performer and I guess it was but……….I found it too competent (if that makes sense).  When a rare opportunity arose and I could press the go-pedal, it was all very civilised but with little drama or involvement required by the driver.  Changing from normal to Sport made some difference but certainly not the batsh*t crazy step change in my A500 (or my Giulietta QV for that matter).  No doubt on paper it is quite quick, but all in all I found the 124 performance a bit too civilised.

    Driving Experience

    After years if not decades of reading countless reviews full of superlatives about the sublime handling qualities of the MX5 my expectations were sky high.  These were further amplified by the latest glowing reviews of the latest MX5 and the 124.  All banging on and on about the precise steering, the neutral RWD handling, its sense of lightness, the “snickity” nature of the gearbox, blah blah, blah…… 

    Ok away I went.  First thing when I started the motor – “my, that is quite subdued”, gave it a few more revs and it sounded just like my sister’s 500X with that same motor.  Nothing that a new Monza exhaust would not fix – this option will not be available in Australia for another 6 to 9 months. 

    Now off to the twisties nearby.  As I said above not many chances to press the pedal to the metal but at least I could attack the corners.  My expectations were high but my experiences were “meh”.  I found the steering to be artificial – a huge disappointment considering that the steering feel in the A500 is rubbish.  The A124 was better in feel, but little different.  TBH the A500 steering is sharper and “dartier”, the A124 felt lazier in comparison. 

    Now changing gears – who designed that arm rest in that position !!!  It seemed just to get in the way when changing gears. I never could understand what armrests are for (other than storing the sunnies case – which this case it failed).  Since when has changing gears been so labourious that one needs an armrest to give the driver a break between changing gears, FFS !!!  Putting the armrest issue to one side I was expecting to experience one of the best gearchanges in automotive history (based on the decades of glowing automotive reviews) and instead of snicking through the gears all I felt was notches.  Again, not bad but certainly not the “well oiled rifle bolt action” (as described by one motoring scribe) gear change. 

    No doubt the A124 is a very competent at taking corners but I did not sense that HUGE advantage of having RWD that everyone bangs on about.  Having said that I will admit there a few times when my corner speed may have been somewhat higher than what many would consider advisable and “things” seemed to gel – the steering, the grip and handling to give a strong indication that at the limits the 124 would a whole bunch of fun.  But this seemed to happen at very unsociable speeds. 

    Conclusion

    On paper the Abarth 124 seemed to be the embodiment of all things I adore about Italian cars – I could even overlook its Mazda roots.  I was dreading this test drive as my expectations were sky high.  I was fully expecting to fall head over heels with the A124 and that would mean making some hard decisions about my car ownership.   That did not happen…..

    I have no doubts that on a track the A124 would be an absolute blast however outside of that the A124 is just another very nice modern car, but for me it may as well as be an Avensis.  I like my cars to feel special at any speed and sadly A124 does not evoke that feeling for me. 
     
    « Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 01:13:12 am by AusAbarth »
    So Loving Ruby

    Offline PORTHOS

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #18 on: January 04, 2017, 05:18:03 pm »
    Nice little honest write up there :)

    Out of interest have you driven the MX-5? It's basically the same but feels a lot slower because of the lower torque, however I think I prefer the steering feel in the MX-5 and it is slightly lighter.

    In the 124's defence, it's still very early days, much like the original 135 Abarth 500, it will perhaps be another year before we see something tuned to a substantial performance level that starts ticking more boxes for some (including myself).

    Offline AusAbarth

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #19 on: January 04, 2017, 10:06:21 pm »
    Yes – have driven an MX5 soon after as a counterpoint ……. just to double check my expectations versus experiences.  And I agree with you about the lack of punch.  It felt slower than the A124, though on paper I imagine the difference is small.  Cannot say I felt any difference with the steering.  And as much as I am disappointed with look of the A124 I could not live with the MX5 with that squinty front end.

    So if I had my way,
    •   Introduce a SS version with say 200 bhp (I would not be keen on the 1.8TBi as it I find it a brute of a motor – all hammer, little charm)
    •   Interlink the Sport button with an exhaust by-pass valve
    •   Get rid of that overtly faux aggressive front and use that of the Fiat 124 – even if it means introducing a Fiat 124 “Sport”
    •   If they must have an auto – at least make it a proper TCT
    •   Better colour choices – they really do look straight out of a Mazda brochure & that red is just dull
    •   More wheel options
    •   Interior design tweaks
    •   And some seat height adjustment – my 5ft wife sat down…..”honey, I cannot see out of the car”
    So Loving Ruby

    Offline PORTHOS

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #20 on: January 06, 2017, 02:06:25 pm »
    Funny you mentioned the height thing, I could just about see over the wheel, ha ha..... booster seat standard I think....

