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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I'm a long-term car nut (first car I loved was the 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado, even though I was way too young to drive).

My first car was a 1975 Oldsmobile Starfire (bought used). From there on, there was one Japanese car (1982 Toyota Supra), a French car (1985 Peugeot Turbo), and the rest all German. (Eight BMWs, three VW GTIs) Not sure I can count the current GTI as German -- it was built in Puebla, Mexico. I call it GerMexican.

My M5 is a kick, but it's the first car in my life that didn't have a clutch pedal. The DCT is cool technology, but I miss shifting. And 600 HP is nice, but where can you use it? (I'm in the US.)

The lease on that car ends soon, and I'm looking for something WAAAY different.

I originally was interested in a Miata RF. None available around here to test drive, never mind actually buy. So then it was a Miata soft-top. Wait -- no limited slip diff if you want the luxury goodies? And no backup camera at all??

So I checked out Brand X, the 124 Spider. Hmm....I like the looks better. Interior appointments are nicer. Backup camera is part of a package I want, and the Abarth has an LSD. So, for now, my thinking is to get a 124 Spider Abarth.

Besides, I figure any self-respecting car nut needs at least one convertible, at least one two-seater, and at least one Italian car in their life. This car covers 2.5 of those. (I figure I can't fully claim having an Italian car.)
 

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Paesan, tha car is a built in Jappone, ma dat where it stops, da rest is Italian, spirit, u feeling, power, and above all tha macchina makes u fil Italian. >:):x

Jokes apart when you sit and feel the handling, power and looks, believe me you feel Italian, in my part, I feel twice Italian, since I am and born there.

Down here the MX5 is a girly car and the 124spider is a men's car. No sex descrimination.:)
 

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Have you had the opportunity to test drive the Spider? They are so much fun! For me there was no contest between the Mazda and the FIAT. I won't list my decision criteria here other than to say that if a two-seat roadster is what you're interested in, for my money, the Spider can't be beat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Have you had the opportunity to test drive the Spider? They are so much fun! For me there was no contest between the Mazda and the FIAT. I won't list my decision criteria here other than to say that if a two-seat roadster is what you're interested in, for my money, the Spider can't be beat.
Yup, drove a Lusso manual. Loved it. Drove an Abarth auto-tragic. I even liked that, even without a clutch pedal.

I read/watched a LOT of reviews of the Spider, and many of them comment on turbo lag. I didn't experience it, at least not that I really noticed. Is it just me?

I will say that I had a stoopid grin (you know the one!) on my face the whole time I was behind the wheel.
 

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Interesting that BMW M Division have just announced that they are going fully torque converter autos (like AMG). No more manuals. No more DCTs.
 

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Turbo lag, schmirbo lag. Pffft. Those reviewers can go pound dirt. This is my first turbo car (Classica, manual trans.) in 30 years of driving, picked it up a few nights ago. Over the weekend I installed the Go Fast Bits (aka GFB) DV+ diverter valve on the turbo. If that turbo is lagging, I sure can't tell, the DV+ valve is keeping the turbo in the work zone. (Confessing my turbo virginity here.) I don't pretend to be living my driving life at the Christmas tree end of a drag race strip, but this car gets up and runs *plenty* fine for me. Any more gusto than this, and I'm a dead man. Like my motorcycles, this car has more capacity to perform than I do to operate it. My vote, stop thinking and buy the 124. In stick shift form. The manual is the proper choice. Unless you need an automatic for some reason...

I put it in perspective to a friend of mine with an "Ecoboost" (turbo) Ford pickup truck. My 124 is half the weight, half the engine displacement, and half the horsepower of his truck, and that truck has plenty of b*lls and will do everything he asks of it, including standing up to run. Comparably speaking, so will the Spider. You won't miss giant horsepower with this car, its about class and finesse. And big stupid grins! Get it. Get it now!

Steve.
 

