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500 Abarth driveability

Discussion in 'Fiat' started by Sir Moses Wellington, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Sir Moses Wellington

    Sir Moses Wellington Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if anyone on here has owned or driven an Abarth. I'm hoping to test drive one at either Carlisle (if they have one at the test drive center) or the dealership I found thats in Harrisburg not too far from Carlisle.

    My only worry with the car is the manual. The only cars I've driven with a manual are an AAR and a 70 440-6 Cuda', and that was awhile ago and that wasn't for long. More or less it was just me learning to drive with a manual. The AAR I drove first, and I stalled it...a lot. The 440-6 I didn't have as big an issue, but still not too good with the manual. I never had any problem shifting up or down after I get out of first gear, only when getting started in first gear do I have issues.

    I'm just wondering Is the clutch light or heavy? And if you've driven either of the cars I've driven before the Abarth, Is it easier to use then the manuals I've driven? Thanks
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
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    I had an '84 Turbo Colt with the 8-speed Twin-Stick. It wasn't as 'smooth' as the larger domestic turbo offerings. An automatic LeBaron turbo would spool up and stay there. The Colt had to spool up again after each shift. It was a fun every day car.
    I'm sure that modern electronic software and controls are head-over-heels better after 28 years and makes the Abarth a blast to drive. Definitely not for the 'sedate' driver. I would like a drive in one myself.
     
  3. Moparian

    Moparian Well-Known Member

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    everything I have read says that the clutch is pretty light and easy to modulate. I have found when learning to drive stick that using just the clutch to get the car moving(which also gives you the engagement point) and not giving it gas until your comfortable with getting the car rolling goes a long way to smooth stick driving. Once you have that down its easy to add throttle to the mix.
     
  4. chuzz

    chuzz Allpar Legacy

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    I don't think either car you've driven had a hydraulic clutch. Now, I'm not sure the Abarth has one, but if it does, it will be a lot easier to use than the old style that you learned in. I've owned both over the years and really prefer the hydraulic over the older type, just because of the ease of the clutch pedal. I especially prefer the hydraulic clutches after having ruptured two discs in my low back and having a lot of left leg pain nowadays.
     
  5. mjd4277

    mjd4277 King of all blacks!!!lol

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    I'm a proud owner of a Rosso 500 Abarth. The car is a hoot to drive! I found the clutch and gearshift very easy to work thru the gears-even though the shifter uses cables.
     
  6. Sir Moses Wellington

    Sir Moses Wellington Well-Known Member

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    Okay thanks for the info guys, looks like I won't have too much trouble. And the way I learned to drive a manual is to smoothly release the clutch and slowly push the gas at about the same rate, and it worked...but that was back when the only cars I had driven beforehand were all fuel injected. Now I've had a lot of practice with carburated cars and all there quirks on start up and having to play with the throttle and such so it doesn't stall out. I shouldn't have too much trouble with it then, I figured it was a lighter clutch but I'd rather find out its hard now then when I'm starting it up.
     
  7. chuzz

    chuzz Allpar Legacy

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    Go test drive one and see how you like it. Post back and let us know.
     
  8. mjd4277

    mjd4277 King of all blacks!!!lol

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    That's if you can find one. I think only 1200 Abarths were built this year and the entire production run was sold out in less than a month. I was lucky enough to order mine 2 days before the official order taking start date. And from there it was about two months before the car arrived at the dealership.
     
  9. Moparian

    Moparian Well-Known Member

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    Yea your not going to find a new 2012 Abarth....I've looked.
     
  10. chuzz

    chuzz Allpar Legacy

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    Hmmmm, I didn't know that they'd be that popular. Personally, I have no interest in them at all. I'm waiting on the new Darts to finally come to a dealer near me.
     
  11. Sir Moses Wellington

    Sir Moses Wellington Well-Known Member

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    They didn't have the Abarth to test drive at Carlisle today :( but oh well. I checked the 1 dealer within an hours drive of me (its closer than that) and there website says they have one thats ordered but not delivered. Its black with the black interior (didn't say wether its cloth or leather though). If I'm impressed enough, maybe I'll say goodbye to my GTX and Sebring and drive an italian/foreign car for the first time in my life.

    Edit: The have 2 in transit apparently a black and gray one. Either way, I'd like to test one. Seems there are a few used ones out there, I'm guessing people weren't expecting that the little car would be such a handful, or as most Americans quickly realize they need a larger car after the first time someone asks for a ride. I'm just hoping one pops up soon for a good price, but it doesn't seem they sold too many in my area, but there are a quickly growing number of them around me.
     
  12. Moparian

    Moparian Well-Known Member

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    The more I read about it the more I am wanting to go take one out for a test drive. I only have my son and I to worry about, car seats fit fine in the back, there in plenty of space behind the rear seats to put a stroller(which I dont need for much longer) and I hate driving other people around so its almost perfect. Plus the price and fuel economy cant be beat either. I am still waiting for the numbers on the Dart R/T and announcement of the SRT-4 but this is definitely on my short list of cars. Wonder if friends and family pricing is available on the Abarth?
     
  13. Sir Moses Wellington

    Sir Moses Wellington Well-Known Member

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    Yea, its a hard thing to figure out, the Darts probably a better mix of economy, performance and space if you do longer trips and having to have a childs seat. But its pretty easy to get to the rear seats in the 500 (just not too easy to actually get in/out if your not child sized), only 2 doors I know thats easier to get into is a 57 2 door wagon and my Sebring (but those are both larger cars to begin with).

    And hey, its a good looking, quick and sensible little car. Only reason I'd bet on the Dart being the best pick is the safety factor. The 500 is a safe car, but the Dart is supposed to be one of the safest if not the safest small car in the world along side the Alfa Giulietta. And as I've seen with many a parent, it almost always ends up being the safest option they have available that gets bought, usually a minivan or SUV.
     
  14. arcdude

    arcdude New Member

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    Having problems with starting to move the car from a stop with a manual always seems to be the biggest problem with people unfamiliar with manual transmissions. This will go away with some practice and I would not worry about it. It might be a good idea to find a large empty parking lot and just practice getting moving from a stop. Just stay in first gear. When you run out of rpms, stop the car and then start moving again. This is how I taught my two daughters how to drive a stick and now several years later that is all they drive. It is like second nature once you get used to it.
     
  15. tomit

    tomit Well-Known Member

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    Sir W,

    I find it best to put the heel of my clutch foot on the floor and use it as a pivot point when releasing the clutch.

    Tom
     
  16. Frantz

    Frantz Member

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    If you are still looking I have a used one 2013 with 6k miles on the clock just outside of Mechanicsburg. I'll be back at the showroom on Thrusday if you wanna set up an appointment with me. Tomorrow is my day off. I have to admit I wasn't expecting much out of this car but it blew me away. Send me a message and I'll schedule you in.

    (even if you go in tomorrow if you could ask for me I'd really appreciate it. I make my living selling cars and I'd at least get half the commission if you ask for me! Doug Frantz is my name)

    But this car drives easy, it stops crazy fast, and it's a riot to drive around and it sounds amazing for a small 4 banger. You can even easily hear the turbo spooling. If this is an example of a fast version of the 500 then I have to admit I underestimated the entire brand!
     

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