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Old 17-05-2010   #1
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Lots of Questions on the A500

Hi

Just joined this forum. From Canberra Australia

The reason why I joined was that I recently read in the paper that the Abarth 500 (as well as the AGP) is to be released here. Checked with a local dealer and they are already taking orders, but there is no final word on price and spec, go figure.

I realise there is dedicated forum on the Abarths – Abarthista BUT that is apparently restricted to UK residents only !!!! So here I am

I am dead keen in buying a A500 to replace my 147, have spent many, many hours researching on-line & have a whole bunch of questions to ask as I work on my dream A500. The on-line official resources are quite …..crappy.

Note that I am seeking is a daily driver and I tend to keep my cars at least 5 years, if not longer. I do not want a trackday special and nor do I want a showday princess

OK here we go.

1. From what I can gather the Essesse option only gives marginal power gains and has a really crappy ride. So rather than just bragging rights why should I consider an Essesse ??

2. The standard 99kW motor actual output is actually quite “understated”, that is the actual power is greater than quoted …this I like

3. Is the leather seating option limited to only the front seats ?? If so, can you order the rears seats in leather, like those in the normal 500 ??? If so, and I want the red option will the red colours match ??

4. Stripes…I quite like the more solid stripes on the AGP rather than those on the 500 that break up towards the rear quarter panel. More of a classic Abarth look. This should be do-able ??

5. Wheels….. as I said I want a daily driver so is the ride on those standard 16 inch wheels (which I quite like) far superior to the ride on the optional 17 inch wheels (I adore those 5 petal wheels)

6. About those Petals, what colour are they really ?? On the on-line configerator they appear an constant sliver colour whereas on some members photos they look grey with polished sliver highlights and on other photos they look completely grey …do/did they come in different combinations ???

7. More wheels…is it possible to get the Abarth wheel centre covers without the red ring ??? I am thinking about a very subtle external colour combination atm.

8. Again from what from what I can gather the weak link, for wont of better term, on the A500 is the suspension (what !!! on an Italian car, surely they jest) so what are some options ?? There are heaps of options and opinions online, but they tend to be more focussed on the drop and trackablility whereas I am seeking a sporty ride without the crash and bounce (test drove a standard 500 Sport …what the !!!! ….I was bouncing all over place, the prime reason I still am driving my 147). It is really hard to make a judgement from the other side of the world. So from what I can see the options are the KW (seem a bit too track focussed, lots of my Alfa mates swear by them), the V-maxx (look OK – a few mixed reviews) and the GAZ (seems to be flavour of the month on Abarthista) …your thoughts ??

9. Any other options and/or considerations I should make before I put down a deposit

10. Any news on the possible MultiAir version, when, specs ??

Thank you all in anticipation on your valuable inputs

Hopefully this all works out, it is difficult at times being an Italian car fan in Australia, the importers often “ambitious pricing”, stupid specs, parts, availability

Ta
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Old 17-05-2010   #2
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Re: Lots of Questions on the A500

Welcome to the forum. I will help answer your questions comprehensively when i get back from work.
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Old 17-05-2010   #3
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Re: Lots of Questions on the A500

1) The SS kit is designed to push the turbo and mechanicals to a safe margin that will still allow for long term use, more can be gained from 3rd parties but Fiat do have longevity to think about and a wide range of operating conditions. As to the ride no idea what Australian roads are like, its actually the suspension set up of the 500 as a model which is poor not just the Abarths
2) They tend to be throwing out 140~145bhp when dyno'd rather than the official 135 stated but there is always an accuracy question on dynos over reading and manaufacturers allow some lee way. Its likely to have a smidge more but not buckets loads.
3) Red leather is restricted to the fronts of the front seats and the door card inserts the rear seats are just plain black leather. With black the front seats get a red stipe of stitching down the centre and the plain black leather rear seats. I quite like it, some don't, personal choice.
4) If you don't want the from factory stripes just find a local graphics company and get the ones you want made, likely to be cheaper too.
5) 17s on UK roads are possible too big but they are livable with 16s would be better but I too was suckered into the petals.
6) They are grey with polished top surfaces, varying degrees of clean accounts for the colour variations, mine are plain anthracite looking atm as the are dirty. The A500C will be getting shiny single tone versions.
7) Red rings are standard no from factory options, although you could just buy some normal ones as they are interchangeable iirc
8) I don't know any more than the research you have already done
9) There aren't that many options, however should always be noted specs/options can vary country to country.
10) Possibly 2011 or 12 for an MA A500 certainly nothing so far listed for the UK for 2010 but as already mentioned different countries get different things.
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Last edited by olopboy; 17-05-2010 at 10:55.
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Old 17-05-2010   #4
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Re: Lots of Questions on the A500

Welcome Kid

I too am in Oz awaiting info on the Abarth 500 - I suspect I saw the same news article as you , but then again I have seen many past reports on the coming Abarth range in Australia for some time now (just google "Abarth in Australia")

