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MmmmcLaren
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good read on this article!

Excellent share above by Drifter! Of particular interest, the Fiat 500 Abarth & 12C design/development by Frank Stephenson.

A friend (and member here, as well as McLaren enthusiast & 12C depositor) just recently bought a new Fiat 500 Abarth. Quite a lil' handler it be. It's a hot-seller here, apparently. I can't wait to see the P13, very curious w/ regards to it!
 

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Osiris, reading your post makes me wonder if we're friends in real life, since we're both in TX, and I have a 500 Abarth and a 12C. But you said 12C depositor and I've had my 12C a while, so does this mean there are (or are soon to be) two people (in TX?) who have 500 Abarths and 12Cs? I thought that was an odd combination, but apparently not!
 

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Another 12C and Abarth owner here.

Had mine for three years and love it, easy to tune as well, with great effect.
 

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Nice! I never would have guessed those two cars are a common combination. I've had my Abarth about a year, but just took it to the track for the first time last week. It's obviously no 12C but it's remarkably capable, and sometimes it's just as fun to drive a slow(ish) car fast as it is to drive a fast car slow(ish), right?
 

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MmmmcLaren
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Osiris, reading your post makes me wonder if we're friends in real life, since we're both in TX, and I have a 500 Abarth and a 12C. But you said 12C depositor and I've had my 12C a while, so does this mean there are (or are soon to be) two people (in TX?) who have 500 Abarths and 12Cs? I thought that was an odd combination, but apparently not!
Too small of a world! I'm sure we're acquainted/connected some way or another, indeed. My friend (he's still a member here) was an early 12C depositor, and still has an interest in one, but got busy w/ some real-estate & professional endeavors (while still getting some other wheeled-toys). He loves the 500 Abarth so far, said it's very synonymous w/ an Integra Type-R in terms of feel/handling.

Another 12C and Abarth owner here.

Had mine for three years and love it, easy to tune as well, with great effect.
Seems to be a very ying w/ the yang combo, nice! :cool:

Nice! I never would have guessed those two cars are a common combination. I've had my Abarth about a year, but just took it to the track for the first time last week. It's obviously no 12C but it's remarkably capable, and sometimes it's just as fun to drive a slow(ish) car fast as it is to drive a fast car slow(ish), right?
Very cool! Where'bouts are you? There's nearby Harris Hill Road where I've been looking into joining, have some low-key fun in my MR2-Spider & NSX and/or grab an Elise, Abarth, etc (12C sooner-or-later, as well! :D). There's a certain fun-factor w/ lightweight/slottable cars that you just can't get in heavier, more powerful platforms.
 

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Osiris, Harris Hill is a tight little track that would be perfect for small cars, but probably not a huge amount of fun in a Mac. I ran my FGT there and its a second gear kind of circuit. The Texas Cobra Club rented it last week for our Rally, but I didn't have the nuts to run my 427 on it - I can't believe that men raced those thing at 10/10th for hours, they are evil monsters at speed!
 

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Now that we have thoroughly hijacked this topic... I generally agree with mongrel's points about Harris Hill. I was a member there for a couple years, but gave it up a year or two ago because the scheduling never seemed to work out - track was rented out almost every weekend I wanted to go run. Great people though, and I understand they have made big improvements in the track surface since I left which would help considerably. Would be a great track for an Elise or Abarth in any case. PM sent regarding other stuff.
 

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MmmmcLaren
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
So, now having it's own thread by jumping the shark w/ regards to the topic (P1), any mods to the Abarths? (ie. bolt'ons, reflash/retune, up the boost, etc)

I have an MR2-Spider for some occasional fun-in-the-sun & uninvolved spirited fun on the lake-side backroads. It's a sublime handler, but the SMG is painfully latent (I had assumed it'd be more F1-like than Tiptronic-like). I'll either grab a 6spd or look into an Elise, sooner or later. Though, the Cayman looks damn fetching for such.
Osiris, Harris Hill is a tight little track that would be perfect for small cars, but probably not a huge amount of fun in a Mac. I ran my FGT there and its a second gear kind of circuit. The Texas Cobra Club rented it last week for our Rally, but I didn't have the nuts to run my 427 on it - I can't believe that men raced those thing at 10/10th for hours, they are evil monsters at speed!
Great insight, as always! I've been there quite a few times, and I've concluded as much (good for honing skills & killing hours w/ something small/fun/safe). I've gotten cabin-fever couped up inside at the workplace, and I'm not that much of a golfer or cyclist (both being the default outdoor activities of CenTex). I was thinking of just joining to pass the time, have an excuse to wrench a little, perhaps hone my skills for 12C and/or P13 ownership (which will ideally involve tracking).

They had a Runnin' of the Bulls Rally the other week, I noted. Valentino Balboni was there!

Now that we have thoroughly hijacked this topic... I generally agree with mongrel's points about Harris Hill. I was a member there for a couple years, but gave it up a year or two ago because the scheduling never seemed to work out - track was rented out almost every weekend I wanted to go run. Great people though, and I understand they have made big improvements in the track surface since I left which would help considerably. Would be a great track for an Elise or Abarth in any case. PM sent regarding other stuff.
I have a friend who is a member there, he also instructs. He's got a few MX-5 Miatas & NSX, very actively involved there'bouts.

