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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there, I am not an owner yet, and this is my ideal summer car. I went to drive one today, and at 6'3" (191 cm), I gotta say its just a bit tight. I dont mind the absence of legroom so much, but I do mind that the top of the windshield feels eye-level. With the top up, I found that my head touches the roof unless I make a very conscious effort to reposition myself.

Couple interesting observations in the 2 cars I sat in (Lusso and Abarth):
  • The Abarth seats seemed slightly less bolstered (they were the alcantera seats I believe). The Lusso was leather seats and felt much more padded, making it even more uncomfortable.
  • The Lusso had a leg extension (?) that I was able to put down, I dont recall this in the Abarth.
Regardless of the above, I'm wondering if any of the OEM seats cater best for tall people? For example, any thinner seats to give just another inch of room? Particularly up/down. Can anyone vouch that the Abarth alcantera is the thinnest?

I tried and tried, but determined that there is no seat height adjustment. I'd love to be able to put the seat down 2 inches.

Lastly - any after-market mods to give some well needed cabin space? I'd even consider replacing the seats if it meant I could be comfortable.

I really want to get into this car for the summer. Literally nothing else in this space (small sporty car) fits my liking up until I get into a 718 but that's not really in the same market.
 

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2018 124 Spider Abarth Custom
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There are 2 styles of lowering rails that are out there. One is a low profile, slide adjustable bottom rack replacement but it is a bit pricey, over $400 I think. Paco Motorsports makes replacement side rails that drop a little over an inch and adds a bit more rear rake to the seat, they run just under $90 a set but no adjustment on the fly. Side bolts have to be loosened to move but no issue for me at almost 6'2" and I am the only driver. I'm even going with a racing hard top that is a bit taller in the rear so my helmet fits better underneath and room for a full cage eventually.
 

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There are 2 styles of lowering rails that are out there. One is a low profile, slide adjustable bottom rack replacement but it is a bit pricey, over $400 I think. Paco Motorsports makes replacement side rails that drop a little over an inch and adds a bit more rear rake to the seat, they run just under $90 a set but no adjustment on the fly. Side bolts have to be loosened to move but no issue for me at almost 6'2" and I am the only driver. I'm even going with a racing hard top that is a bit taller in the rear so my helmet fits better underneath and room for a full cage eventually.
Don't the Pacos need to sit slightly closer to the steering wheel, or did I misunderstand that?
 

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2018 124 Spider Abarth Custom
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I think it is slightly due to the rake. I lean my seat back ever so slightly now so its not completely to the rear as it is. The cockpit is definitely longer than it is taller for me. Plus I've been told I should be seated closer during road courses and keep my elbows bent more.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think it is slightly due to the rake. I lean my seat back ever so slightly now so its not completely to the rear as it is. The cockpit is definitely longer than it is taller for me. Plus I've been told I should be seated closer during road courses and keep my elbows bent more.
May thanks for the response Calehedron! So I've done some googling and I can find the two options you mention. It's quite interesting:
1 - Aurora - these seem to offer 1.125" extra room lower, but are adjustable fore/aft. However that $400 you estimated, its actually $445, and that is per seat! So $890 for both.
2 - Paco - only negligably more room than the Auroras @ 1.25", but are fixed unless you carry around a wrench and spend 3 minutes adjusting screws. Upside, they are $80 per seat / $180 for both.
3 - some old Miata ND1 (or earlier) seats come up in a google search, that claim 2.5" extra space, but it looks like those would no longer be compatible. Shame.

Couple more questions for you or anyone else:
  • Jon had asked that the Pacos sit slightly closer. I wasn't clear on your response. Are you confirming that they sit closer? Or only because you now recline the seats a touch? My knees are already dangerously close to the dash. I dont think I'd want to trade more headroom for less legroom unfortunately.
  • Does anyone know if any of the OEM seat options give more space? Do the Recaros (in the US Abarth) or Alcantera (US Abarth) offer more space? My quick, uncorroborated anecdote is that the standard Abarth alcantera seats seemed to give me more space than the Lusso leather seats did.
  • Are there any aftermarket seats anyone is using? It seems that there are people (perhaps tall) wearing helmets in these things. I just cant fathom that!
  • In the Miata ND2 forum, there is a response claiming that they considered removing the 1/2" plastic trim from the "Style Bar" / roll bar to get some extra recline. Has anyone tinkered with this?
Thanks again.

I've actually considered ordering the Paco's, taking them to the dealer, making a small non-refundable deposit on the car, and having them install them before I pull the trigger. I'm sure the dealer would love that... not.
 

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2018 124 Spider Abarth Custom
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I will be installing the drivers side rails in my car this weekend, I've been a bit lazy lately waiting on the block work. I will measure seat distance before and after at full rear. Here is a link to a picture of a Recaro dropped with the Paco. There might be something about the seat fore position in that thread.

Aftermarket that will really lower you? Sparco Evo, but that's $800ish a seat plus mounting and new belts. I'll get there eventually as I get more serious about the road courses and depending on how much power the new engine is gonna put out.

I'm almost 6'2" with longer torso. With my helmet on as the car is, I wedge my head into the seat and roof and slouch a bit. It's fine for drag but I need more clearance to turn my head and even pass the "broomstick" clearance some tracks hold you to for safety. The race hard top will fix that and I've got a quote for a nice drop in roll cage.
 

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Semi related comment. Even after finding a bit more headroom, a taller driver would still find it challenging to get visibility of stop lights when at an intersection. My solution was to add a fresnel lens at the top of the windshield next to the top frame, directly in front of me. It doesn't interfere with straight ahead visibility, but at intersections, it allows me to see the lights change without having to hold my head at a 45 degree angle sideways. My only complaint is that I wish the manufacturer didn't print their URL on it in white ink. It's annoying, but not enough for me to try to figure out how to remove it (I'd likley bugger up the plastic lens in the process). Specialized Traffic Light Viewing Lens - LightInSight.com They also sell them via Amazon, so just check to see which is cheaper for shipping based on your location. Best $20 I ever spent.
 

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Factory seat is now LOWER in ours thanks to new lowering brackets for stock seats by our buddy Moti at AuroraAutoDesign.com



Driver and Passenger seat in same positions and as far back as they go. It may be hard to see from side view but Ryan on stock height passenger seat has my helmet hitting, and actually lifting the yard stick as it lays from top of windshield across the roll bar, but on lowered Driver's seat he is now under the classic 'broomstick' test. This bar is a lot higher than stock hoops, this is a Blackbird bar and and that bar is as high as we can get without removing the top.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
First step complete - I bought the car and drove it home.

Second step - I've ordered the Pacos. I decided that because the only people in my household that have any interest in this car are 6' 3" or more, there's no reason to get the adjustable's for nearly 5x the price.

I sat in a Miata with the Pacos and I couldnt believe the difference.
One thing I hadnt realized about this car - the passenger seat has EVEN LESS legroom that the driver side. The dash comes out slightly, making you have to contort your legs. And thats assuming the cupholder is not in place.

But I bought it because its a small roadster, I cant expect a small roadster to be large inside.
 

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If you don't have the Bose system, you can get more leg room on the passenger side by removing the styrofoam under the carpet. Mazda didn't want to make two carpet molds so made all of them short on legroom.

I did that plus the PACO seat rails and it helps. I was worried about not adjusting but realized I only need the one driving position and it has been fine for both long and short drives.
 
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