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Old 15-01-2011   #1
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Test Drive - Abarth Punto EVO.

Had a terrible day today (see my members car topic for more details) possibly the end of my Abarth ownership. The only good thing to come out of today was a test drive in an Abarth Punto EVO.
1st impressions, well it looked ok, especially in Campovolo grey, wasn't as eye catching as the A500 of course, but this car is more about the drive than the style, the complete opposite of the A500 really (or so i thought) Interior wasn't very special either, a bit dull and dark with not many details to lift the gloom. Some of the plastics felt a lot worse than those in the A500. Had the Sabelts fitted which were rock hard but no uncomfortable.

Driving - the salesman drove it around 5 miles first, then pulled over and we swapped seats. Didn't take me long to get into a comfortable driving position, something hard to do in the A500. Pedals felt a little more cramped than in the A500 though, my left foot kept hitting the foot rest when i pressed the clutch. My fault for having size 14 feet i suppose! Ride felt firm but not uncomfy, felt very planted, no bounciness like in the A500 at all. Steering had a nice feel to it, a little light maybe but this was a brand new car so needed time to bed in. Quite a long throw on the gearstick as others have said, especially coming straight from the A500! Brakes felt sharp too. Was quite surprised by the amount of road noise, i naturally assumed there would be less in a bigger car, but there was just as much, if not more than in the A500.

Now the good bit, the power! Well actually, it didn't blow me away like i thought it would actually. In fact, it felt just as quick as the A500 SS I've been driving for the last 400 miles. I'll partially blame this on the "newness" once again, but when you think about it, i guess the A500 SS has the same power but in a much smaller, lighter car so not only is the "sensation" of speed exaggerated, it's probably physically quicker too with less weight to haul around. The 1st thing the Salesman said was that it's "like the A500 SS to drive"

So not a brilliant test drive if I'm honest, but then again i was in a bad mood. I would maybe like to drive one again soon, somewhere i could test the handling etc. But to be honest, I still think i prefer the A500 sorry people. Few pics.



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