I know the track-surface was a major issue, good to know it's been addressed & prioritized. It's been a year or so since I've been there.

Definitely it would be fun/leisure time, I'm more Gentleman Racer than Club-Sport. A fun high-revving 4'banger in a lightweight'ish package would be more than adequate for my "outlet" activity. And especially something that I don't have to trailer to & fro'.

Fortunately, I'm about 45mins or so away (sans traffic) from the facility. I can play hooky, and drop'in casually on weekdays (assuming it's "open" for members" and/or applicable weekends w/o too much advance planning.

Though, it might be worthwhile looking into how many days/weekends in a given month are available for "members"... :confused:
 

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How interesting!! I too have a 12C and a 500 abarth which acts as my station car. The Abarth is simply brilliant - it is so simple, so chuckable and now its been remapped so damn fast in the real world. My kids love it, even my wife (who dislikes "fast cars") loves it. 200bhp and fwd never felt so good!

Amusing story - the other night I was driving home from the station and came off a roundabout and started to pass a current shape Jaguar XK-R. The driver saw this white 500 in his mirrors trying to pass him and thought he would teach me a lesson so he accelerated hard (floored it I reckon) in the inside lane to effectively undertake me and I responded by dropping it down a cog and flooring it. He just could not create the gap he expected to in order to be able to undertake me as the Abarth kept level with him effectively. The look on his face as I eventually sailed past him as he eventually got blocked by a slower car in his lane was priceless.....
Childish I know but it is great to have a pocket rocket that looks like a 85bhp shopping car from a distance!

I recommend an Abarth to you all.
 

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How interesting!! I too have a 12C and a 500 abarth which acts as my station car. The Abarth is simply brilliant - it is so simple, so chuckable and now its been remapped so damn fast in the real world. My kids love it, even my wife (who dislikes "fast cars") loves it. 200bhp and fwd never felt so good!

Amusing story - the other night I was driving home from the station and came off a roundabout and started to pass a current shape Jaguar XK-R. The driver saw this white 500 in his mirrors trying to pass him and thought he would teach me a lesson so he accelerated hard (floored it I reckon) in the inside lane to effectively undertake me and I responded by dropping it down a cog and flooring it. He just could not create the gap he expected to in order to be able to undertake me as the Abarth kept level with him effectively. The look on his face as I eventually sailed past him as he eventually got blocked by a slower car in his lane was priceless.....
Childish I know but it is great to have a pocket rocket that looks like a 85bhp shopping car from a distance!

I recommend an Abarth to you all.
He probably thought you were Katy Price (yours is pink?) and he was trying to get away!
Abarth, Jag killer.
 

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How interesting!! I too have a 12C and a 500 abarth which acts as my station car. The Abarth is simply brilliant - it is so simple, so chuckable and now its been remapped so damn fast in the real world. My kids love it, even my wife (who dislikes "fast cars") loves it. 200bhp and fwd never felt so good!

Amusing story - the other night I was driving home from the station and came off a roundabout and started to pass a current shape Jaguar XK-R. The driver saw this white 500 in his mirrors trying to pass him and thought he would teach me a lesson so he accelerated hard (floored it I reckon) in the inside lane to effectively undertake me and I responded by dropping it down a cog and flooring it. He just could not create the gap he expected to in order to be able to undertake me as the Abarth kept level with him effectively. The look on his face as I eventually sailed past him as he eventually got blocked by a slower car in his lane was priceless.....
Childish I know but it is great to have a pocket rocket that looks like a 85bhp shopping car from a distance!

I recommend an Abarth to you all.
Yeah but MCadam that isn't fair your car is far to light and to small and to Italian. Well that might put a smile on the faces of the guys that own Ferrari's, oh right its a Fiat. LOL?.
 

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Harris Hill does have a pretty good ratio of weekdays available to members. It's the weekends that were the problem for me. And even then, some of it seemed unlucky timing. No fault of theirs, as track rentals eating up some member days are the nature of the beast at these country club tracks. If I found myself spending more time in the Austin area I would certainly reactivate membership.

Cool story about the Abarth vs. Jag. I passed a spec miata at the track in my Abarth last week, but the ultimate goal is to pass a Z06 Corvette or similar with the Abarth. I don't care if it's his outlap, inlap, novice driver, whatever - the goal is just to share a laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. I had a fun moment like that at Harris Hill where I was in a Hyundai Elantra automatic (for reasons I can't fully explain) and passed a brand new Shelby GT500. He was new and just learning the track, but still a priceless moment that we laughed about later. I feel like the Abarth is capable of many such moments, especially with any of the cheap and easy mods (I haven't done any yet).

Back to Frank's article, my wife has wanted another of his cars (the Maserati MC12) for many years now. Too bad there are only a handful in the states and they cost a zillion dollars. :) He sure does have a long and accomplished resume of good designs.
 
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