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Hi, since getting my Fiat 124 (140 BHP) Anniversary last September, I have read every post on this forum but only driven my car 500 miles in total. Some of the posts indicate I might have an 'almost Abarth power 155 BHP but we don't know, The Monza exhaust, standard in the UK Abarth is 'THE' one, etc. So I am getting more and more confused to what the spec of my car is other than a 'great car' I am proud to own.

So today I spent 3 hours driving my Fiat 124 manual( 500 miles ) and a dealer Abarth 170BHP manual (1200 miles) with all the toys, (LSD, brakes, suspension etc, on the same roads, same weather, same driver. Total mileage 42 miles in each car in 5 or 6 mile stints. So what are my subjective judgements?

1. Power. The Abarth was faster with very spirtited driving ie illegal speeds but in safe driving areas. It is quicker on the boost approx 2.25K rpm it kicks in, my 124 is more gradual. It gets there but about 1 second later - this would support the press statements of 0-60 mph times of 6.5 and 7.5 ish. How often would I need this extra and how often do I drive like this? Not very often but it was good fun today. Until I have hard evidence my Fiat isn't within 15 BHP of the 170 BHP Abarth it is 140 BHP.

Driving Abarth. The suspension isn't as harsh as I expected. The better shockers and stiffer rear springs (from 85 lbs to 105 lbs) does make a difference. It just feels tighter all round. I didn't use the sport button so the steering was
similar on both cars. I am now confident that I would get a benefit from improved suspension even beyond the Abarth spec for my local roads. I liked the LSD on the Abarth - I am used to a LSD on Rear wheel drive cars.

Monza Exhaust (Muffler) What is all the hype about? I hated it. It growls at tickover like a 'boy racer car' and pops and bangs on the overrun. Changing gear at 5-6K rpm sounded like I had somehow messed up the gear shift. Other will love it - for me I would throw it away. I still think I would like a better exhaust sound but not this.

I think both cars are very good ( Monza excepted) for 90 % of my expected driving of the car. I think a EU tune, Goodwin Racing full exhaust system and better springs and shockers and gripper tyres will make me a very fine car to keep until they stop me driving in about 15 years time. Both cars will need all of the above and mine would also need a LSD and bigger brakes. In the UK mine cost £23k the Abarth is £32k. Which would I take home? What do you think?

VIN numbers. Someone posted here that there are different prefixes for Fiat and Abarth models. I have checked 5 cars today 3 Fiat and 2 Abarth and they all have the same prefix ZFANF6E, so another bit of information that isn't accurate re UK cars.

Overall I feel much better about the car in general and my car in particular. Performance changes I am thinking of making will keep it as a grand tourer but I could have a bit more fun when conditions allow. And more importantly the wife will still like the car, not too brash or loud, and not even know about most of the changes.

All subjective but it might help other UK potential buyers.
Danny
 

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VIN numbers. Someone posted here that there are different prefixes for Fiat and Abarth models. I have checked 5 cars today 3 Fiat and 2 Abarth and they all have the same prefix ZFANF6E, so another bit of information that isn't accurate re UK cars.
VIN in Italy (and EU I think)

ZFANF6E K6 is a manual Abarth
ZFANF6E KA is an automatic Abarth
ZFANF6E 46 is a manual Fiat
ZFANF6E 4A is an automatic Fiat
 

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Discussion Starter #3
VIN in Italy (and EU I think)

ZFANF6E K6 is a manual Abarth
ZFANF6E KA is an automatic Abarth
ZFANF6E 46 is a manual Fiat
ZFANF6E 4A is an automatic Fiat
Thanks for this, I was not aware that the prexfix went as far as the first two number. It is now logical and my UK number will match the EU ones.
Danny
 

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2016 Abarth's now filtering onto the market ex demo's can be picked up around 26k now, Lusso plus 19k with a little bargaining so good time to look to buy second hand
Thanks for the review, had been toying with a MX5ND, driven one and it's great, just at 6'1'' I think the smaller dimensions make me look like I'm too big in there and don't fit.
Hence now looking at a 124, which when seen in the metal looks so much better imho and really quite large compaired to the MX5, looks more of a grown up car, sorry if that upsets MX5 owners
Wanted to test drive a Abarth but nearest dealer with one is a fair distance from me, and I was concerned if the suspension was like the Sport 2lt MX I'd driven it would be too harsh, especially on the crap UK roads, may take a drive over now though and try it.
 
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