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View Full Version : "Wicked Cute" First Road Test in Motor Trend February 2012 Issue



geeded
01-02-2012, 10:51 PM
Edit: Now online link:

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/hatchbacks/1202_2012_fiat_500_abarth_first_test/

The Abarth 500 "Road Test" is spread across 3 pages but includes limited information. Much space is taken up by its appearance, some history, and little specific about its ride & handling....just the numbers with little about how it feels, rides, etc.

The writer enjoyed the engine, that the Abarth's grip was "impressive" and "stays much flatter". OTOH, he said that the Abarth understeered more and was "a little less playful" than the Sport.

Another extended bash ("disappointed") of the driving position being old-school Italian long reach (why couldn't they have spent an extra $50 per car & installed a reach adjustment for the steering wheel?).

Ended with "As a complete package, the Abarth is a solid choice for those who want a hot hatch that stands out from the Coopers and GTIs of the world. For those dyed-in-the-wool Fiat and Abarth fans, it will be the only choice".

I wholeheartedly agree with that last sentiment.

Exterior photographs of the Rosso version, small one of the dash, and none of the seats. The pictures take up more room than the writing. It would be interesting to know the peak g's it pulled since it was equipped with the 17" wheel/tires. (I still haven't seen ONE picture of the NA Abarth wearing its standard 16" wheels).

Here are some of the specs they give:

0-60 6.8 seconds
1/4 mile 15.3 Seconds @ 89.8 mph
Braking 60-0 117 ft.
Lateral g's 0.86 g (avg)
Curb Weight 2564 lb (64/36%)

Base price $21,500 (est)
Price as tested $23,000 (est)

EPA Mileage 27/32 mpg (est)

I'm pleasantly surprised they got 0-60 below 7 seconds, obviously gets there w/o shifting to third. BTW, nothing at all in the Feb issue of C&D. I don't know if MT jumped the gun or just got it out first.

Cheers

500ways
01-02-2012, 11:01 PM
Thanks for the post - can't wait to try one out for myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

VTEC Mini
01-03-2012, 10:51 AM
The Abarth 500 "Road Test" is spread across 3 pages but includes limited information. Much space is taken up by its appearance, some history, and little specific about its ride & handling....just the numbers with little about how it feels, rides, etc.

The writer enjoyed the engine, that the Abarth's grip was "impressive" and "stays much flatter". OTOH, he said it understeered more and that the Abarth was "a little less playful" than the Sport.

Another extended bash ("disappointed") of the driving position being old-school Italian long reach (why couldn't they have spent an extra $50 & installed a reach adjustment for the steering wheel?).

Ended with "As a complete package, the Abarth is a solid choice for those who want a hot hatch that stands out from the Coopers and GTIs of the world. For those dyed-in-the-wool Fiat and Abarth fans, it will be the only choice".

I wholeheartedly agree with that last sentiment.

Exterior photographs of the Rosso version, small one of the dash, and none of the seats. The pictures take up more room than the writing. It would be interesting to know the peak g's it pulled since it was equipped with the 17" wheel/tires. (I still haven't seen ONE picture of the NA Abarth wearing its standard 16" wheels).

Here are some of the specs they give:

0-60 6.8 seconds
1/4 mile 15.3 Seconds @ 89.8 mph
Braking 60-0 117 ft.
Lateral g's 0.86 g (avg)
Curb Weight 2564 lb (64/36%)

Base price $21,500 (est)
Price as tested $23,000 (est)

EPA Mileage 27/32 mpg (est)

I'm pleasantly surprised they got 0-60 below 7 seconds, obviously gets there w/o shifting to third. BTW, nothing at all in the Feb issue of C&D. I don't know if MT jumped the gun or just got it out first.

CheersIs this in news stands now or can you see it on line?

geeded
01-03-2012, 01:44 PM
Is this in news stands now or can you see it on line?

I have a subscription for MT, C&D, R&T, AutoWeek, & Automobile. I received MT and C&D in the mail yesterday. So if it is not out on the newsstands yet, it will be in a day or two. (Yes, I know I have a problem when it comes to cars<grin>).

Cheers

VTEC Mini
01-03-2012, 02:17 PM
I have a subscription for MT, C&D, R&T, AutoWeek, & Automobile. I received MT and C&D in the mail yesterday. So if it is not out on the newsstands yet, it will be in a day or two. (Yes, I know I have a problem when it comes to cars<grin>).

CheersLOL! My wife has put the brakes (no pun intended) on my subscription list. Like four different ones is to many, ssshhheeeesssshhhh! LOL!

geeded
01-03-2012, 06:12 PM
Motor Trend internet link to this story now up:

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/hatchbacks/1202_2012_fiat_500_abarth_first_test/

Enjoy!


Cheers

VTEC Mini
01-03-2012, 07:20 PM
Motor Trend internet link to this story now up:

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/hatchbacks/1202_2012_fiat_500_abarth_first_test/

Enjoy!


CheersThank you!

epb
01-03-2012, 07:40 PM
LOL! My wife has put the brakes (no pun intended) on my subscription list. Like four different ones is to many, ssshhheeeesssshhhh! LOL!

