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is the speedo/tach offset? It looks a little to the right.
 

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Hey, that's the first look at the cloth seats. They look great! At least it looks like the cloth to seat to me in the picture. It's a very fair review.
 

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Hey, that's the first look at the cloth seats. They look great! At least it looks like the cloth to seat to me in the picture. It's a very fair review.
I agree - the cloth looks great. Very happy about that, as the leather seating is fine from sitting in the car show Abarth, but I'd prefer the cheaper cost, better durability, and better all-season comfort of the cloth.

RRR - it seems a fair price to me. I was happy that it wasn't more along the lines of the Mini S. The bonus is that, with so few options, you can't have MSRP creep the way you can so easily on the Minis.
 

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I would have liked to heard more about the driving experience; handling & acceleration.
 

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I am glad I got to see the cloth seats since the leather is not practical in the So Cal sun- unless you like third degree burns. I think they look good. On the fence about the 16" wheels but it was a great review. Anybody know what the ratcheting sound was in the video?
 

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Sorry for eavesdropping, but I noticed I was getting a lot of traffic to my blog from this post so I was checking it out. The ratcheting noise is actually my wet shoes on the pedals. I didn't realize they were that loud in the video until I watched it on you-tube. Lesson learned! The faint rumbling, which I thought would be more pronounced in the video, is the ESC kicking in.

Thank you for the feedback about the review, I am going to update it to include a bit more description of the driving experience and performance/handling. I will say I did enjoy the car very much and I would have liked to have kept it a bit longer.

Thank you,
Matt
 

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Thanks Matt! Not only that, but there's only so much you can do in the snow.
 

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Matt, I'd be interested in knowing more about what resulted in your being able to test the Abarth? That combined with the overall driving experience would be much appreciated. Watching your video gave me shudders of my days back driving in Alaska. Brrrrrrr
 

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Really like the steering wheel. Why does't Fiat offer heated seats on the Abarth? Not use to looking at a black ash panel. I thought the engine cover would look nicer!
Thats one frozen looking car!



 

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Matt, I'd be interested in knowing more about what resulted in your being able to test the Abarth? That combined with the overall driving experience would be much appreciated. Watching your video gave me shudders of my days back driving in Alaska. Brrrrrrr
What results are you asking about? As far as the driving experience, the feedback I have received on this forum made me realize I need to go into more detail in my review (which I will update in the next couple days). But I won't make you wait for that Ill elaborate right now. The car was fun to drive for sure. The steering was pretty stiff (not uncomfortably so) and gave the driver good road feel. Like most FWD production cars, the factory tunes in understeer and I definitely got that when trying a few aggressive slaloms, but under hard cornering the car gripped really well and seemed pretty neutral - not understeering or oversteering. I think with some simple modification (larger rear sway bar or a slightly different alignment for instance) you can tune out the understeer pretty easily.

160hp isn't a lot these days, but in that car it was definitely a good mix. I never got any torque steer and it was fun getting the turbo to spin up and zip around someone at freeway speeds. Also, you can very easily spin the tires from a stop if you want to.

The end result, when I was handing the keys back in I knew I was going to miss driving this car.
 

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I assume this is a pre-production version. All advertising shows a red engine cover, this one is obviously not final. Also, dis this car have an intermediate setting for the ESC? The Abarth has/will have a 3-position switch, ESC on, ESC partially off, and ESC off. The review seemed to show only an on/off ESC which might be from the regular 500 and not the one that will be on the production Abarth (thus explaining the overpowering you experienced). Be interesting to know. Thanks for the review!

Cheers
 

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I was thinking the same thing. I think you might be right. As he is based in detroit and he somehow already got his hands on one Im going out on a limb and say this is a demo model and isnt 100% representative of the final Abarth
 

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In this car, to completely disable the ESC, the ESC off button needed to be pressed and the car needed to be in "Sport Mode." It may operate differently in the final production version.
 

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I agree - the cloth looks great. Very happy about that, as the leather seating is fine from sitting in the car show Abarth, but I'd prefer the cheaper cost, better durability, and better all-season comfort of the cloth.

RRR - it seems a fair price to me. I was happy that it wasn't more along the lines of the Mini S. The bonus is that, with so few options, you can't have MSRP creep the way you can so easily on the Minis.
I couldn't agree more. Pretty much everything is an option on a mini. I think 22,700 for the Abarth is a bargain. They have upgraded a whole lot of parts on the Abarth 500.
A base mini with the things I have on my sport seemed to be 3-4 thousand more than I paid for my sport. The mini is a great car but I'm glad I have my sport.
 
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