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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to wait until I can get a manual Lusso 124. The latest I've heard is expect more manuals in September, probably later. Feel free to contribute any new rumors, experiences, and all things manual for the Spider.
 

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As I wait for the Abarth, I'm beginning to second guess my initial decision to get in automatic. I drove sticks in stop & go Los Angeles freeway traffic throughout the 1980's and swore I'd never own a manual again. That being said, I'm going to stop working this month and will no longer commute.

Somehow it's starting to seem like sacrilege to get a little Italian roadster without a 6-speed. To anyone who has worked the MX5 transmission, the clutch pedal is light and the shifts are short, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As I wait for the Abarth, I'm beginning to second guess my initial decision to get in automatic. I drove sticks in stop & go Los Angeles freeway traffic throughout the 1980's and swore I'd never own a manual again. That being said, I'm going to stop working this month and will no longer commute.

Somehow it's starting to seem like sacrilege to get a little Italian roadster without a 6-speed. To anyone who has worked the MX5 transmission, the clutch pedal is light and the shifts are short, right?
I know the feeling. I was going to go with a Lusso automatic and finally decided I needed to go with the stick for a car like this. This will be my "for fun" car and my other car is an auto, for the day-to-day drudge in a major metro. If that wasn't the case for me, I'd have gone with the auto on the Spider.

I had an original issue Miata, back in the nineties, and it had a great manual set-up. The current manual is still a short-shifter, from what I understand, but I haven't driven it. All the reviews I've read for the Spider seem pretty positive on the manual, whereas the automatic set-up, has had some gripes.
 

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I drove both manual and automatic Abarths and can't see getting the auto. To me it's just not in keeping with the character of the car. Maybe in the Lusso.


I can see having one of those "if it's what you really want" discussions with my wife.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I drove both manual and automatic Abarths and can't see getting the auto. To me it's just not in keeping with the character of the car. Maybe in the Lusso.


I can see having one of those "if it's what you really want" discussions with my wife.
Ha! Fortunately, I'm single so it was just an argument with myself. I won. ;)
 

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I drove both manual and automatic Abarths and can't see getting the auto.
Since you got to drive the Abarth, I'm wondering if you were involved with press release. Lucky you.

What would you say is the biggest advantage of manual versus auto?
 

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Since you got to drive the Abarth, I'm wondering if you were involved with press release. Lucky you.

What would you say is the biggest advantage of manual versus auto?
Lucky me, but not press.

I simply found the manual more involving and more enjoyable. It's also personal. I drove manuals exclusively for many years and then again in 2004-2006 when I had an NB Miata. So for me a manual would represent a return to something I miss.

I didn't gauge whether one was faster than the other and took no note of fuel economy differences. The one thing I liked about the automatic I drove was that it had the Mopar cat-back exhaust. I'd really like to hear that on a manual Spider. I'm guessing it would sound even better.


Hope the above answers your question. If not, let me know what elaboration is needed.
 

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manuals

From discussions with several dealers here in SW Florida, it sounds like most of the manuals in the first two shipments went to the west coast and this coincides with the info showing up when doing various searches on Fiats website. I was also told there should be manuals coming in the next shipment this month, although no specific time or other data was yet available.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
From discussions with several dealers here in SW Florida, it sounds like most of the manuals in the first two shipments went to the west coast and this coincides with the info showing up when doing various searches on Fiats website. I was also told there should be manuals coming in the next shipment this month, although no specific time or other data was yet available.
I'm honestly not sure what to think with the current manual situation, but, yes, the few manuals at dealers or listed as in transit show up on the left side of the country. Arizona, Cali, etc. Predominantly Classicas. Only several Lusso manuals actually show-up, when you verify it with the factory sticker. The dealer I've been primarily talking with was saying to expect more manuals in the next shipment, too, with arrival at dealers in the central part of the country by September or later.

I'm still hoping the extremely low number of Lusso manuals is just an aberration, at this point. I believe, at last check, it was less than 5 manual Lussos out of over 400 Spiders at dealers, listed as coming to dealers, or sold at this point, after the data was sifted through. Maybe all the manuals were buried in the back of the ships or just came in to the West port. ;) We'll probably wake-up some day and wonder how 300 manuals suddenly showed-up. :)
 

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One my local SoCal dealers said that they are expecting the Abarth, which might arrive at dealers in late fall, to be equipped with "60% to 70% manual transmissions".

That's fairly significant, given that Abarth is to make up 35 percent of the entire 2017 Fiat 124 Spider production.
 

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I recently sold my 2010 Corvette after five years. It had an automatic and I was starting to get bored with it. When I test drove the new 124 Spider it was an automatic as well , but felt significantly more fun. The Corvette is fairly large compared to the Fiat roadster, to the tune of 17 inches. In comparison the Spider offered the thrill of driving a go-cart as I darted in & out of traffic lanes.

