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Old school

3026 Views 17 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ForzaFiata
Was at the Alfa Romeo Spettacolo in Melbourne today. 3 Abarth 124 Spiders on display amongst a stunning display of Alfas, Lancias, Maseratis, Ferraris and Fiats. But this one got our attention...
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Yes. We currently have the MY14 BRZ and the Abarth. The BRZ is stock apart from STi lowering springs, STi strut brace, STi wheels (with Dunlop SP Sport Maxx RT rubber) and an STi exhaust. Lovely thing to drive on backroads but the torque deficit makes it annoying in the city. I think it's going to get replaced with an Alfa 4C or a Lotus Elise SC (which I'm slightly leaning towards) next year.

BTW...Back to back, 98% of the time you are going to be happier in the Abarth than the BRZ. I'd give the BRZ the VERY slight edge with respect to handling and steering when you are at 9/10ths. But that's like 2% (or less) of most people's driving reality right? The Abarth is nicer everywhere else. I'd be surprised if you regret the change.
I've been looking for a nice objective review of the two platforms from someone who has owned (not just test-driven) each car.

Would you agree that the addition of stiffer shocks, lowering springs, and swaybar upgrades that the Abarth would edge ahead of the BRZ in terms of handling?

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Absolutely. But then the better car will probably always be the one you "sensibly" splash the most cash on. And I say "sensibly" because I've also seen people spend a bundle of cash only to have ruined the car. I know a guy that spent a fortune on his GT86 and wound up with a great track car that was intolerable on an average road.
Agree 100%.

I've got a worse example yet -- a very close friend of mine bought a 996 Turbo in 2012. It had a few go-fast goodies on it, and was allegedly making ~600 HP.

That wasn't enough, so he embarked on a journey to upgrade the turbos, cams, internals, etc. with a target of 1,000 RWHP (yes, that's bonkers).

Unfortunately, $35,000 later (that's not a typo) he's driven the car a collective 10 miles in two years. It's currently in pieces waiting on a $5,000 clutch to be rebuilt.

My Abarth will be built with a focus on reliable power and improved (but not extreme) handling capabilities. This will be my fourth performance vehicle, so I've definitely learned "what not to do" over the years :)

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