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dmvoss
08-14-2011, 02:00 PM
This week I drove a Sport with a manual Trans. The clutch feel was the worst that I have experienced in over 50 years of driving (way too light and catches way too high). The salesman said this was normal. I am going to order an Abarth as soon as I am able but the clutch has me worried. I know that some of you out there have driven the european Abarth so I'm hoping for some feedback.
Thanks in advance,
Dale

F500
08-14-2011, 02:08 PM
269you're assuming the Abarth will be a manual with a clutch. I've read various stories and seen pics of the proposed U.S. version of the Abarth and they appear to NOT have a manual as we know it. looks to be an electronic manual with pushbuttons (?) and possibly paddle shifters. if this is the case, then you won't have to worry about the 'clutch feel'. :)

dmvoss
08-14-2011, 02:27 PM
Fiat already has a DSG trans for the Abarth in Europe but I have also read that there will be a conventional 6 speed for 2012. Decisions, decisions!!!
Dale

PFVA63
08-14-2011, 10:17 PM
If possible, you might also want to try and test drive another 500 to see if it may just be the specific car that you test drove, or if its typical of all 500's.

Regards

Pat

Reaperman
08-15-2011, 08:29 AM
I sure wouldn't want that automated manual.

Have any of the 500 owners had the same issue, and if so, has the clutch worn in to the point where it's better. I've never been a fan of 'new car clutch' in general, but in my (perhaps more limited) experience they get where they need to be after a short while.

Terry
08-15-2011, 09:38 AM
Yes. I concur. I drove a Sport and found the clutch to be very light (which in my book is OK), but also caught way too high in it's travel...Perhaps this could be adjusted or in time would get used to it. That said, also drove the automatic and while I am not normally a fan of A/T's, this transmission seemed to be more suited to the 500---The extra gear really made a difference as in the m/t once you shift into 3rd, even if you have the revs high, it seems to bog down a bit. Believe that on the Abarth, the electronic manual will be a completely different kettle of fish and if offered, bet an extra cog will be available on the m/t. (Have read that 160bhp will be on tap, with wider tires, different front and rear clips and different seats.)

Terry

PE #389
08-15-2011, 12:45 PM
269you're assuming the Abarth will be a manual with a clutch. I've read various stories and seen pics of the proposed U.S. version of the Abarth and they appear to NOT have a manual as we know it. looks to be an electronic manual with pushbuttons (?) and possibly paddle shifters. if this is the case, then you won't have to worry about the 'clutch feel'. :)

My research tells me that the regular Abarth in Euro has a regular manual transmission. The Abarth SS and Tributo Ferrari (Fiat 650) have the automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

PFVA63
08-15-2011, 07:03 PM
For the Abarth, since from what I've read the powerplant will likely be a fair bit more powerful than the base 500, I wouldn't at all be surprised if there are many changes to the rest of the drive train as well, including the clutch and gearbox (if its a manual transmission).

As for the clutch on the base 500 though, I suspect that whether you like how the clutch feels on the car might have something to do with how the car is driven.

In general I tend to be a fairly conservative driver (shifting at lower rpms) and I do most my driving in a city/suburban setting, with a little bit of highway thrown in (but some of that mph is still limited to 45 or less and traffic sometimes drive speeds down even lower). In this setting, the clutch feels very nice to me. In fact, in my 30 or so years of driving a stick I think my Pop has about the best clutch I've ever experienced. The shifts are so smooth and easy in this setting that it makes the car a joy to drive.

Regards

Pat

geeded
08-15-2011, 09:16 PM
My research tells me that the regular Abarth in Euro has a regular manual transmission. The Abarth SS and Tributo Ferrari (Fiat 650) have the automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

The Abarth SS is just an upgrade to the stock Abarth. The SS kit is added later like the Mini Cooper Works, so it has the normal 5-speed. There is a strong enough 6-speed available from Fiat BUT it won't fit in the available room of the Euro 500, that is why the Abarth comes with a 5-speed manual in Europe. The changes made to our care will hopefully allow room for the 6-speed manual from the Punto. If not, I can live with th 5-speed. HOWEVER, if the Abarth is only available with ANY sort of auto/auto-manual/DSG box, I will cancel my order. Homey don't play that.

