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Mazda MX5 ND x Fiat 124 Spider x Abarth 124


GranTurismoEra
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Been a fan of these cars for a while. While the MX5 is the quickest its a tight squeeze for people 6 feet and over thats where the 124 benefits. Both cars can be tuned to 205 hp. The highest ive seen was an Abarth tuned to 230hp. Been watching some POV videos and didnt realise the MX5 goes like a rocket at 900kg.

 

Obviously there's no touching the MX5 in performance. The Fiat seems to have more space and comes with the 1.4 Turbo where the MX-5 is 2.0 NA. I know the Fiat has 3 trims and Mazda 5 with the anniversary edition and RF. The MX5 is the benchmark so if I got the Fiat id need to get around 180-200. Nothing wrong with stock for the first year or so.

 

I like the classic look of the 124. Definitely have to test drive both at some point. Both good daily cars if I had to get rid of the CRZ. Wouldn't say no to either if my numbers came through. They both sound good for 4 pot. Any owners on here? Would like to know more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by GranTurismoEra
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After owning 6 Zed's I thought that I would try something different and bought an Abarth 124 late last year.

I actually thought that I would be disappointed and really miss the power of the Zed's but the Abarth has continued to surprise me.

It weighs bugger all and has masses of mid range torque (being turbocharged). The 30-70 times are pretty good, far better than say a GT86. The 0-60 does not look impressive on paper (how many of us do that anyway) but is hampered by the fact you have to grab another gear. An additional 30bhp and even more torque easily and cheaply attainable by a tune or plug in tuning box. The Abarth is well specced with LSD, Bilsein shocks, Brembo brakes and a Record Monza valved exhaust (fitted as standard and sounds superb). Tax is cheap, insurance is slightly lower than Zed, and far less trips to the petrol pumps. Gets loads of positive attention, can't park up (even at a petrol station) without people coming to ask about it - I did get white with the heritage pack (black bonnet and boot) so it does stand out a bit.

Ideally I would like a Zed as well but for now enjoying something different.

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I think a different experience altogether is needed sometimes. Have you thought about tuning it for a bit more performance? On average I found the MX5 pricier but the Fiat is a head turner. Really like the long bonnet and classic shape. Maybe it could do with a slightly wider body but overall I think its a good package.

 

ZEDs will always be there as people give them up frequently possibly due to high running cost and practicality

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Mentioned elsewhere before, I’m actively looking for one of these.  My Mrs says the different coloured bonnet etc puts her of and looks a bit ‘aftermarkety’.  So probably a solid red or white for me if I commit.

 

Im assuming the fit and finish, being built in Japan (?) is pretty good?

 

I too, prefer the Fiat look against the newer MX-5, although @5’ 11”, I do comfortably fit the MX-5.  Just need to get off my ar5e and find one I suppose.....

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1 hour ago, The G Man said:

Mentioned elsewhere before, I’m actively looking for one of these.  My Mrs says the different coloured bonnet etc puts her of and looks a bit ‘aftermarkety’.  So probably a solid red or white for me if I commit.

 

Im assuming the fit and finish, being built in Japan (?) is pretty good?

 

I too, prefer the Fiat look against the newer MX-5, although @5’ 11”, I do comfortably fit the MX-5.  Just need to get off my ar5e and find one I suppose.....

 

The heritage pack does make the Abarth 124 look more aggressive and yes, aftermarket. I felt I needed that after the Zed's but as time goes by I could take it or leave it. 

Built in Hiroshima alongside the MX5 so yes, build quality is good.

Not tuned mine yet - will wait for spring / summer when it is drier and skinny tyres are not so overcome by the boost.

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On 05/02/2021 at 11:09, The G Man said:

Mentioned elsewhere before, I’m actively looking for one of these.  My Mrs says the different coloured bonnet etc puts her of and looks a bit ‘aftermarkety’.  So probably a solid red or white for me if I commit.

 

Im assuming the fit and finish, being built in Japan (?) is pretty good?

 

I too, prefer the Fiat look against the newer MX-5, although @5’ 11”, I do comfortably fit the MX-5.  Just need to get off my ar5e and find one I suppose.....

 

Colour coded bonnet is more likely the Abarth version with 32 extra horses. I suppose the colour code is to differentiate them from the standard car. I saw a review on Autotrader claiming the Renault Zoe was quicker off the mark :lol: but I digress

 

I think you get an LSD, Sportier suspension, Sports Exhaust, bodykit and some more extras. The MX5 is still faster apparently lol. The standard 124 if you want all the extras then its the Lusso Plus.

 

The Fiat offers something different being Turbo and a bit more road presence. The MX5 sounds and goes better.

 

You can get the Abarth and just wrap the bits to match the colour. 

Edited by GranTurismoEra
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On 05/02/2021 at 12:36, Ponsonby said:

 

The heritage pack does make the Abarth 124 look more aggressive and yes, aftermarket. I felt I needed that after the Zed's but as time goes by I could take it or leave it. 

Built in Hiroshima alongside the MX5 so yes, build quality is good.

Not tuned mine yet - will wait for spring / summer when it is drier and skinny tyres are not so overcome by the boost.

 

It makes sense coming from 276-344hp. Some people have added wider lightweight wheels and an exhaust and tuned to 205-230. I think 200 is the safe zone. Anymore than that probably needs engine work.

 

205-230 hp is around 5-5.5 seconds so in line with the Z without the Torque. The cars lighter by 500kg plus so it probably feels much nimbler

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I’d love an ND, for me it’s absolutely perfect especially in the facelift with the extra grunt of, what, 185bhp? Bang on where it needs it to be tbh, given the weight. 
 