I will believe it when I see one in a showroom with a for sale on but admittedly this time it seems more promising - even as you said some dealers are holding orders already..... However apparently we will only be getting the fully kitted out 500 Essesse and I would imagine at a premium price and limited options ...... hopefully this last bit will be wrong

Good Luck with chase
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Old 18-05-2010   #5
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Re: Lots of Questions on the A500

Thanx guys for the info

All quite interesting

I did not realise that the red leather seat front options means that you get plain black leather rears. Seems a bit odd but I can live with it - anyways I can always re-trim it here in Oz if I want later

Red rings alternative ?? I tried on the web to find an alternative but no luck only those standard 5oo wheel covers. Are the rings interchangeable ?? I have a mate with 5oo who probably like those red ones .....thinking !!!!!!!

Suppose the only thing I need guidance are the suspension options - any ideas or comments would be much appreciated. Shipping here is not a cheap option AND if I do not like there will be zero market here

Cheers
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Old 18-05-2010   #6
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Re: Lots of Questions on the A500

Quote Originally Posted by KidOctane View Post
Thanx guys for the info

All quite interesting

I did not realise that the red leather seat front options means that you get plain black leather rears. Seems a bit odd but I can live with it - anyways I can always re-trim it here in Oz if I want later

Red rings alternative ?? I tried on the web to find an alternative but no luck only those standard 5oo wheel covers. Are the rings interchangeable ?? I have a mate with 5oo who probably like those red ones .....thinking !!!!!!!

Suppose the only thing I need guidance are the suspension options - any ideas or comments would be much appreciated. Shipping here is not a cheap option AND if I do not like there will be zero market here

Cheers

The rings can't be changed as such, you need to change the whole wheel cover

Your other option is 500 wheel covers or the 500 wheel covers with a red circle.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/fiat-500-alloy-wheel-center-cap-/230474465579?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&ha sh=item35a959412b

Bilstein do a coilover kit

http://cgi.ebay.de/BILSTEIN-B14-GEWINDEFAHRWERK-Fiat-500-312-/370253821016?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Autoteile_Zubeh%C3%B6 r&hash=item5634d8f458

As do spax
http://www.dcperformance.co.uk/uprat.../fiat/500.html

and Koni also do an FSD kit as well if you don't want coilovers.

With Bilstein being a big manufacturer I've no doubt that you could get a set of Bilstein coilovers in Oz, the cost however may mean it's cheaper just to get it shipped direct to you.

The part number for the Bilstein kit is HE5-F577
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Last edited by 306maxi; 18-05-2010 at 08:45.
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Old 29-01-2012   #7
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Re: Lots of Questions on the A500

Hi Guys,

I realise this thread was created a while ago, but I'm hoping someone is still around from Australia!

So, I have a 2010 VW Golf atm, which is lovely, but I have to admit, I've been a little bit infatuated with the A500 since I first saw it...

So, my questions are, have any of you bought one? If so, how have you found it? My main concerns are reliability and longevity of the car, the golf is definitely a solid choice in these respects, so I would love someone's opinion who has actually owned and driven this car as a daily driver.

Also, expenses. How is it on fuel? Urban vs. highway driving?

I predominantly do short drives to work and around town, but having the golf's ability on the highways is a plus.

My problem is that I really want this car, but I feel that I would be downgrading from the golf while still paying more for the fiat.

So, after that jumbled rant... How are you guys finding the A500 in Aus!?
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Old 30-01-2012   #8
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Re: Lots of Questions on the A500

Quote Originally Posted by deltarider View Post
Hi Guys,

I realise this thread was created a while ago, but I'm hoping someone is still around from Australia!

So, I have a 2010 VW Golf atm, which is lovely, but I have to admit, I've been a little bit infatuated with the A500 since I first saw it...

So, my questions are, have any of you bought one? If so, how have you found it? My main concerns are reliability and longevity of the car, the golf is definitely a solid choice in these respects, so I would love someone's opinion who has actually owned and driven this car as a daily driver.

Also, expenses. How is it on fuel? Urban vs. highway driving?

I predominantly do short drives to work and around town, but having the golf's ability on the highways is a plus.

My problem is that I really want this car, but I feel that I would be downgrading from the golf while still paying more for the fiat.

So, after that jumbled rant... How are you guys finding the A500 in Aus!?
Welcome to the forum.

Are you driving a Golf GTI with an ATM chip at the moment ?
Do you use the back 2 seats much ?

MPG thread on here...
https://www.fiatforum.com/abarth-500/287797-abarth-500-v-poor-fuel-consumption.html

Recently picked up a MiTo with the exact same engine as in the A500 with the IHI VL37 turbo and it is a really impressive engine. Getting a readout of 33.9mpg onTrip A and have had Trip B up at 39.8mpg from a Motorway trip speeds. The A500 shouldn't be much different but if you are booting it - it will drop into the low 20s.

