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PFVA63
01-29-2012, 06:59 PM
Hi,

I had a chance to go to the Washington Auto show in DC today. It was pretty nice. It was on two floors of the Washington Convention Center, which through me off a little at first, as I went to the lower floor first, where they had their FiatRide display, and a couple cars on display, including one where some guy was doing Vinyl wrap/decal thing onsite. However, although they had an Abarth brochure I didn't see an Abarth on display. As it turned out though, Fiat had a 2nd, smaller display upstairs alongside the Dodge, Chrysler and RAM displays where they did hve an Abarth, Gucci Edition, and a Cabrio.

Anyway, there seemed to be a fair number of people doing the FiatRide thing, but since I already owned a Pop I skipped that.

I was kind of surprised a little though, in that for the Abarth they didn't really seem to make much of a deal about it. It just seemed to be there alongside a Cabrio and Gucci as a mentioned before.

Seeing the Abarth in person though a couple things that stuck out to me were that, although it does have some badges and decals and such, overall it diodn't really seem to look too much different than the other 500's there. Or I guess maybe a better way to put it was that it retained alot of the same looks as the other 500 models, which isn't a bad thing at all. In fact when I first walked past the upstairs display I had seen that there was an Abarth there, but when I came back later I had started walking towards the Gucci version thinking that it might also be an Abarth, until I saw the convertible top with the Gucci stripes.

Anyway, I thought the Abarth looked really nice in black, and that the black platic tail end stuff didn't look too dramatic against the black paint (I think someone here had asked about that). However, I did notice that from just a few angles the front end extension did look a bit more pronounced to me than it looks in some pictures that I had seen.

As for the interior, the dark leather looked nice too though I suspect that the red stitching may be something some people like, while others might not, while others may not feel much one way or the other. Overall, I though it was nice, though I kind of like lighter colors, and can take or leave the stitching. I guess that maybe the fabric interior might be more to my tastes.

Anyway, the other main thing that I noticed was that while the seats had some nice support to them, I found that I actually felt that the lower back support of a Toyota Yaris that I also looked at actually felt better to me. It might be that I'm not a real tall person though, so for others the seating may feel different.

Speaking of seating though, of all the small cars that I sat in (including the Abarth, a Yaris, a Fiesta, a Focus, a Mazda 2, a Versa, a Sonic, and an Accent) for the most part all of them felt the same, with maybe some feeling just a tiny bit lower than the others, but nothing dramatic. The only other thing I noticed was that the Sonic felt just a tiny bit less roomy up front than the others, but for all intents and purposes my arms and legs were bent pretty much exactly the same in each car. Specifically, I didn't feel that I was sitting any higher in the Fiat nor did I feel that my arms were any straighter in the Fiat than any other car (though once again maybe that's because of my size).

With regards to other stuff at the show, Dodge did seem to be making a bit of a big deal of the Dart, having it up on a rotating turntable with a spokeswoman describing its features and such. Similarly, Chevy had a spokesman describing the features of a spark that was on display (though it wasn't on an elevated turntable like the Dart).

Toyota and Fiat on the other hand just seemed to have their new/upcoming model Priuses and the Abarth (respectively) mixed in with their other models on the floor.

Anyway it was kind of neat to see all the new and upcoming cars in real life.

Pat