I don’t dislike the looks of the Fiat, but a revvy 2.0 NA trumps a wheezy 1.4 turbo lump any day for me. These cars are all about purity of control over power, and the Mazda wins hand down. 

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9 hours ago, GranTurismoEra said:

 

Colour coded bonnet is more likely the Abarth version with 32 extra horses. I suppose the colour code is to differentiate them from the standard car. I saw a review on Autotrader claiming the Renault Zoe was quicker off the mark :lol: but I digress

 

I think you get an LSD, Sportier suspension, Sports Exhaust, bodykit and some more extras. The MX5 is still faster apparently lol. The standard 124 if you want all the extras then its the Lusso Plus.

 

The Fiat offers something different being Turbo and a bit more road presence. The MX5 sounds and goes better.

 

You can get the Abarth and just wrap the bits to match the colour. 

The Abarth comes in solid colours as well, as in all one colour 

Edited by The G Man
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  • 3 weeks later...

Speaking of tunes been doing some overnight reading, and some have recommended a gt1725s or gt1446 turbo drop in with diverter and Air intake. Couple hundred pounds in parts to take it to 230hp. Full build inc map, turbo, diverter valve is around 2k apparently. Not sure if you need a BOV. 

 

250hp is possible but at risk. I read a guy in Canada did cams taking it from a TJet  

 

His 300hp build was a built engine costing $10,000.

 

230hp is more than enough in 1060kg Abarth. 5.5- 6 seconds and 13 point something more than adequate. Not to mention Torque is around 260-270ft lbs apparently. In real world terms thats nippy and just as quick as an NA tuned Mx5 possibly. 

 

I think that would be perfect spot. Definitely interested in one of these. Leaning towards the Abarth over the Lusso. Time will tell.

Edited by GranTurismoEra
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Lightweight sports cars :thumbs: I have to say I love the look of the Mazda MX5 RF, it looks so good roof up or down. Only advice I would give is not to get hung up on the numbers around performance, in the real world there are margins in it (like the Elise 111R only slowly pulling away above) but obviously on track its a whole different ball game. But the best bits are those moments where being in a low slung open top lightweight revving car just trumps everything else. 

 

Of the above I would go with the NA power of the MX5. And that Ragazzon exhaust sounds utterly dire, sounds like a tractor! I much preferred the sound of the Elise ahead of it on the road. 

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The turbo doesn't kick in till 3500rpm apparently its not going to be mindblowing when the lights change...being in London I think its ok speed wise...The standard Abarth monza exhaust is already loud and raspy enough. Not sure about the aftermarket ragazzon exhaust seems overkill tbh.

 

I was sitting in a quiet country lane on Tuesday 'working from home' and saw an ND MX5 with a loud exhaust go by. Possibly had the BBR tune. Cant beat NA for sound though. 

 

Newer 184 NDs are still 18k plus. That's why 124 would be better. Although I might need the adjusted seat rails from US as im 2 inches too tall over 6 foot. They lower the seat by 1-2 inches. I saw a review from a 5'11 lady and she still had headroom with roof up as standard. 

Edited by GranTurismoEra
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4 hours ago, GranTurismoEra said:

The turbo doesn't kick in till 3500rpm apparently its not going to be mindblowing when the lights change...being in London I think its ok speed wise...The standard Abarth monza exhaust is already loud and raspy enough. Not sure about the aftermarket ragazzon exhaust seems overkill tbh.

 

I was sitting in a quiet country lane on Tuesday 'working from home' and saw an ND MX5 with a loud exhaust go by. Possibly had the BBR tune. Cant beat NA for sound though. 

 

Newer 184 NDs are still 18k plus. That's why 124 would be better. Although I might need the adjusted seat rails from US as im 2 inches too tall over 6 foot. They lower the seat by 1-2 inches. I saw a review from a 5'11 lady and she still had headroom with roof up as standard. 

Turbo kicks in at 2500rpm in sports mode if you have the Abarth 124.

The Abarth was sold with the Monza as standard in the UK which gives a reasonably loud (but not droney) exhaust sound, not raspy its a deeper tone with burbles (not pops and bangs) on the overrun. I don't know anyone who has changed the Monza for a Ragazzon - think that is more in the US where the Monza wasn't standard. I have watched a few video's of the Ragazzon and really don't like it.

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21 hours ago, Ponsonby said:

Turbo kicks in at 2500rpm in sports mode if you have the Abarth 124.

The Abarth was sold with the Monza as standard in the UK which gives a reasonably loud (but not droney) exhaust sound, not raspy its a deeper tone with burbles (not pops and bangs) on the overrun. I don't know anyone who has changed the Monza for a Ragazzon - think that is more in the US where the Monza wasn't standard. I have watched a few video's of the Ragazzon and really don't like it.

I have a friend with a Abarth 124 from brand new - I couldn't believe how loud the stock exhaust is for a stock car!!

 

Must be very little muffling in the rear silencer, since the turbo will be doing a fair amount of muffling.

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On 26/02/2021 at 14:35, msitpro said:

I have a friend with a Abarth 124 from brand new - I couldn't believe how loud the stock exhaust is for a stock car!!

 

Must be very little muffling in the rear silencer, since the turbo will be doing a fair amount of muffling.

 

I bet the Monza is still louder than a muffler delete on the Fiat 124. Youtube content is somewhat limited for the Fiat 124 but Abarth has slightly more videos. 

 

Theres a guy that did a Tork tune, I think that exhaust sounds way too loud ruined by a burble map.

 

 

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