Fiat500USA
08-16-2011, 11:24 PM
The European Abarth offers an MTA (Automated Manual Trans) and not a DDCT (DSG) type transmission. The US Abarth may or may not come with the DDCT, we'll have to wait 'till November to find out.

You can read more about the DDCT (Dual Dry Clutch Trans) here in stories I did last year (http://www.fiat500usa.com/search/label/Transmissions). Recently, I've learned there is a "small" DDCT trans scheduled soon to be built in China that matches the description and could be the 625TCT. This may be a clue to what is coming. I'll keep a eye on it for you;)

I'm a manual transmission kind of guy, but after learning about these DDCTs, I'm keeping an open mind.

By the way, I like the clutch on my 500. Try driving the dual disc clutch setup in my GTV6 and you'll see why! That may also explain why Terry you are okay with the clutch effort. LOL! The GTV6 releases low and grabs high, and can get pretty cantankerous during stop and go. I love it, but it takes some effort to be smooth with it.

geeded
08-18-2011, 12:17 PM
The European Abarth offers an MTA (Automated Manual Trans) and not a DDCT (DSG) type transmission. The US Abarth may or may not come with the DDCT, we'll have to wait 'till November to find out.

You can read more about the DDCT (Dual Dry Clutch Trans) here in stories I did last year (http://www.fiat500usa.com/search/label/Transmissions). Recently, I've learned there is a "small" DDCT trans scheduled soon to be built in China that matches the description and could be the 625TCT. This may be a clue to what is coming. I'll keep a eye on it for you;)


Greetings,

The MTA "auto manual" on the Euro hardtop Abarth is an option over there and the actual Manual is the stock setup I thnk. Also heard that the 500c Abarth was launched with the MTA "auto manual" ONLY and they have since started offering an actual manual on the Abarth convertible at a lesser cost due to many people disliking the MTA "auto manual".

I think this is correct. IMO, if Fiat is thinking of launching the Abarth with only a new DDCT and no real manual, they may want to see how that worked out with the 2nd year R32 here in the States. For me, no manual = no buy. As always, I defer to our fearless moderator to set me straight if I'm slinging cow poop.:cool:

Fiat500USA
08-18-2011, 10:59 PM
Greetings,

The MTA "auto manual" on the Euro hardtop Abarth is an option over there and the actual Manual is the stock setup I thnk. Also heard that the 500c Abarth was launched with the MTA "auto manual" ONLY and they have since started offering an actual manual on the Abarth convertible at a lesser cost due to many people disliking the MTA "auto manual".

I think this is correct. IMO, if Fiat is thinking of launching the Abarth with only a new DDCT and no real manual, they may want to see how that worked out with the 2nd year R32 here in the States. For me, no manual = no buy. As always, I defer to our fearless moderator to set me straight if I'm slinging cow poop.:cool:

Sounds like you are right on the money with the Euro cars! Working on the trans info for the US cars ;)

abarth.us
08-24-2011, 02:24 PM
Considering that the Sport comes with the manual transmission as standard, I can't imagine them doing anything different for the Abarth. However including a MTA or DSG or whatever kind of paddle shifted transmission as an option would probably be a good idea, as the 500 is a city car. I got the DSG for my VW GTI specifically for my commute. However I definitely miss manual now and will probably go back to it for my next car (hopefully the Abarth).

RacerRon
08-25-2011, 07:01 PM
I have never driven a paddle-shift car before but I have heard that some of them in other cars are terrible. They don't work correctly and are slow shifting. If Fiat does include one in the Abarth, I hope it is a good quality one.

