Vrroooommmm!

It’s no Honda Wii Fit, but I recently purchased one of these:

http://www.topgear.com/uk/videos/take-abarth

And I would like to figure out how to mount this to my dash/window:

To record me off doing this:

I figure that most of you out there are smarter than me so I thought I’d see if any of you have any ideas.

Congrats on buying a vehicle you obviously have a passion for! I like the Abarth myself and its a fast little rocket.

That said, please do not go out and drive like those people in the third vid on a public road and either wreck and hurt yoursef or others. Its just stupid IMO. Enjoy the scenic drive, but to really exercise that Abarth get it to a event where its safe to run it hard. For example

Autocross: Cheap and everywhere. In most places, there is an event within driving distance every weekend. If you liked the tire squel in the vid, in autocross you will absolutely be putting you car at its limits (but safely). Very intense, but not as much seat time as…

HPDE: Less cheap and you probably want to ensure your brake pads and fluid are rated for some track work, but lots more seat time. Also depending on the track you could hit 120mph or more. Most club tracks also are pretty forgiving if you have an off, but a bad spin could result in you writing the car off.

I’ve done both and enjoy them alot. There is an Abarth that is in the autocross events near me. Very cool car.

Yeah, I don’t intend to drive like them, just on that road (it’s close by). I thought it would be fun to make a video if I can adapt the Vita to work with it. I’ve been looking into autocross trying to find a place nearby. My impression is that it is really about car control and not just trying to go as fast as you can, is that true? My nature is to enjoy precision more than just trying to go fast and squeal the tires (which just ruins the tires).

Also Abarth provides a free track day with coaching with purchase which I am trying to do, though it looks like all the slots in 2014 are full, hopefully I can get in in 2015.

And yeah I adore this little car, it brings a smile to my face even just on the morning commute. :) Sure its pretty fast, but really I love how responsive it feels, even just cruising on normal roads. Waaaaay different from any other car I have owned.

That my friend, is the nature of most racing. A precisely controlled lap, over just stomping pedals, will feel slow but get you the best time.

Of course. sometimes just stomping the pedals can be fun too!

Yep auto x is about car control and precision. The best drivers put the car within inches of the cones and balence the tires at the limit of grip

I’ve been looking to buy one of those Abarths this year because, as much as I love my '82 Volvo 240 Turbo, I just don’t have the time, space, or know-how to properly maintain a 30±year old car.

Just thought I’d say nice car. Are you married, kids? Two cars or one. I ask because my current 10-year plan for cars is to replace my wife’s in two years with a full size or crossover, then get something smaller and sportier for myself . Would like to hear about day to day practicality. I do need it to be big enough to hold a bicycle with the front wheel off.

So far I am pretty happy with day to day usage. Gas mileage is decent at 28/34mpg and it’s a perfectly fine commuter/errands vehicle. I think it owes a lot of that to being a hot hatch, though if you get the cabrio you pretty much loose all that hatchback functionality. Really, so far it seems perfectly fine a single/primary vehicle, it’s just a bit (OK, a lot!) more fun to drive. :)

That said I am single with no kids. There are back seats and I am certain that you could easily fit two grown adults back there, as long as they have no legs. By dropping the back seats you do get a decent amount of space to pile things in, but I kinda doubt it would be easy to fit a bike in, even with the front tire off. It might be possible to cram it in, but as I rather like my leather I don’t think I’m gonna test that theory out.

Aside from the leather seats, did you go with any other options?

Scott

Most people with small hatches like a MINI use a hitch mounted bikerack on the rear. I have gotten a mountain bike into the inside of my MINI, but it was very tight and likely to damage the interior.

I have 2 boys, now both 14. My wife has always had a sedan or something we could haul a little more stuff in, but I have had a MINI. We use the MINI to carry all 4 of us and take weekend trips (pack light). With kids, it really depends on how tall the adults are as to how good the back seat is. I beleive the Fiat’s back seat is similar to the MINIs.

Other than the standard AC/Cruise/Blu-Tooth/Heated Seats type stuff I did get the 17" wheels with the Pirelli tires.

Does your car slap you when you look at it then kiss you like in the commercials?

Nah, the Skynet option package was another 4K.

What other cars were on your short list? The Abarth looks kinda neat, though I worry about having only a five speed vice a six speed (though truth be told, I rarely use six except on the highway when I’m lazy). And while I have always had a soft spot for Fiats, it’s association with Crysler scares me. I hate Chrysler!

I was also considering a MINI or an MX-5. The MINI just didn’t make me smile and the MX-5 was too impractical. What I love about the Abarth is that it just makes me smile. It’s a fun little car, but it’s not really taking itself too seriously. :)

As for the transmission, I do think it would be better with a 6th gear for the interstate, but that wasn’t a deal breaker for me since I don’t really do a ton of interstate driving.

Aw man, you could have had my MX5 for a steal!

But yeah, the impracticality of a 2-seater eventually creeps up on you and you have to let them go… :(

And don’t get hung of on number of gears, final drive ratios in top gear are usually very similar. 6-speeds just give you more ratios to play with in between.

Yeah, the Abarth engine runs at about 2800 rpm or so on the highway at 65mph in 5th gear. That seems a bit high to me for highway driving and I wonder if a 6th gear would have allowed for their same gear curve but also have a top gear for highway use. Regardless, the car can use a huge portion of the rpm band so it’s not a big deal, I just wonder if it might be a bit more efficient with a 6th gear.

Ah, but RPM is not an indicator of efficiency (well in relation to fuel consumption)! Rest assured that 2800RPM mark is going to be pretty close to the most fuel efficient operating speed for engine loads generated at highway speeds. The engineers are clever that way.