Aren't all those subscriptions dirt cheap? I think I saw an offer for Automobile that was a dollar an issue! A print copy of Evo is $11 - a buddy of mine took a bunch of old issues home once and his wife saw the prices and freaked.:topsy_turvy:

*PS - this forum has the ugliest collection of smilies I've ever seen - they're so weird.

buzzny
01-03-2012, 07:52 PM
Damn, It's been a while since I had 2 car payments. This might be worth it. Just can't part with my other toys. That red will sell it to the wife:D

VTEC Mini
01-03-2012, 08:08 PM
Aren't all those subscriptions dirt cheap? I think I saw an offer for Automobile that was a dollar an issue! A print copy of Evo is $11 - a buddy of mine took a bunch of old issues home once and his wife saw the prices and freaked.:topsy_turvy:

*PS - this forum has the ugliest collection of smilies I've ever seen - they're so weird.One of my subscriptions is Mini Magazine out of Britain and it is $146 dollars a year! Besides with four coming a month it piles up pretty quick and I think that's what my wife hates hates most. She says are house looks like a tire shop waiting room for Mini's/ MINI's......

Dwaynek
01-03-2012, 08:36 PM
Vtec you can now get mini magazine on line for 4.95 an issue. Get info for my older Cooper.

epb
01-03-2012, 10:20 PM
One of my subscriptions is Mini Magazine out of Britain and it is $146 dollars a year! Besides with four coming a month it piles up pretty quick and I think that's what my wife hates hates most. She says are house looks like a tire shop waiting room for Mini's/ MINI's......

Yep, they pile up quickly. I save/shelve 3 titles, the rest I bring to work for the breakroom, where they disappear quickly.

geeded
01-03-2012, 10:29 PM
Aren't all those subscriptions dirt cheap? I think I saw an offer for Automobile that was a dollar an issue! A print copy of Evo is $11 - a buddy of mine took a bunch of old issues home once and his wife saw the prices and freaked.:topsy_turvy:\

Yep, dirt cheap. Once you have a subscription and it's getting ready to lapse, the reductions come fast. If you DO let them lapse & since they sell advertising based on copies sold, they become almost free. I paid $25 for three years of Automobile I think, and always around $10 a year for Autoweek... I've had to let it lapse but they always come back at that price, sooner or later.

I know I can get almost everything online but I grew up on those magazines. I bought my first new car (1970 2002) based on the recommendation of David E Davis.:) I do find myself skipping a lot of articles though... usually those having to do with Porsche, Corvette, or Mercedes.;)

Cheers

VTEC Mini
01-04-2012, 01:04 AM
Vtec you can now get mini magazine on line for 4.95 an issue. Get info for my older Cooper.You can, how?

VTEC Mini
01-04-2012, 01:07 AM
I know I can get almost everything online but I grew up on those magazines. I bought my first new car (1970 2002) based on the recommendation of David E Davis.:) I do find myself skipping a lot of articles though... usually those having to do with Porsche, Corvette, or Mercedes.;)

CheersYep, since I was wee little and always having Hot Rod Magazine in my hand there is just something about having an actual magazine in hand that on line can't capture. I don't know what it is and I can't put my finger on it.

Dwaynek
01-04-2012, 10:50 AM
Just go to the I tunes store and if you have an iPad or iPhone you can download the app and presently you can get one issue free. They are cheaper and posted as soon as they are available in England!

VTEC Mini
01-04-2012, 01:19 PM
Just go to the I tunes store and if you have an iPad or iPhone you can download the app and presently you can get one issue free. They are cheaper and posted as soon as they are available in England!
Thanks! I do have an iPod but it is a pain to read with my vision. I will check it out though!

VTEC Mini
01-06-2012, 01:33 PM
I got the latest and greatest Motor Trend "Fiat 500 issue" last night. On page 12 it talks about the differences of the Euro and U.S. Abarth. It is more than just the turbo and management.

Vincent adapted the MultiAir, launched in Europe in 2009, pretty much as is, with changes necessary for our specific regulations and demands, The Dundee version of the iron block four comes in a few pounds lighter than it's Euro cousin, and about 80 percent of the componets come from new suppliers.

"We have different oils," Vincent says, with Europe using only high- grade synthetic in new cars. "In the U.S., where customers can buy any grade of oil they want, the engine had to be developed with our specific 5W30. and in the case of the Abarth Turbo, our 5W40 non- synthetic. We had to make changes to the piston rings, piston crown; some of the bearings had to to change."

Vincent also converted the MultiAir to a returnless fuel system, as used in Chrysler's since the '90s to meet U.S. regulations include an oil- mist separator and specific positive crankcase vent system. There adjustments to the cylinder head, exhaust manifold, and turbocharger for durability. U.S. duty cycles tend to have a lot more mid- range. Half Shafts are beefed up as well. About 30 diagnostics have been added or upgraded to the Magnti Marello engine control system to meet OBDII.

What was Vincents biggest headache?

" There is is a labyrinth of water and oil tubes that are used to feed the water to the engine and the turbocharger from the radiator," he says, "and likewise oil from the oil filter, to the turbo through the block to the oil pump. Something as simple as that sounds...... it's just tubes right? But it's the way they're constructed, you've got a main pipe with a set of tubes to line up in a high- speed automated assembly line. It's extremely challenging."

Todd Lassa, Motor Trend Magazine, February 2012

To me it sounds like FIAT has done some research and has made changes to beef up the drive train to comply with American driving habits, roads and regulations and to make it more reliable. However, this does mean it is an untested engine and unlike it's Euro cousin which has been in use for some time now so I can not really go off of their reliability. This cements me wanting to wait a year or two before jumping in.