I have had 2 Fiat 500 1.4s and TBH they were great cars with give little or no trouble.

Given the nature of the A500 you will have to buy carefully if buying secondhand and pay particular attention to the reduced oil service intervals of 9K for thestandard A500 and 6K for the esseesse. The new multi-air 500 when it arriveswith have a sensible 8K oil service interval.

Buying a A500 is all about the 'experience'. Gearboxes have so far proven to be pretty solid (unlike the 6 speeds) and engines - so far no reports of any problems yet. The only gripe is the suspension and the FSDs which are or were the solution are being re-looked at. Still you can stick with the standard shocks or opt for the warranty based upgrades.

Motorway driving isn't a problem with the 500s and that's from having had 2 Fiat 500 1.4s. It copes well with side winds, etc. and you will have the extra grunt from the T-jet in the A500.

It would be hard to beat the fun factor of a A500. It may not beat the GTI in a drag race (although the esseese will give it a run for its money) but it will put a smile on your face in the twisties.
https://www.fiatforum.com/500/291378-koni-fsd-bilstein-b14-kit.html#post2944229
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Last edited by loveshandbags; 30-01-2012 at 15:44. Reason: spacing
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Old 03-02-2012   #9
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Re: Lots of Questions on the A500

Quote Originally Posted by deltarider View Post
Hi Guys,

I realise this thread was created a while ago, but I'm hoping someone is still around from Australia!

So, I have a 2010 VW Golf atm, which is lovely, but I have to admit, I've been a little bit infatuated with the A500 since I first saw it...

So, my questions are, have any of you bought one? If so, how have you found it? My main concerns are reliability and longevity of the car, the golf is definitely a solid choice in these respects, so I would love someone's opinion who has actually owned and driven this car as a daily driver.

Also, expenses. How is it on fuel? Urban vs. highway driving?

I predominantly do short drives to work and around town, but having the golf's ability on the highways is a plus.

My problem is that I really want this car, but I feel that I would be downgrading from the golf while still paying more for the fiat.

So, after that jumbled rant... How are you guys finding the A500 in Aus!?
Hi Delta

I have had mine for 3 months - all I can say is it is the BEST car I have owned. I cannot see myself selling it ever !!! I have not stopped smiling. I am constantly having random people come up and admiring the car.

On paper your Golf maybe more sensible but it is an emotionally dead car - by any measure .....the A500 just makes you feel happy, simple as that.

I use mine as a semi daily driver and it is zippy in town and appears to be handy on the highway - not really had the chance to do much highway driving as yet

My only suggestion is definitively get the Koni suspension as the standard suspension is the only thing that lets down the car - some dealers apparently can supply these

GET ONE - do the world a favour with one less Golf

PS: Feel free to PM if you have any Aussie related Q's
Likes grimwau liked this post
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Old 23-02-2012   #10
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Re: Lots of Questions on the A500

Quote Originally Posted by deltarider View Post
So, my questions are, have any of you bought one? If so, how have you found it? My main concerns are reliability and longevity of the car, the golf is definitely a solid choice in these respects, so I would love someone's opinion who has actually owned and driven this car as a daily driver.
Also, expenses. How is it on fuel? Urban vs. highway driving?
How are you guys finding the A500 in Aus!?

I've had my A500 for four months now, using it as my daily ride to work.
My previous car was a MINI Cooper S, I'd wanted one for so long before I got it, and it was an excellent car to drive, but after just two years I sold it because it was always breaking down and everything on it was expensive.

Looking for a replacement I looked at a Polo GTI, A1, a later model MINI, and a couple of larger more 'sensible' cars, but in the end settled on the Fiat because it was just so much more fun on the test drives, looks good, and I got it for a good price, though I was a bit worried about its build quality and if it would be as fun to drive in the long run as the MINI.

A few months later, those concerns are long gone. The car is still probably the most fun to drive modern car I've driven, its excellent on fuel, using an average of 6.3 l/100 km (mixed driving), has a really good, solid feel on the road despite its weight, has more interior and boot space than my last car, sticks to the road like glue, has no rattles or queaks, even after dismantling half the thing to put a sub in the boot, and during which, no parts were broken.

Servicing costs are a bit higher than comparable jap cars, however much less than BMW, and the staff at my dealer are knowledgable and helpful, something I haven't seen at a car dealer service centre in a very long time.

Comfort wise the car has all the features you want, though the suspension is quite hard and bouncy, quite comparable to my 68 mini and that has NO suspension.

I have no desires to get rid of the thing, and I'd definitely look at upgrading should another come out. It's the sort of car that in a few years when I do need a bigger car for daily driving I'd just hide the 500 in the garage and buy an old commodore for daily use, so I can still have fun on the weekends.
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