    Offline Salvos_White_Abarth

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #21 on: January 08, 2017, 12:29:16 am »
    good views there.

    i also think they should offer more options....

    sabelts?
    decals?
    deffinetly more paint options and more wheel options.

    Now with added monza fun :P

    Offline Abarth 595 Competizione

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #22 on: June 13, 2017, 11:29:09 am »
    Hi.

    I test drove one here in the Midlands and was not impressed at all.

    As far as I'm concerned it's a missed opportunity of a car with typical bullsh*t "Abarth" mentality and no real attention given to the potential it could have been.

    Styling is lack lustre and boring. I have had more fun in my Competizione 595 than this thing, and it's a heck of a lot more responsive too.

    The engine in this 124 is far too small and underpowered. If you want good responses while driving this then you have to keep the turbo constantly spooling, otherwise it's hit the pedal and wait for something to happen.

    And as for the price tag! Well it's as ridiculous as the one for a high speck 595 or Biposto.

    I have no idea why these manufacturers think the price is justifiable for what we are actually getting.

    I was so looking forward to this when I heard about it, but, after driving it I am so underwhelmed that I would rather just try and forget it.

    FIAT and or Abarth need to re-think this one and rapidly too, otherwise it's going down as a wasted opportunity and a complete insult to the 124 and more like a MX5 wannabe so to speak.
    The beatings will continue until morale improves.

    Offline Salvos_White_Abarth

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #23 on: June 15, 2017, 11:00:32 pm »
    i also think the 124 is a missed oppurtunity.

    Styling..whats going on with the fake plastic air vents on the bumpers with no holes in them?

    Lack of colours,lack of options do not make the price justifyable.

    i Actually prefer the look of the fiat :) .Looks alot more smarter.

    Abarth need to hurry up and really make the 124 the car the name needs to live upto.
    Now with added monza fun :P

    Offline AusAbarth

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #24 on: June 18, 2017, 11:11:31 am »
    Soooooooo after expressing my previous disappointment with the A124 - guess what ????

    I pulled the trigger on this little cutie




    Look at her !!!   C'mon she is gorgeous !!  I could not  R E S I S T !!!  Anyways two Abarths are better than one



    So Loving Ruby

    Offline Salvos_White_Abarth

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #25 on: June 21, 2017, 05:36:03 pm »
    Lovely colour!

    What changed your mind?
    Now with added monza fun :P

    Offline AusAbarth

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #26 on: June 24, 2017, 04:39:00 am »
    Lovely colour!

    What changed your mind?

    Basically a confluence of "things"

    1.  Has always planned for another FUN car along with the A5oo - sorta like a retirement hobby thing (thou am I am far from retiring)

    2.  Always wanted a convertible (READ: Mid-aged crisis)

    3.  I had saved the $$$ for about 5 years for this other car so had the funds ready - just concerned if I did not spend it soon I may just do something more sensible with it (like investing it)

    4.  Been reading alot about A124  modding potential (much like i did before my A5oo) so I think that I can address my performance concerns

    5.  I had my dream specifications (colour & options) in mind but got little traction from the local Sydney dealers I had spoken to ...basically none in the country and my spec would be a special order (READ: No discounts for you !!)

    6.  Recently went on weekend away in Melbourne with my wife (25th Anniversary) and outta curiosity looked at the local dealers and ..... WFT !!! a dream spec A124 was available at a bargain price !!!!  So while she went Italian shoe shopping I went Italian car shopping and as soon as I saw her (the car) it was a case of SOLD !!!  It was an impulse buy.

    Just a case of all  the planets aligning seriously.  Another week I would have passed as the day I got back to work a company restructure was announced and I am now looking at redundancy (again !!! its rife in my industry)


    So Loving Ruby

    Offline 124Abarthreplica

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #27 on: June 24, 2017, 04:16:53 pm »
    Crikey, sorry to hear that. You may have to let her go. (car that is)

    Offline AusAbarth

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    Re: Why the Luke Warm Spider Love ?
    « Reply #28 on: June 25, 2017, 07:13:59 am »
    Crikey, sorry to hear that. You may have to let her go. (car that is)

    Nah - with my payout I can buy another 2 Abarths ........ not that I would do that of course  :whistle:

    Been made redundant before (twice) and its not much fun, but I have found other roles soon after - its just this time it may stuff up my "exit strategy"

    But thanks for the concern
    So Loving Ruby

     

    hungry