2016 Fiat 124 Spider...a Turbo Miata "New" Sky? - Page 3 - Saturn Sky Forums: Saturn Sky Forum
Roadster/Small RWD Market/Other Vehicle General Discussion Discussion about owning, loving, lusting, or coveting roadsters and other small RWD'rs and "other" general vehicle discussion. Competitive vehicles, other "cool drives" and other discussion related to the ownership experience.

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post #31 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Dave, would be interested in his opinion of it as an owner.

Skersfan, I'd love a new Vette...love their look...but my pocketbook is more in the 124 range than the Vette range. LOL


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post #32 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
Dave, would be interested in his opinion of it as an owner.

Skersfan, I'd love a new Vette...love their look...but my pocketbook is more in the 124 range than the Vette range. LOL
Me too! It is his first roadster, and it is living in his garage for the time being while his "drive to the plant" Jeep Wrangler lives in the driveway.

We are going to have a weekend drive somewhere there are some twisty roads once it warms up enough to enjoy some top down motoring.



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post #33 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 03:05 PM
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The Miata chassis is very good and they have always built a weight conscious car, so a good starting platform had they not always insisted on limiting the output of their engines.

They already had the same engine in a turbo form in their Mazdaspeed 3 putting out 263 bhp/280 Tq but have declined to stick it in the Miata even though it would just be a matter of repackaging and moving a few things around to go from transverse to inline.

Same mentality is at work with the Fiat 124 - making use of small high output turbo engines instead of thirstier larger displacement NA engines.

If they would just allow larger (say 2.0-2.4) turbo engine in either Miata or Fiat, it would be a killer value and faster than any stock Kappa because of the lower weight and more or less equivalent output. And then you'd start modding!

I suppose one could always keep an eye out for a Fiat 124 with a toasted engine and sneak a modded LNF in there - it would be interesting indeed. To get the identical power to weight ratio of a GMPP tuned LNF in a Fiat, would require an engine output of 360 bhp in the Kappa.

Obviously when you mod the LNF toward 400 bhp or so, the pay off in performance in the lighter chassis will be eye opening. Probably have to use the (ho-hum) Aisin gearbox and would want to make sure the Fiat diff is up to it.

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post #34 of 66 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 04:39 PM
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I had a 500, that wasn't the Abarth, and the engine in that thing surprised me. Small, small engine, but it was pretty decent w/ the manual.

I go back and forth on the looks of the Fiat and the Miata. The fastback Miata hits me "right there", but the back of it looks like they sort of just stopped. I'm sure it would grow on me.

The second I pulled away from the dealership I honestly said to myself: WTF was I thinking? Miata?! My dad is very interested in the Sky, and while I don't think I'd sell it, I'd consider selling it to him. Would I replace it w/ a fastback Miata? I'm a poor teacher, so I couldn't afford to, but I'd consider it in a couple of years. I'd have to drive the Fiat and I'd have to drive the Miata to compare. My guess is that I'd stay w/ the Sky if I did that.

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post #35 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 11:53 AM
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What do you get when you mate a Maserati with a Fiat?
You get this
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Engine and Transmission highlights are

Rear-mounted 1750 Turbo 4-Cylinder Engine
237HP 258TQ
0-60 in 4.1 seconds 1/4mile in 12.8 seconds
6-Speed Automatic / Manual Twin Clutch Transmission
Four-mode Alfa D.N.A. driving modes
All-Weather, Natural, Dynamic or Race
Launch Control

Yes, that is my new toy
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post #36 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 12:10 PM
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Congratulations on the Alfa. A bit of a hair shirt purist car on the lines of the recent Lotus models, and a real driver's car.

Have another riddle for you.
What do you get if you had a Solstice coupe styled by Italians?

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post #37 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 12:14 PM
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I knew you of all people would appreciate the 4C. It really lives up to it's driving heritage, but is surprisingly well behaved for daily driving.
BTW - No Power Steering.

Wow,
You are not kidding and that is gorgeous!

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post #38 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 12:44 PM
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On the power steering, people don't believe me that the Kappa steering, although good, does rob some feel. Driving it day to day, I never regret it, and probably enjoy the ease of parking with it, without knowing it. But while I still had my Fiero, every time I'd get out of the Solstice and into the Fiero I'd think 'Wow - now THIS is great steering!"

Wonder if you note the difference when you get into the Alfa?

They didn't sell as many as they'd hoped, so the 4C will become hard to find pretty quick - hang onto that one and enjoy it!

1957 Jamaican MGA
1958 MGA Twincam
1962 MGA Coupe
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe
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1969 MGC roadster,
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post #39 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elff View Post
What do you get when you mate a Maserati with a Fiat?
You get this
Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
Is that a TARGA top with a soft top kit?
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post #40 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 01:32 PM
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Here's a pretty hilarious review of the Alfa, including the top.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Test

Quote:
1. The roof takes longer to put on and take off than it takes Mazda to build a Miata. When it was decided to make the 4C into a roadster, Alfa left off all ergonomic considerations. Taking off the top is not a push button affair. It also isn't just undoing a few latches and folding it back.