Now I'm becoming convinced that I should get the Abarth in a manual to pimp up the experience even more, lol.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
One my local SoCal dealers said that they are expecting the Abarth, which might arrive at dealers in late fall, to be equipped with "60% to 70% manual transmissions".

That's fairly significant, given that Abarth is to make up 35 percent of the entire 2017 Fiat 124 Spider production.
That's good to hear and makes sense to me for the Abarth, in particular. Even though the auto Abarth will have the paddles, I'd still go with the manual for the "fun factor," and, well gee, it's an Abarth! :)

I just hope Fiat hasn't assumed anybody who likes the Lusso options will automatically not like a manual. Just because I like saddle leather doesn't mean I prefer an automatic.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I recently sold my 2010 Corvette after five years. It had an automatic and I was starting to get bored with it. When I test drove the new 124 Spider it was an automatic as well , but felt significantly more fun. The Corvette is fairly large compared to the Fiat roadster, to the tune of 17 inches. In comparison the Spider offered the thrill of driving a go-cart as I darted in & out of traffic lanes.

Now I'm becoming convinced that I should get the Abarth in a manual to pimp up the experience even more, lol.
Yes, it's just a different experience between something such as the Corvette versus the Spider. I had a 500 SL. An absolutely beautiful machine. A slick, fast, smooth ride but a maintenance and mechanical nightmare. The retractable hardtop was a marvel to behold in operation but could give you nightmares over what a repair of the contraption would cost. I don't even want to think about what an overhaul of the active suspension entailed. Once the extended warranty on that spacecraft had expired, it was time to unload it. I didn't feel like having to maintain a B2 bomber was going to be worth it, just for the experience of the ride.

The new Spider has a lot going for it. A fun, "go cart" like ride, as you mentioned, and with it coming from the Mazda Hiroshima plant, it should be a fairly good, reliable build, without an overkill of sophisticated, complicated hardware to maintain. Want to drop the top? Just use your hand and in several seconds, you're there. :)
 

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I recently sold my 2010 Corvette after five years. It had an automatic and I was starting to get bored with it. When I test drove the new 124 Spider it was an automatic as well , but felt significantly more fun. The Corvette is fairly large compared to the Fiat roadster, to the tune of 17 inches. In comparison the Spider offered the thrill of driving a go-cart as I darted in & out of traffic lanes.

Now I'm becoming convinced that I should get the Abarth in a manual to pimp up the experience even more, lol.
No pimping, please. ;)
For an even more go kart like experience (albeit DDCT) take a test drive in an Alfa Romeo 4C.

Corvettes are so fast and capable that most of the time drivers are loafing in them. The old driving slow in a fast car vs. driving fast in a slow car thing, I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
No pimping, please. ;)
For an even more go kart like experience (albeit DDCT) take a test drive in an Alfa Romeo 4C.

Corvettes are so fast and capable that most of the time drivers are loafing in them. The old driving slow in a fast car vs. driving fast in a slow car thing, I suppose.
Ha! The 4C is one **** of a ride. I'm not so sure I could take it, though, for regular city traffic and bad streets, even just to get it out to the country for a weekend thrill. :)
 

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I didn't feel like having to maintain a B2 bomber was going to be worth it, just for the experience of the ride.
I hear you. Regarding the Corvette Grand Sport, replacement of tires, brakes, and rotors run about $4 grand and have to be replaced on a much more frequent basis than standard cars. Besides that, the warranty had run out and it too had become a scary B2 bomber. As I retire from my job I want to stop shelling out the big bucks.

All of my mechanical convertibles over the years eventually developed problems. I like the simplicity of a manual top. The twin MX-5 has had some problems with the tension straps (and a couple of other issues) but I'm hopeful that will be worked out on Fiat's end.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
It looks like the first shipment, both Baltimore and the west coast, is completely distributed to the dealers. For whatever reason(s), virtually all the manuals were Classicas and most were delivered to some dealers in Cali, AZ, and a several other western states. Most dealers appear to have received no manuals. I sure hope this scenario turns around with the future shipments.

From what I recall, at least one news story claimed the first shipment was going to be automatics, so maybe it's really better than it may appear, for those of use patiently waiting for a manual Spider.
 

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Greetings from west coast of Canada. I guess we got most of the manuals up here. I test drove a black Lusso 5 spd two weeks ago and in middle of test drive had to go back to dealership as another salesman had just sold it already. Went back next day and drove a white Lusso 5 spd. They are coming in with Premium collection (Bose stereo, nag system,heated mirrors etc). A blast to drive and I couldn't see myself stepping on gas pedal and steering around an auto one. Next shipment due in about a week, and I have deposit on black one with saddle interior. Anticipation is killing me.
 

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I thought the manuals are six speed.
 
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