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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sooo.... I took an Abarth for a decent test drive today, some highway, some back streets, some country lanes. It's a very nice exciting drive when it's being put through its paces.

Here's the thing though - most of the time I found I was only able to drive it "normally" - because of being in traffic, or because of speed limits, or because the road was simply too straight!

And I was thinking - if I'm not able to drive it like a sports car most of the time - what is the reason for buying a sports car?

Did anyone else feel the same?
 

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Why do people buy Landcruisers if they only spend two weeks a year off-road? (if that) It's a decision you have to make. Personally driving a car like the 124 through weekday traffic is worth the price when letting loose on the weekend.

Buying a car like the 124 is always going to be about compromises.
 

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Sooo.... I took an Abarth for a decent test drive today, some highway, some back streets, some country lanes. It's a very nice exciting drive when it's being put through its paces.

Here's the thing though - most of the time I found I was only able to drive it "normally" - because of being in traffic, or because of speed limits, or because the road was simply too straight!

And I was thinking - if I'm not able to drive it like a sports car most of the time - what is the reason for buying a sports car?

Did anyone else feel the same?
I hear you. Unless you actually live in the Nanny State of Victoria, whose idea of "road safety" is to create a state full of drivers with no other skill than the ability to fixate of their speedometer, then you will never know what a miserable place it is to own a fast car. I was actually tossing up buying an Elise or a Cayman before I came to my senses. What is the point in Victoria? Redline a Cayman in 2nd and your licence is gone. An Abarth 124 or MX5 is going to be the closest thing to a sports car you can enjoy driving to the shops.

Make sure you drive an MX5 too. They are a little bit more fun than the "more serious" Abarth at legal speeds.
 

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Imagine the frustration of 700 whp in traffic.
 

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Driving any car isn't 100% to the max all the time. I think it's about bursts of fun on the roads; corners that you can take at 'legal' speeds, cloverleaf, on ramps, etc. plus, top down at every opportunity.
 
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You need to move to Texas

Sooo.... I took an Abarth for a decent test drive today, some highway, some back streets, some country lanes. It's a very nice exciting drive when it's being put through its paces.

Here's the thing though - most of the time I found I was only able to drive it "normally" - because of being in traffic, or because of speed limits, or because the road was simply too straight!

And I was thinking - if I'm not able to drive it like a sports car most of the time - what is the reason for buying a sports car?

Did anyone else feel the same?
Toll road from Georgetown to San Antonio has speed limit of 85, but everybody does 95 to 100. Cops are cool, but if you hit a Feral Hog, well, you be dead!!
>:)
 

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At the end of the day, it's still just a 1.4... we're not talking massive wasted power. Sure, it'll wind past 200kmh without a problem, but the real joy of this car*, especially compared to the 2.0l MX5, is that rush of midrange torque that you can exploit whenever you want to, unlike peak horsepower. I crack a smile even when just changing lanes and passing on the interstate - usually no downshift is even required.

(*besides the simple, instant manual soft top, of course - itself a rare feature these days)
 

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I think the 124 is fun to drive at any speed. What was other options are you looking at? A honda HR-V? Either you want a sports car or you don't. I look forward to every drive in the 124 regardless of my top speed or how sporty the drive will be...
 
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I sold my regretable kawa 800 vulcan last year, and needed some fun toy for the summer, the 2 affordable were the Miata and 124spider, MX5 due to smaller trunk, could not fit a golf bag, it was partially out of the question, but when I looked at both, well the 124spider hands down. Also, it's an middle between the bike and car, cause with the top down, you have that breeze and smell the fresh air a bike give you, the surround noise of the vehicles and fun car with quick acceleration my bike gave me.

I do accelerate here and there, respect the speed limit and fun driving in the country road. Like I said it's my summer toy that replaced my bike.

All cars can go over speed limits and you could get speed tickets.

So Drive it and you'll find your answer.
 
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I do wish there were more curvy fun roads near my home but I still always grab the Abarth keys on a nice day even to run to the grocery store. It is just a lot more fun to drive than our SUV, Wrangler, etc.

I always find a corner, short straight, round about, etc to have a little fun. Even just cruising on back roads is great with the torque band. The focus seems to always be on driving it fast, but man this thing cruises effortlessly and is smooth and comfortable.

I have seen this mentioned, but it does get noticeably better after break in.

Then living in Colorado, even with the population boom, there are great roads for an adventure. Today my daughter and I are going on an adventure to Rocky Mountain State Park and to our favorite BBQ place in Estes Park. Would not be the same in any other car.
 
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I find that even when driven at or slightly above normal traffic speeds, the 124 is very enjoyable. That's not the case with a lot of higher end sports cars.

Greg
"It's more fun to drive a slow car fast then a fast car slow!"

I have a friend who is a Porsche driving instructor. He said he can be doing lead-follow with six students in trail while he drives with one hand and talks on the radio with the other... He'll be at about 5/10s and look down and he's doing 100 mph on a race track (Barber's Motor Speedway). It's great that those cars handle so well that you don't feel like your doing anything at 100 mph on a race track, but doesn't that take all the fun out of it?
 

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Enjoy very much driving the Spider with the top down at fairly decent speeds...knowing however if I need to punch it...I can w/confidence.
 

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"It's more fun to drive a slow car fast then a fast car slow!"


So true. I sold a Maserati Granturismo for this car. While I will never forget the smile on my face every time I started up the GT, at the end of the day 450 HP just isn't very useful. More fun to drive something slow and push it to it's limits.

it's all about driver engagement.
 

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We had a Granturismo in the EC stable (we make an intake and tune for it). It's an awesome car, superior in every way to the 124 (except fuel economy) yet the 124 is more fun.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
arrrggghhhh.... still deciding!

Starting to do pros and cons lists now. Not normally this indecisive!

Stay with me on this one!
 

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"It's more fun to drive a slow car fast then a fast car slow!"


So true. I sold a Maserati Granturismo for this car. While I will never forget the smile on my face every time I started up the GT, at the end of the day 450 HP just isn't very useful. More fun to drive something slow and push it to it's limits.

it's all about driver engagement.
good to know - as this confirmed my feelings. I was cross shopping a Maserati GT4200 (6M) against the A124 and was never convinced that the Mazza was actually fun the drive
 

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arrrggghhhh.... still deciding!

Starting to do pros and cons lists now. Not normally this indecisive!

Stay with me on this one!
I am with you 100% on this as I went through the same whole "should I or shouldn't I" deliberation thing. For about 6 months to be honest. Here is the thing ......TBH after driving the A124 I found my A5oo to be more fun. The A5oo has this certain "peppiness" and eager nature that the A124 seems to lack. I recently drove a modified A124 and it was better than previous test drives but again I was not knocked out. My expectations were sky high based on the countless superlatives that the MX5 is almost legend for, but I can honestly say that I did not experience.

So why did i buy one ?? Suppose I have had the boyish dream for a sporty convertible all my life, but never had the occasion to buy one (lack of $$, kids, house, being sensible & responsible....). I looked at some more classic convertibles like an Alfa 105 Spider, but finding one that is properly restored is nay on impossible and if these exist are ridiculous $$$. And I was after another fun car to enjoy in my dotage along with my A5oo.

But here was the clincher - after about a year of test driving lots of different modern cars, form a broad range of different cars (was helping my sis in choosing their car) I came to conclusion that most modern cars are actually quite dull & boring as all **** to drive - including some allegedly "sports" cars. Over time I think the days of fun nibble manual cars are doomed. So I had the opportunity last week and took it

Hope this makes sense
 
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