Mid-last-week (on the 21st, for the record), I took delivery of a car I’ve been dreaming of since they were unveiled; in fact to this day, this is the only car I’ve seen the unveiling of with the immediate impression: I want one.
What is it? A new 2019 Fiat 124 Abarth, which apparently spent about a year sitting in Portland before being transferred over for me (this was excellent for price negotiations, too), being the only one with the color/options combo I was looking for:
Manual, Abarth, “Mare Blue” Metallic paint; Abarth microfiber seats (leather sucks!), Brembo brakes, heated/auto-dimming mirrors, Bose audio, adaptive/self-leveling LED headlights, plus all the goodies that comes standard with the Abarth such as fog lights, the all-important limited slip diff, 17" wheels, and “I didn’t realize that was a thing on new cars” 140 treadwear wires.
Up front in the “this is far too clean” engine bay is the 1.4l ‘Multiair’ turbo, including the cutest little turbo I think I’ve ever seen. Some people disparage this engine for not feeling like it’s turbocharged, and they’re right - boost comes on so early and smoothly that it just feels like a bigger engine, and to me that’s a very good thing.
Despite being dimensionally-similar to my RX7 (wider, and only ~100lb heavier) the power delivery is entirely different, mainly in that it has torque below 4000+ RPM. Screamy engines are fun, but for something being driven regularly, sometimes it’s nice to just have the torque to be able to just drive.
The only option I was looking for that this one didn’t have (and happily it didn’t have anything I wasn’t looking for) is the Record Monza exhaust, which is available from the dealership parts department for the same price as it adds to the MSRP, so that will happen when it comes off backorder.
Having put a few hundred miles on it so far, I am very much enjoying my new roadster life. The whole “new car” thing is definitely weird (prior to this my newest car was a wrecked 2003 Crown Vic purchased in 2013) but it’s nice to have a car which is both fun and “get in and go” without contemplating what overdue maintenance from one of the seventeen previous owners is going to creep up, or what is deficient and needs upgraded to be satisfactory.
When this post is scheduled to publish, I’ll be rewiring an old truck with some of the friends I’ve been keeping this a secret from, but I’ll be back online later or tomorrow. Any questions?