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Old 30-03-2009   #1
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Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

After what felt like an eternity of waiting I finally picked up my 500 this weekend, have had an absolute blast in it. Can't believe how much fun it is whether on a nice A road, twisty B or just even just my short work run. I am now really, really glad I held myself in check and didn't by a 1.4 sport last year as I originally planned.


Here's some pictures of my sterioded bambino:

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Old 30-03-2009   #2
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

Nice car

I'd love to have that car
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Old 30-03-2009   #3
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

Amazing I would say that though Mines being picked up tomorrow...all being well

Si
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Old 30-03-2009   #4
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

Quote Originally Posted by sikersh View Post
Amazing I would say that though Mines being picked up tomorrow...all being well

Si
And about bleeding time
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Old 30-03-2009   #5
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

Saw an idential one this morning in York mate. All I can say is your a lucky, lucky bugger! Sex on wheels
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Old 30-03-2009   #6
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

They wanted a write up at my old stomping ground AO so I thought I'd chuck it up here as well.

"First off this is a long post but I am just so happy with the car I can’t help myself.

Secondly, although I was choosing between the Mito and the A500 they have very different remits and I wouldn’t say they should really go head to head. I had always liked the 500 but the Abarth version is just everything thing that is great about it turned to 11 with bells added. I really, and I mean really liked the Mito but the 500 just topped it in my affections. I normally change my car when the warranty runs out and so I will probably take another long hard look at the Mito especially as the multi-air engines and hopefully the adaptive damper systems will be around then. Anyway back to my rambling about the Abarth for those who are at all interested:

If I had a wish list of things I would like/like changed on the 500 then a proper lowering mechanism for the seat, reach adjustable steering wheel and a grab handle on the driver’s side would make the top of the list. The driving position is not optimal for me by a long chalk but I can live with it as I do infrequent long journeys. 6’ 4 in a city car is never going to be good. With the small fuel tank you have to stop every 200 miles or so anyway so have rest periods then J.

Other minor niggles I have are the B&M, but everyone does no matter the car its in, media player is fine but occasionally gets bossy and stops you doing things in the menu and the fact my phone won’t pair with it even though it worked fine in the Alfa 159.

The reverse gear set up is odd to me, you have to wait for at least 2 seconds before you can engage it and it seem to need a ton of revs to stop it stalling, possibly I’m just too used to coasting with diesel engines.

The ride on the 17s is a little hard but it’s certainly liveable with, it’s a small sporty car so a hard ride is expected and it is actually far better than I suspected the 17”s would be (test drove on 16’s). That is until you hit yet another small town where they had nothing better to do than stick flipping great speed bumps in. The car really doesn’t appreciate that much sudden vertical movement and I’m scared stiff of the front splitter getting scraped. Think I will try to get some 16s for winter though. My kidneys certainly wouldn’t thank me for stiffening the 500 any with the SS kit though.

So that’s my bad list, ride a little hard but that’s expected, driving position could be better but I’m a tall bugger so few cars are brilliant, fuel tank is small meh, B&M has some small issues but it’s Windows based meh and the reverse is odd but I just need to get used to it.

The sport button just like the Mito’s N is pretty much pointless, the 500 with it off is just plain weird, I was expecting it to have steering input in normal mode like our Panda, but it’s more like the Panda in city mode. You just find yourself twirling the wheel with no idea of what’s happening at the front. Oh well it just stays in sport mode no real hassle.

That’s a pretty small list of compromises/niggles compared to the pluses:

It looks awesome for a small(city) car, seen so many Mini drivers already pretty much agog at the car and so they should J The grey body work and red stripes work brilliantly although it shows the dirt far more than I’d thought it would. Couple that with a set of the best looking wheels I’ve seen for a long time and the thing looks the mutts IMO.

The interior is really special as it’s so different to most other car dash layouts the big swath of grey lifts the dash. Then the red leather front seats make the whole thing look more like a two seater as the rear seats are black, sounds odd but really works. The quality of the leather is as goods as the 159s was and despite the odd position I have to sit in they are very supportive. The black leather rear seats, steering wheel and dash are all picked out with red stitching which complements the seats. I’m glad I stuck to the basic AC as the dials, look retro and really work with the car, and I can turn the AC off! Audio controls are easy to use and the sounds system is powerful and clear as it has the upgrade interscope HiFi system from the normal 500 as standard, but tbh I keep switching it off to hear the engine/exhaust note J

And then you turn the key and then things get really good! The exhaust note is great on start up; Abarth did a fantastic job of engineering the sound coming from it. I’ve been taking it slightly easy, keeping her below 4k revs(ish), but even then I think because of the audio trickery and the sheer lightness of the car the acceleration is great, can’t wait to really open her up. The gear change has a very short throw and is precise also the gear knob is large and feels very substantial in the hand. I occasionally would get lost in the 159 between 4th and 6th as it was quite close but this isn’t a problem at all with the 500, it’s very instinctual as the gear stick is mounted high up on the dash and is right next to the wheel.

Ok I’ll admit it isn’t the fastest car in the world but that’s not really what the car is about for me; it’s the amazing way you can keep the pace up. It corners really flat so you have an enormous amount of confidence in the car when you hit the twisty stuff and there is oodles of grip. Approach corner, drop cog to gain correct entry speed, listening to the fantastic blare from the rear, then turn in, back on the gas and pelt out like a scolded cat. Odd thing is even in town driving conditions you can keep all this fun up without breaking the speed limit, because of the exhaust note and the handling everything just become a little adventure. I think that is the absolute key to the car, visually, aurally and dynamically it’s a drama, it may not be the best driver’s car but it knows how to put one hell of a show on and for that I love it to pieces.

Hand over with the dealer was very slick, car looked great and the paintwork was spot on. In fact, beginning to end the dealership has been excellent. No complaints about taking my old tax disc back either, unlike the dealers I got the Alfa from. Only downside was the weather, it bucketed down up here, and there was hail, so the poor car is filthy so needs a clean before next weekend.

So to sum it up, slightly awkward driving position more than countered by a fantastically fun little car, it really was worth the wait."
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Old 30-03-2009   #7
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

sweet
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Old 31-03-2009   #8
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

Top car mate
Quote Originally Posted by dannygp View Post
Saw an idential one this morning in York mate. All I can say is your a lucky, lucky bugger! Sex on wheels
theres 2 of them blasting around York, ones on here, dunno who the other one is though.
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Old 07-04-2009   #9
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

Love it. Love the grey. I think if I got one it would be in either black or that grey. Love the red trimmings, (as it were). AWESOME!
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Old 07-04-2009   #10
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

Really is a stunning car!!!
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Old 08-04-2009   #11
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

Thanks guys, something I would say to anyone who is thinking of going for one in the same colour, you better enjoy cleaning. Can't believe how much general road grime shows up on it, hey ho another washing session at the weekend.
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Old 08-04-2009   #12
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

Quote Originally Posted by olopboy View Post
Thanks guys, something I would say to anyone who is thinking of going for one in the same colour, you better enjoy cleaning. Can't believe how much general road grime shows up on it, hey ho another washing session at the weekend.
Your telling me Washed and waxed it on Sunday, came out of work on Monday and the back end was filthy! Suppose it gives us an excuse to keep cleaning it! lol

Si
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Old 08-04-2009   #13
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring

sexy looking car.
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Old 14-04-2009   #14
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Re: Just because it's grey doesn't mean it's boring



Interior pic for Saz77 will get some front on pics later and stick them up.
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