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Old 08-09-2017   #46
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

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Old 08-09-2017   #47
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

Yep. I don't much like the spec (apart from the colour!!) but it's the nearest to me, and there are some lovely twisty, bumpy roads around BSE. I'm keen to see how it compares to my old DS3 DSport THP, which I still rate highly as a great blend of performance, handling, comfort and style. (Pity that the THP's Prince engine proved to be so woefully unreliable.)
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Old 09-09-2017   #48
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

Hope it goes well. I'd wrangle oil and pollen filter change with copy of parts bill as part of deal if like it. 4 litres of Selenia 10w 50 and oem filters around 53. Handbook will confirm am sure.
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Old 10-09-2017   #49
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

@gar074 how did you get on? Bit different am sure
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Old 10-09-2017   #50
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

Haven't managed to get over there yet - family stuff got in the way - but I'm on leave this coming week, so it's still very much on the agenda. I dropped into the Fiat dealer in Cambridge this afternoon to see if they had any second-hand ones (they aren't Abarth dealers themselves, but there are a couple of Abarth dealerships in their network) and one of their guys very kindly let me sit in his new Competizione, and start it up. Awesomely giggle-inducing exhaust noises, and I can squeeze my middle-aged spread into the Sabelt seats, so that's a bonus.
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Old 10-09-2017   #51
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

Red one due into group stock at Glyn Hopkin Herts. Would rather have yellow as well.
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Old 12-09-2017   #52
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

Quote Originally Posted by Mercky View Post
Tasty, You went for Beats Audio too I see! Have you tried CarPlay yet?


Car play is a bit pointless IMO. The main app I wanted on the screen (Cyclops speed cameras......which I'll need....lol) isn't one you can select
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Old 12-09-2017   #53
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

Quote Originally Posted by gar074 View Post
Love the carbon fibre dash! Is that the standard fit?

I'm going to look at a low-mileage yellow one this weekend, en route to Cambridge.

How are your neighbours coping with the popping and banging from that exhaust? I can imagine some South Walian rolling of the eyes, and comments like "Oh, it's him again - another noisy new car!", but at least their early mornings are undisturbed by the wraith-like silence of the C-HR.


The carbon dash was 600. Had to be done with the seats & steering wheel

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Our old Brera & V6 had stainless systems. They went a couple of years back. I bet they'd thought they'd gone deaf...lol
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Old 12-09-2017   #54
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

Massive drooling here.
I've put on an extra lottery tonight. Mind you I'd be keeping the Panda for trips to the dump and ferrying grand children.
You enjoy your new car.... lucky ***
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Old 14-09-2017   #55
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

@gar074 have you had 178 horses under your right foot yet?!
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Old 22-09-2017   #56
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

@gar074 the Abarth 595 you found been reduced in price. Pentagon doing deal on new Abarth 145. @Squadrone Rosso how are you finding yours. Picking new Panda up Sunday
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Old 22-09-2017   #57
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

Too busy in work this past week to pursue this
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Old 23-09-2017   #58
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

@Al D, been away all week with work. Great fun though.
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Old 03-10-2017   #59
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

So, today I finally managed to escape the daytime drudgery for long enough to test-drive a 595 Competizione - and in fact, there being two low mileage secondhand examples within a gnat's whisker of each other, I got to drive two of the beasties, which turned out to be a revealing experience.

Wow! I can see what Squadrone Rosso et al (who's Al? Ed) have been raving about. It's a little hooligan, and 100% guaranteed to put a smile on your face! Get the turbo spinning and it really flies, but it's still decently tractable around town, and not so insanely fast that you can only drive it at 7/10ths most of the time. And the noise from that Monza exhaust is exhilarating.

The first one I drove had the performance pack, and was the pick of the two. The firm seat-base of the Sabelts puts you in contact with the chassis (literally, on the bumpy bits, but rarely uncomfortably) and thanks to the LSD, at no point did the tyres scrabble for grip, despite provocation. It was an accompanied test-drive, but the salesman was evidently an enthusiast, so instead of the usual quick blast along the nearest dual carriageway, we spent 30 minutes or so exploring the B-roads of Suffolk, at speed. Top bloke!

Downsides? There is absolutely epic turbo lag, so rapid progress depends on getting the gearchanges right. Floor the little beast below 2.5k rpm and you'd be better off measuring progress with an egg timer than a stopwatch. I'm not sure I could live with that, tbh. (My old DS3 1.6 THP felt a great deal more eager, and responsive to the throttle, at lower revs, although I reckon the 595 would leave it for dust once it picks its skirts up). The steering is reasonably precise, but lacks feel - you feel more connected to the road via your backside than your fingers. The gearchange is OK, but nothing special. Otherwise, the little beast was great fun, and highly grin-inducing. The only downside, spec-wise, was the tiny 5" display, and no sat-nav.

After a quick trip across town, I then drove a Competizione without the performance pack. It seemed even flatter at low revs (strange, as they both have the same output), and the brakes were squirmy (perhaps because it had been sitting on a garage forecourt for several weeks). Disappointingly, the original owner had opted for the leather Abarth seats rather than the Sabelts, possibly because they are (a) more accommodating for those who are <ahem> a bit broader in the beam, and (b) height adjustable, for those who are a bit shorter in the leg/trunk. It too was great fun to blast around in, but it somehow seemed less raw, and less special, than the first one (those seats, perhaps?).

So, decisions! I'm not 100% sure the Competizione is the right car for me, but never again will I dismiss an Abarth as just a tarted-up 500 with a bit more power in an unsorted chassis. I don't think I'm ready to push the "buy" button just yet (although both of these were, objectively, very good deals), but maybe in the spring, after my plucky Cross has piloted me through the winter snowdrifts (there's a first time for everything...), I'll feel differently.
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Old 04-10-2017   #60
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Re: Panda Cross to Abarth 595 Comp 180?

The thing to remember about"performance cars" (I've only had 3- Citroen Zx Turbo D, Vauxhall Astra 1.9 CDTI 150 and Renaultsport Clio 182) is while there's an adrenalin rush on the test drive, you forget the roads you'd normally drive on. You think "that bump wasn't there before". But it was, the previous car cushioned it better. Also economy on the Clio virtually same as the Panda TA 4x4 I've just traded in. Because you could leave it in 5th and it would pull. Jeremy Clarkson got more mpg from an Abarth than a 500 TA. So there's your answer @gar074 if you can live with the ride. @Squadrone Rosso - do you feel shortchanged?!
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