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I strongly recommend the Abarth manual. The "sport" mode makes all the difference. Much more torque in the low range and it takes off in the higher ranges. As a former MX 5 owner, it makes all the difference.
My wife's car is a Ford Escape with "ecoboost" aka turbocharged, and I can't get over what pick up that thing has.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
{snip}
You won't miss giant horsepower with this car, its about class and finesse. And big stupid grins! Get it. Get it now!

Steve.
I also recommend the Abarth manual. It's a perma-grin driver's car through and through. You won't regret it.
I'm trying!!

I've got a dealer looking for my requirements (Abarth, manual, Luxury pkg w/Sirius) in a color I like (either gray with the black stripe or all-black). If I can get the Brembo brakes, I'd like them, but it seems few of the cars around now or in transit have them.
 

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I'm trying!!

I've got a dealer looking for my requirements (Abarth, manual, Luxury pkg w/Sirius) in a color I like (either gray with the black stripe or all-black). If I can get the Brembo brakes, I'd like them, but it seems few of the cars around now or in transit have them.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of aftermarket big brake upgrades, some of which are arguably a much better value than the factory Brembos.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Paesan, tha car is a built in Jappone, ma dat where it stops, da rest is Italian, spirit, u feeling, power, and above all tha macchina makes u fil Italian. >:):x

Jokes apart when you sit and feel the handling, power and looks, believe me you feel Italian, in my part, I feel twice Italian, since I am and born there.
Grazie amico mio. Devo praticare il mio italiano!

Down here the MX5 is a girly car and the 124spider is a men's car. No sex descrimination.:)
Interesting comment about the 124 being a guy's car. If I manage to get one, there will be two guys in it a lot of the time -- my partner is as much of a car nut as me, and he REALLY likes it, too.
 

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Well....my wife is now mostly driving the 124 and I'm now mostly driving the MX5 :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well....my wife is now mostly driving the 124 and I'm now mostly driving the MX5 :)
Wow, two roadsters? Cool! But...

One of the reasons I'm okay with getting such a small car (relative to what I've had before) is that it will be my #2 car, after a VW GTI. With the seats down and the hatch cover out, the GTI turns into a nice cube to transport just about anything I need. That's included anything from a gas grill (first day I had the car) to four 20-inch wheel-and-tire sets (the summer tires for my M5).

How's life with two small roadsters??
 

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Wow, two roadsters? Cool!

How's life with two small roadsters??
I works fine. There's enough room for the weekly shop (just) and they are usually one up Mon-Fri and the two of us on weekends. Which one gets used on the weekends usually depends on who gets home last on Friday. We had to take both cars to the garden centre to pick up 400kgs of soil and potting mix. That was a bit embarrassing...but we got it home :)

 

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I works fine. There's enough room for the weekly shop (just) and they are usually one up Mon-Fri and the two of us on weekends. Which one gets used on the weekends usually depends on who gets home last on Friday. We had to take both cars to the garden centre to pick up 400kgs of soil and potting mix. That was a bit embarrassing...but we got it home :)

I'd have thought you'd have a 'ute'...since, of course, all Australians live in the outback and have to move their kangaroos around the ranch...

[I couldn't find a kangaroo smiley to put here].
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The weekend I first test-drove the 124, my partner and I also test drove a used BMW Z4. We looked in the trunk ("boot" for our non-North American friends) with the top down, and mentally compared it with the ND Miatas we'd seen. We talked about how little space and how restricted the access was.

So the Miata/124 is the practical, spacious choice! And that seems to agree with RBH58.
 

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I'd have thought you'd have a 'ute'...since, of course, all Australians live in the outback and have to move their kangaroos around the ranch....
"The truth" is that Australia is one of the most urbanised nations on the planet. We all live in cities. Nobody lives in the middle bit. The Crocodile Dundee/Hunter thing is a total myth. Take most Australians more than 10 mins from a decent cafe latte and they'd be dead in 24 hours. LOL. We do like our "Utes" though. I have a friend that has a 600hp one of these....it's ridiculous...

 
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