Here's what you need to do: Put the windows down. Undo two clips over the driver side door. Undo two clips over the passenger side door. Unscrew two bolts from over the rearview mirror. Get out of the car and open the trunk. Go back to the car and roll up the top. Carry the top to the trunk and put it in its Alfa Romeo bag. Stash that bag back in the trunk.

Putting it on is even worse, since you need to make sure everything lines up and clips into place. You also need to make sure the edge of the top goes under a small ridge on the top of the windshield or else you won't be protected from the elements.

It's a long involved process.

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1962 MGA Coupe
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
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post #41 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 02:19 PM
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Yes. It's extremely similar to the Solstice Coupe

It's actually faster than putting the top down in the Sky.
Up is slower but is so easy. These editors are such wimps.

I feel the difference in steering, every input is translated directly to the wheels and conversely, you feel all road variations in your hands.
It's the way it's supposed to be. Reminds me of the 240Z I used to have.

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post #42 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wspohn View Post
Here's a pretty hilarious review of the Alfa, including the top.

Alfa Romeo 4C Spider Test
And people (mostly non-owners) complained about the Kappa roof...

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post #43 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 02:29 PM
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I feel the difference in steering, every input is translated directly to the wheels and conversely, you feel all road variations in your hands.
It's the way it's supposed to be. Reminds me of the 240Z I used to have.
Going from the Sky to our Fiero to Wifey's Sprite, I find myself becoming more and more fond of the cars with less electronic nannies. Power steering, stability control, traction control, antilock brakes, no lift shift, etc. all result in better overall performance, but I'm less and less convinced that they augment the experience of driving a sports car. In modern cars it's more like directing; give the car a general direction and velocity and it will read between the lines to guess at where you want to go and take care of the detail of getting you there. In a daily driver I'm mostly good with that, but for a weekend fun car, not so much. I mostly drive the Sky with both ESC and traction control entirely off.

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post #44 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 04:08 PM
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1 - tops - the Alfa sounds pretty straight forward, especially once you get used to it. A hell of a lot quicker than my MGC, which has the top that removes completely and stows in the boot (trunk, for those south of the border). It requires either an assistant on the passenger side, or running back and forth from side to side to unsnap various bits and to bend joints in a certain way, fold the top, put it away, disassemble the top bows (they split in the middle) stow them in a special sack and put them away, and possibly put the tonneau cover on the car.....by which time the rain may have started again.

2 - I was unconvinced for awhile that the nanny handling controls were useful, as I had run cars without them all my life. While I now think they are very useful, and leave them on when street driving, they are slower than when you turn them off if you want to drive hard and like to slide the car under power through a corner - that gives the nanny controls conniptions. Turning off both ECS and TC - going into competitive mode - leaves you with the limited slip diff which is appropriate.

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1958 MGA Twincam
1962 MGA Coupe
1971 Jensen Interceptor
2007 BMW Z4M coupe
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1969 Lamborghini Islero S
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post #45 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 06:20 PM
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While Autocrossing, I preferred Competition mode to everything off. To me, that should be the default mode for the Kappa, and then turn on what is default for bad weather.

I like the 4 modes in the Alfa. I usually drive in Dynamic Manual mode. Cruising on the highway, I leave it in Normal Auto, because it is nice to be lazy and it gets great gas mileage that way. The 2 times I drove in the rain, the All weather was nice and kept the wheels from spinning at all. Not enough miles on the engine for me to play with Race a lot, but once I break 1000 miles, I will make sure I am fully acquainted with Launch Mode.
The break in period is actually more for the transmission and Diff than the engine.

You don not need to be in the car at all to put the top on or off. It has bars in it that go from front to back.
To remove i do the following.
1. Unlock it and open Open the driver door
2. Pull the handle for the bonnet
3. Pinch in the 2 releases and roll it to the center
4. I then unhook the 2 pins below the rear view mirror because you can now reach them
5. I walk around back,
6. Open the Bonnet, prepare the bag
7. Go to the passenger side and open the door
8. Pinch the 2 releases and roll it the center
9. Close the passenger door
10. Carry it and put it in the carrying bag
11. Close the bonnet
12. Hop in and Drive away

Compare that to putting the top down on a kappa

1. Release the trunk via the key
2. Flip the trunk open
3. Open the driver door
4. Lower the passenger window [And driver window if you want, but it's not needed since the door is open]
5. Sit down
6. Release the windshield catch
7. Push the Top over your head backwards
8. Get out of the car
9. Push the top down in the trunk
10. Close the Trunk
11. Get in Kappa
12. Hop in and Drive away

It's the price we pay for having cars that can do 0-60 in under 5.5 seconds.
I think we can all live with that.

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