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Passing Power at high speeds
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  1. #1
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    Passing Power at high speeds

    New owner of a stock 17' MT Abarth Cabrio and I'm wondering your thoughts on how the car performs on the highway. I feel like anytime I have it in 5th gear I don't have the balls I want. I understand the limitations of the engine and that I could always shift down, but when traveling 65mph+ it's not really conducive to every day driving. As a comparison we also have a Veloster Turbo that likes to pull even in 6th gear on the highway. The only thing modded on the Veloster is a K&N cold air intake, which we purchased that way. Anything I can do about this? Would a GO pedal help? I'm really unsure about messing with a tune as the car is still under warranty. Thanks!

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    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member Saponetta's Avatar
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    I mean, it's a 1.4 liter with 160hp and 180tq, shaped like a shovel. How do you expect to significantly change its highspeed acceleration without a tune.

    Have a feeling cutting 8 inches out of the roof would mess with warranty....

    Btw even with a tune these cars are slow by almost any standard. I enjoy mine because I have a very short, low speed track local, and I live in an urban area where this car makes every alley a special stage. Dont think I could live with the car if I commuted in it or lived in the country/suburbs.
    Last edited by Saponetta; 11-12-2019 at 02:41 PM.
    2013 abarth
    Spec 2+ clutch
    Working on new divided turbo setup
    Homebrew fmic w/ corsa forza hoses
    Stock Downpipe with cat and 2.25discharge
    Coils
    Homemade cowl intake
    ECB yellows/stop tech fluid
    Koni/vogtland
    Braces and strut mounts
    Corsa forza vento
    E30 blend

    2013 abarth tork tuned
    cowl intake, custom fmic and bypass valve, vogtlands, rear vette bilstiens, long 3 inch downpipe to stock rear section.

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    Understand what your talking about. I have the Forte5 sx turbo (same motor as the veloster turbo) and in 6th it still pulls decent. With the abarth I have found that I am just way to used to my Forte. Granted my forte is heavily modded and tuned and a 1.6t the abarth is just a baby 1.4t and needs a little help when you need the power. I have adjusted the wastegate preload and it did help a bit with power and holding boost better but nothing crazy. I honestly think your (just like I am) used to the power of the VT and now the abarth takes a bit getting used to.

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    Senior Member aelfwyne's Avatar
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    Don't pass in 5th then. That's a cruise gear. Drop to 4th or even 3rd for passing.
    2015 Rosso Abarth - MAD FIAT - 5 Speed - Phase 2
    2015 Granito Lucente 500t - Proyecto Estupido - Auto - OFT Stage 1 (No Stage 2 for 2015+ Models)

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    The go pedal won't help with passing power, it would just lessen the distance your foot needs to travel to speed up. I'm not sure what you could do to it other than a tune to fix that. My Tork Tune made passing significantly easier in 5th gear on the highway. No need to shift to 4th.
    2017 Fiat 500 Abarth
    Tork Tuned
    Madness HiFlow Intake
    Sila Concepts Thermal Blanket
    Forge Blow Off Valve (Recirculating)
    Forge FMIC
    Madness Maxfire Coils

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    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelfwyne View Post
    Don't pass in 5th then. That's a cruise gear. Drop to 4th or even 3rd for passing.

    There are some limitations. This is one of the smallest engines available, plus it is a European city car. Sort of like riding a 14K rpm Sport Bike and lamenting there is little grunt at 2K rpm like a torquey cruiser. Drop down a gear or two, as what was mentioned above, and that will make a huge difference. That's how they use the car in Europe. There are tons of videos with these cars boogying on the Autobahn, etc. without problems.

    Also, make sure you are in Sport mode and remember to engage Sport mode, you must fully release the gas pedal (or have your foot completely off of the pedal) for it to activate.

    You'll get used to it. Remember, this is an Italian car and you aren't going to kill it with revs. The first general rule to going fast is to use more rpms. Have fun!
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    #modifiedabarth modifiedabarths.com

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    Thanks for the replies. Not sure I wanna go down the road with modding the car just yet but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Especially since I just experienced the dreaded breakup/stutter in the Turbo around 15psi. I'm gonna bring it in as it's still under warranty, hoping it's just a leak or something. Regardless, the first question they asked me was whether or not I had done any mods to the car.

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    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member Saponetta's Avatar
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    Your breakup is probably just plugs. These factory plugs are pretty cold. Pretty important to really flog the car regularly to get max life out of plugs. I wouldnt sweat a tune. If you buy from someone who can actually write a proper file, there are only benefits, no downsides. You may not want a 24 or 25psi tune. This is most likely going to shorten turbo life a bit. Really, it shouldnt be anything youre worried about. Following the scheduled 8k mile oil changes is worse for the turbo and engine than running 24psi of boost on a tune. But even a small boost increase, proper handling of component protection strategys, and optimised timing make a huge differenc.e. one thing you'll notice with the tork tune is boost response is significantly increased, and perfectly controlled in lower loads. Just makes the car a much better driving car even for hopping around town. But yea, the engine just doesnt make torque in proportion to boost. It needs revs too. You're not going to have that instant low end pull of a modern direct injection tirbo engine like a hyundai or vw. It just really needs to be spun up to make power.

    And like was mentioned abive it's easy to install and switch between stock file and tined file for dealer visits and warranty work. I really cant think of a single downside to a tork tune. The other tuners, breakup, closing throttle, dropping boost, that's the name if the game for them. And they will blame it on your coils, intercooler, bypass valve spring, whatever. No consistency. And they arent attacking the overall component protection strategy, so the cars get really inconsistent at high rpm, and run excessively rich.

    There are even tuners in Europe looking at what tork is doing over here. That says a lot......
    Last edited by Saponetta; 11-13-2019 at 03:31 PM.
    2013 abarth
    Spec 2+ clutch
    Working on new divided turbo setup
    Homebrew fmic w/ corsa forza hoses
    Stock Downpipe with cat and 2.25discharge
    Coils
    Homemade cowl intake
    ECB yellows/stop tech fluid
    Koni/vogtland
    Braces and strut mounts
    Corsa forza vento
    E30 blend

    2013 abarth tork tuned
    cowl intake, custom fmic and bypass valve, vogtlands, rear vette bilstiens, long 3 inch downpipe to stock rear section.

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    So I revisited this with my car and even talked to john at Tork about the power in 5th gear. So apparently there is boost limiting in 5th on these cars so it won't give full power when needed. I have noticed on my car when in normal mode it only boosts to maybe 15-16psi and when in sport I peak 21psi and hold 19psi. I normally drive in normal mode but if I need to pass or need power I use sport. Just sucks you have to take your foot off the pedal for it to work.

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    Member HalfPint's Avatar
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    I think the easiest thing to modify is your expectations. I'm also a new owner and and find the passing power on the highway to be just fine. There's a little turbo lag with roll on, which is not an issue with time for anticipation, but more power is only a downshift away. And if you're in a situation where you may need more grunt you can put it in Sport mode. There are no situations on a highway where you need more power and couldn't see that well ahead of time.

    From what I've read normal mode limits turbo boost, so it's doing what its supposed to do.

    It seems like many are used to larger displacement engines with more power, and there are many cars out there now with lots more power than the Abarth. That's not really what it's about - it's more of a finesse car. I'm impressed with the power, the wide power band, how enjoyable it is to drive and that I'm getting 33mpg on the last tank as well.
    Completely stock 2016 500 Abarth, Rhino & Nero

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