Re: help needed, thinking of buying 156
the italian car club i hang out with has the largest collection of coupes in the country. one of my best friends also drives a "lightly modded" (yah rite!) coupe, so i think i can give a pretty decent comparison between the coupe and the 156.
the gist of it is that the 156 is more civilised and the coupe is more raw. the coupe - especially the late model 20V turbos - accelerates better, brakes harder and is exponentially more tunable. handling is good on both cars with the 156 having a bit of an edge since its a newer platform.
the 156 is more civilised. it's a better day-to-day driver, more practical, rides more comfortably, but still gives some of that italian spirit found in the coupe.
moving from a coupe to a 156 will not be an easy transition. the 156 has a peaky engine and the first thing u will miss is the mid-range kick of the turbo. comparing the 156 2.0TS and the V6 is also not easy. both are good cars. the 2.0 has better balance and feels livelier, more spirited, more frantic. the engine loves to rev and it feels like a more eager car. the V6 somehow feels lazier and you do feel the additional front-end weight of the V6 thru the steering wheel. however, the V6 has better top-end (rivalling even that of the coupe for the V6 6-speed) and is a better long-distance car as it holds lower revs at speed. the V6 also sounds a lot better than the TS (which sounds damn good, imho) and even the coupe.
as for manual versus selespeed, the manual is less fun than the selespeed (how can u not love that throttle blip on downshift?!) but lots more reliable. avoid the automatic gearbox for the V6 as it really limits ur tuning options.
if i were you i'd get a V6 with the 6-speed 'box then tune the heck out of it. u'd get it to near coupe performance easily. u'd still miss that mid-range grunt but u'll love the song she sings and u'll be amazed at the things u can do mid-corner in an NA car (versus a turbo car).
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