Abarthlyness
08-26-2011, 11:26 AM
I will place myself squarly in the "no manual, no buy" camp. Would be a shame if they only offer it with auto. If that is the case, I'll either wait it out another MY or just go with the Sport model and put some go-fast bits in her :)

Lollipop
08-27-2011, 09:11 AM
I test drove a Sport and also found the clutch way too high. Am also waiting for the Abarth and am glad to find this forum. My Miata has the clutch feel I'm looking for in the Abarth and am biased toward the full manual transmission.

Fiat500USA
08-27-2011, 11:26 AM
I test drove a Sport and also found the clutch way too high. Am also waiting for the Abarth and am glad to find this forum. My Miata has the clutch feel I'm looking for in the Abarth and am biased toward the full manual transmission.

Welcome to the forum Lollipop. Glad to have you aboard!

fiat for life
08-27-2011, 12:26 PM
269you're assuming the Abarth will be a manual with a clutch. I've read various stories and seen pics of the proposed U.S. version of the Abarth and they appear to NOT have a manual as we know it. looks to be an electronic manual with pushbuttons (?) and possibly paddle shifters. if this is the case, then you won't have to worry about the 'clutch feel'. :)
I believe the picture you posted is of the tributo Ferrari and that version only comes with the flappy paddle gearbox. As far as clutch feel is concerned yes the 500 clutches are very light and engage very high which is not ideal ...personally I prefer stiffer clutches but once you get a feel for it its actually quite nice and fits the "city car" appeal of the 500. Its very easy to drive and especially in stop and go city traffic its kinda nice not to have to do leg presses everytime you wanna move. Part of the reason the clutch feels the way it does is because it is so small. Also as a note because the clutch is so small this is part of the reason FIAT offers clutch replacement as part of the standard service program. I know there are companies that already offer a lightweight flywheel that will work with the stock clutch. Im looking around for an aftermarket clutch that might be a bit stiffer.. Again I already have one car with a heavier clutch part of the appeal of the 500 to me is how easy and enjoyable it is to drive. So I might leave it stock...for now

fiat for life
08-27-2011, 12:28 PM
Also...what I really want off the Abarth is the shift knob
http://www.fiat500abarth.us/ygMKAxM/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/fiat-500-abarth-dashboard-interior1.jpg

Abarthlyness
08-29-2011, 11:57 AM
I believe the picture you posted is of the tributo Ferrari and that version only comes with the flappy paddle gearbox. As far as clutch feel is concerned yes the 500 clutches are very light and engage very high which is not ideal ...personally I prefer stiffer clutches but once you get a feel for it its actually quite nice and fits the "city car" appeal of the 500. Its very easy to drive and especially in stop and go city traffic its kinda nice not to have to do leg presses everytime you wanna move. Part of the reason the clutch feels the way it does is because it is so small. Also as a note because the clutch is so small this is part of the reason FIAT offers clutch replacement as part of the standard service program. I know there are companies that already offer a lightweight flywheel that will work with the stock clutch. Im looking around for an aftermarket clutch that might be a bit stiffer.. Again I already have one car with a heavier clutch part of the appeal of the 500 to me is how easy and enjoyable it is to drive. So I might leave it stock...for now

Well said.

I FINALLY drove a 5 Speed Sport yesterday, and I agree that the clutch is very light, and the engagement is a little high. But that does change as the car gets broken-in.

I too have my "fast" car that has a Stage III clutch and aluminum flywheel. So, I think the Sports 5 speed clutch will be a great change for an easy daily driver.

Fiat500USA
08-29-2011, 12:57 PM
... I too have my "fast" car that has a Stage III clutch and aluminum flywheel. So, I think the Sports 5 speed clutch will be a great change for an easy daily driver.

I'm with you, I've driven many "Stage III" clutches at my job, so I really appreciate the Fiat's clutch.

Fiat500USA
09-07-2011, 12:33 AM
Greetings,

The MTA "auto manual" on the Euro hardtop Abarth is an option over there and the actual Manual is the stock setup I thnk. Also heard that the 500c Abarth was launched with the MTA "auto manual" ONLY and they have since started offering an actual manual on the Abarth convertible at a lesser cost due to many people disliking the MTA "auto manual".

