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Tuned Head-to-Head Comparison: Fiat 124 Abarth vs. Mazda MX5 Club

I have read about every head-to-head I can take between these two siblings. Clearly the MX5 is the teacher’s favorite (suck up!). But honestly you can see why, I don’t need to go there. Then there are the rebuttals online, “if only the Fiat…”, “But the fiat has a turbo that you can tune…”, etc. etc. etc. You are all aware.

So a level as possible head-to-head of tuned versions for both, there (in my mind at least) is only one option (champion) to make this happen, Goodwin Racing. They support both. They day-to-day drive both. They race both. They have passion for both. They have the ability to build both (for the most part) as close as possible and in line with what most enthusiasts would do. Nothing crazy like V8’s, or even adding a turbo to an MX5.

Tested by professionals with no bias. Magazines like European Car, Car and Drive, the more the merrier. Driven and tested by the same driver, the same day, the same conditions. Road, Autocross, and track. All the reasons the enthusiasts buy these cars.

I see this as a huge win-win-win-win-win
1. Brings new customers to both cars (brands) once they realize the potential, how easy it is, and maybe the fun of autocross.
2. Promotes Goodwin Racing (huge marketing win!)
3. Promotes Euro Compulsion
4. Promotes autocross
5. Gives everyone great ideas on what is possible

I don’t think it even think it matters who the “winner” is (maybe closer this time?) Maybe some people that can’t decide will be swayed. I think most people gravitate to one or the other for whatever reason.

Here are builds that keep them as close to apples to apples as possible, while doing mods most people would likely do if they drive on the road and autocross. (sure there will be tons of debate here…)

Fiat 124 Abarth:

Tune: Euro Compulsion EURO+DRIVE LITE
Intake: Euro Compulsion V4 Air Induction Kit
Suspension: Ohlins Road and Track DFV
Exhaust: Goodwin Roadster Sport Fiat 124 Exhaust Combo - Quad Tip
DV: Go Fast Bits DV+ Diverter Valve
Battery: Good-Win Racing Ultra-Light Battery Kit
Brakes: Factory Brembo (or Goodwin Wilwoods)
Tires : Same, TBD

Mazda MX5 Club Abarth:
Tune: Goodwin EcuTek ProECU Programming Kit
Intake: TBD
Suspension: Ohlins Road and Track DFV
Exhaust: Goodwin Racing (Combo TBD)
Battery: Good-Win Racing Ultra-Light Battery Kit
Brakes: Factory Brembo (or Goodwin Wilwoods)
Tires : Same, TBD

I can’t think of a better pair to do a tuned head-to-head with. I would love to read, watch, and enjoy seeing this happen. Make a comment, any comment, and maybe there can be some momentum here. Maybe…Fiat and Mazda would be “Hey Brain, need a car for this?” Maybe Bondurant would step up. Who knows.>:)
 

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We will take that challenge.

Our 124 has Euro+Drive Lite and a V4 intake. I would love to drag race an ND Miata that's also an automatic and with any two typical mods, meaning exhaust, intake, or tune.

I am pretty sure the 124 will clean up.

Greg

P.S. anyone in Tulsa with an automatic ND?
 

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I think Brian Goodwin's estimation of the two cars was spot-on. He compared them to chocolate and vanilla ice cream. He likes both flavors. Ultimately it's a matter of choosing one or the other of these two fine cars and enjoying whichever choice you make.
 
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