Fiat 124 Spider Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #1


A few months ago, MotorTrend’s 2016 Best Driver’s Car test took place and they had to make the tough decision to leave some cars behind for various reasons. Only 12 cars were chosen for the test and those left behind are finally getting their own shootout a few months later.

The so called “leftovers” lineup consists of the 2016 Ford Focus RS, Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, BMW M2, Toyota 86, 2017 Chevrolet Camaro (2LT) 1LE V-6, and the Porsche 718 Boxster S. By no means are these models “minor leaguers” as all of them are backed by plenty of performance and their prices tags are below six figures.

Now their time has come and the location of this shootout is the Streets of Willow circuit.

Leading the pack and taking first place was the 124 Spider Abarth. It may have the least powerful engine out of the lineup, but the sporty convertible brought a grin to Jason Cammisa’s face. Its 164 ponies had no problems keeping up with the 365-hp M2 through 30 miles of tight, twisty road. The M2 just couldn’t lose the Fiat because its reduced body roll, chassis balance, brakes, steering, and precise shifter instills trust in the driver.

As for the remaining cars; the 718 Boxster S took second place, Toyota 86 in third followed by the Camaro and then the M2 with the Focus RS coming in last.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
I am a little surprised to be honest. The M2 has been written up as the second coming by many motoring journalists. And the rest aren't too shabby either.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
Jason frequently rags on the 1.4 being "just a single cam..." I don't think he understands Multiair.
Well...it is "just" a single cam :)

Combined with some very clever additional tech.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
3,334 Posts
Jason frequently rags on the 1.4 being "just a single cam..." I don't think he understands Multiair.
Anybody who complains about it being a single cam engine doesn't understand how Multiair works. It's ironic because back in the 60's and 70's when Fiats were the only low priced sports cars with double overhead cams, the journalists didn't understand that either.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
Jason frequently rags on the 1.4 being "just a single cam..." I don't think he understands Multiair.
I was not familiar with Multiair until I looked into buying the Spider. Now, I don't understand why all cars don't use it. And I'm now wondering when someone will use the same technology to control the exhaust valves as Fiat uses for the intake valves. Or, they could use one hydraulic pump to move all of the valves.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
Convertibles 1st & 2nd, no surprise to me. :)
The Boxster and Abarth were designed to be convertibles from the get-go. That's the key difference. Most that were coupes that have been gas-axed to create a convertible model are usually heavier and/or less tortionally rigid than their coupe counterparts, and are invariably inferior drivers cars.

The 2nd place P car costs more than $80k!
That Boxster starts (base 2.0 model with nothing added) at over USD$100k here in Aus.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MotoPete

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
The Boxster and Abarth were designed to be convertibles from the get-go. That's the key difference. Most that were coupes that have been gas-axed to create a convertible model are usually heavier and/or less tortionally rigid than their coupe counterparts, and are invariably inferior drivers cars.

That Boxster starts (base 2.0 model with nothing added) at over USD$100k here in Aus.

Well I'm glad you are at least getting the full boat Abarth Spiders at what seems to be fair value then!
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
3,334 Posts
I was not familiar with Multiair until I looked into buying the Spider. Now, I don't understand why all cars don't use it. And I'm now wondering when someone will use the same technology to control the exhaust valves as Fiat uses for the intake valves. Or, they could use one hydraulic pump to move all of the valves.
That's actually the next step for Multiair. They can eliminate the camshaft entirely, at least in it's traditional form and actuate all the valves via multiair. They may retain a camshaft to simply act as a hydraulic pump to power the multiair system or they could replace it with something else entirely. This is pretty exciting from a tuning standpoint.

Greg
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
425 Posts
"The Abarth keels over with far less body roll than its assembly line cousin, the Mazda Miata, then pitches its rear end 15 degrees sideways and just hangs on forever. Corner after corner, I had the throttle back on the floor before Evans’ M2 had even finished settling into the turn. At car-chase speeds, the 1.4-liter Fiat’s normally infuriating turbo lag wasn’t an issue. All I noticed was its prodigious grip, indefatigable brakes, flawless chassis balance, quick steering, and precise shifter. Oh, and that my face hurt from smiling for so long" Motor Trend from the six car "leftovers" comparison.
I am not in the same league as many of the enthusiasts on the board when it comes to sports car knowledge or driving skills, but this description completely sums up my impression of the car. You just feel like superman behind the wheel. Except he never used to smile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
It is impressive. I just am in awe how s 1.4 litre performs as it does for such a small size engine. The Australian version here comes in only one Abarth 170hp version.
Love the performance and engaging driving style and it sure keeps turning heads here for it's sporty Roadster looks. Be interesting how tge extra power gets freed up another added 30hp taking mine up to 200hp by installing an ecu Box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Anybody who complains about it being a single cam engine doesn't understand how Multiair works. It's ironic because back in the 60's and 70's when Fiats were the only low priced sports cars with double overhead cams, the journalists didn't understand that either.

Greg

I loved my dual overhead cam Fiat 125 S which I had in the 70's! I think it was a 1.6l
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Impressive and not even a Miata in the line up. The Abarth 124 Spider was nominated as the drivers car of the year in Australia. So; on that front i am not too surprised.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,784 Posts
I love my little beast, and with the upgrades and tuning from Eurocompulsion it's taken it to a whole new level. And, it's safe as far as my wife is concerned. From what she's seen (and I tend to agree), it's not as much a "chick magnet" as it is an "old guy magnet". Lord, if you could have seen the crowd I attracted the first time I took it to the Italian supermarket in our neighbourhood. lol
 
  • Like
Reactions: wolf18t

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Found our favourite car in Evo magazine's Car of the Year issue recently - Second best sports car after the Lotus Elise! Best quote - "...more fun for more of the time than almost any other car..."


 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top