View Full Version : Road///Race Abarth Intake and Heat Shield Review / Impressions

07-23-2013, 10:41 PM
Now that Fiat Freak Out is over and it’s back to the grind, I thought I would share some of my thoughts and impressions of the Road Race intake and heat shield for the Abarth. Let me begin by saying, for those who do not know, I just recently traded in my Sport for an Abarth. My Sport was pretty decked out in Road Race gear, so I was very well aware of the quality of their products and the support of the Road Race team. I've seen others mention it before, I remember reading it when I was first researching aftermarket parts for my Sport, but I’ll mention it again. Never hesitate to pick up the phone and call Rob or any of the other guys out at Road Race. They really do go out of their way to be helpful and answer any questions you may have.

I've been a window shopper for Abarth upgrades for some time now since I knew I was going to trade up at some point. After I took delivery of the car, without hesitation (and well before my first car payment) I ordered the Road Race intake. I had never seen it in person, only in pictures and I had read others personal experiences. Let me tell you something right now. As great as I thought the intake looked in photos… pictures do this intake absolutely NO JUSTICE. Not to skip ahead, but the thing looks pretty amazing when you see it on the car in person!

!!!CAUTION!!! Do not install this intake while the car is hot!!! <-- This should be a no brainer... but some of us have little patience!

When I unboxed what in all reality is a fairly simple intake set up, I was completely floored by the sheer weight of the pipes, and not in a bad way. These aren't cheap rolled or stamped out aluminum or steel. These things have some heft to them. Combine that with the ceramic coating and you have something that actually feels and looks like it should command some money. Comparatively speaking, this intake is a steal for the current sale price.
Installation was straight forward enough; however I did have a slight hiccup in that the mounting leg that bolts to the top of the engine had gotten a little tweaked in shipping. Before making any rash decisions about trying to make the pipe fit I immediately picked up the phone and called Road Race. Brandon was more than helpful and stayed on the phone with me while I texted pictures and he ran back and forth to look at a car there that had the intake installed. After hanging up with him I was confident I was installing the pipe correctly. I was able to tweak the bracket and get everything together. Now the fun part - the drive!!!

First thing of note, you’ll now here the turbo spool and the blow off valve release. Awesome! Blip the throttle and you’ll even hear the turbo flutter. Removal of the restrictive and sound deadening stock box really lets you hear the music under the hood! The only drawback will be fuel mileage since you’ll be doing anything you can to hear those magical sounds at work! Theirs no doubt the car breathes better and the throttle is more responsive. I'm sure the stock air box was plenty adequate, but you would be silly to think that there were't sacrifices in performance to deaden the intake and engine sounds to make it acceptable for the general masses. We're tuners - we don't settle for the general populous product!

A few days later after realizing exactly how much heat radiates off of the turbo, I decided to make the extra push and order the heat shield. I opted for them to ship it unassembled so that I could custom paint the bottom piece. I would recommend this even if you don’t want to paint the bottom piece since the assembled unit is drilled and pop riveted together. I attached mine (as did Tweak) with some hi temperature RTV silicone. This serves two purposes. The cover is easily unassembled should you change your mind regarding paint scheme, and more importantly you get a nice clean look once assembled without the holes and rivets.

To my surprise this thing actually does reflect an appreciable amount of heat. I honesty I expected it to not make much of a difference so this was a pleasant surprise. The icing on the cake is that look of the heat shield with the intake is AWESOME!!! Installation was no more complicated than you would expect. The right side can be a bit tricky to fish the bolts through the spacers but nothing crazy. I could not be happier with this set up. I've only begun scratching the surface of my upgrading this car!

So, to conclude, anyone on the fence about this product should really take serious consideration. It's certainly won my vote and as usual with Road Race products, the quality and performance speak for themselves. Of course… just to drive the point home. Here is an absolutely GORGEOUS money shot taken this past weekend at Fiat Freak Out!


Also - here is an overhead shot depicting the heat shield without any rivets...


07-24-2013, 12:53 AM
This looks amazing. That for the frank, review about all the product and how we resolved it with you. I think you learn more about a company from when a problem occurs that if all went perfectly smooth. It is how things are handled after the fact that truly shows the worth of an organization. All the hard work we put in at the beginning is paying off now for us with the best products on the market for the FIAT family of cars.


10-07-2013, 12:43 PM
I look at the black with red and say Wow. The look is amazingly clean. The engine compartment is something to be enveyed. Great customization of our products for sure. maybe we should have a contest and let the community vote.