I think this is correct. IMO, if Fiat is thinking of launching the Abarth with only a new DDCT and no real manual, they may want to see how that worked out with the 2nd year R32 here in the States. For me, no manual = no buy. As always, I defer to our fearless moderator to set me straight if I'm slinging cow poop.:cool:


I will place myself squarly in the "no manual, no buy" camp. Would be a shame if they only offer it with auto. If that is the case, I'll either wait it out another MY or just go with the Sport model and put some go-fast bits in her :)

I'm able to tell you the North American 500 Abarth will have a manual transmission, no worries! :applause:

Bruce Winter
09-07-2011, 07:07 AM
Can you release any other transmission options like an automatic dual clutch? Bruce

cmj912
09-07-2011, 09:43 AM
The only thing that keeps me sane is knowing that I probably couldn't justify the extra tax and insurance expense of the Abarth and the Gucci; otherwise I'd probably end up with my nose pressed against the dealer glass each time the newest model come along...

Abarthlyness
09-07-2011, 10:48 AM
I'm able to tell you the North American 500 Abarth will have a manual transmission, no worries! :applause:

This is great news! I have personally made my mind up to snag a Sport instead... for better or worse, I have my SRT-4 for kicks. It's a rocket ship ;) so my Sport will fill the daily driver/commuter spot MUCH better than an Abarth would.

... it too will be a true manual trans :)

Fiat500USA
09-07-2011, 11:27 AM
This is great news! I have personally made my mind up to snag a Sport instead... for better or worse, I have my SRT-4 for kicks. It's a rocket ship ;) so my Sport will fill the daily driver/commuter spot MUCH better than an Abarth would.

... it too will be a true manual trans :)

Tough choice! I love my Prima, but my plan was always to buy an Abarth. I would hate to see it go :sorrow:

Fiat500USA
09-07-2011, 11:30 AM
Can you release any other transmission options like an automatic dual clutch? Bruce

Working on it ... :friendly_wink:

Abarthlyness
09-08-2011, 10:26 AM
Tough choice! I love my Prima, but my plan was always to buy an Abarth. I would hate to see it go :sorrow:

Yeah, I figure, every time I long for an Abarth, I'll just take a "cruise" in The Princess (my SRT-4) lol!

geeded
09-08-2011, 11:54 PM
I'm able to tell you the North American 500 Abarth will have a manual transmission, no worries! :applause:

Thank you very much for a direct answer that will let quite a few future Abarth owners breathe a sigh of relief.

I didn't really think they wouldn't have a manual....but there were all these rumors floating around....

Again, thanks for nailing down the, for me, most important question that was hanging out there!

Pssst: 5-spd or 6?
;)

cogtooth
09-10-2011, 01:55 PM
Having driven clutch cars for 40 years, a can't imagine a better clutch feel. A one time test drive is not enough time to appreciate the feel as opposed to us that have several thousand miles on their 500s. The worst clutch I've driven was a 1965 Buick Skylark Gran Sport with a 400 cubic inch engine which took almost two legs to push the clutch.

dmvoss
09-12-2011, 11:50 AM
I have been driving for 55 years now and many of them have been manual transmissions. My 2007 Mini Cooper S has by far the best clutch feel and 6 speed trans of any car I have ever owned.

Dale

luckymoi
09-12-2011, 12:40 PM
Dunno, my '72 chrome bumper MG midget was a sweet drive for my 5yrs in the UK...yep a 4 speed! It was a 1275cc four banger.
The 1368 in the cinquecento seems huge and gobs of power, loving to rev too!
CA seems one red light after another so the automatic seemed the way to go... no regrets.

eatworksleepdie
12-02-2011, 01:09 PM
the clutch is hydraulic, is it not? that may explain the soft pedal feel. I'm used to a cable clutch and like the resistance, so adjusting to hydraulic may be a bit of a challenge for me too...