I thought I’d post my thoughts re first impressions etc…
soz to make you guys who are still waiting even more frustrated, but this car is Bl00dy awesome!!!!!!!
It all turned out rather well after delaying the pickup of the LE (my fault had to travel) I finally sorted the Trip up to Piccadilly motors to meet David for a planned pickup at 9.30AM
I’d hired a car on a one way deal thing (60 quid - not bad) booked a hotel in Harrogate and picked up girlfriend.
Left Woburn at 5 and got to Harrogate at 8 so not a bad run except the weather was horrific.
Having got all the paper work out of the way David showed us around the car and went through the various controls etc; this is the steering wheel, it causes the car to change direction etc. David did a great job in setting the car up, blue&me pairing to my phone etc.
On the drive back, the weather was sunny and warm (a total contrast to he drive up) so we decided to take the (very) scenic route home with the top down.
230 miles later we got home.
First impressions are really good, the car feels well built and not fragile like Alfas of old. The Spider loved the fast A roads and motorway cruising, there’s defo a fair bit of scuttle shake which can easily be felt and even seen but it doesn’t detract from the overall driving experience (well not yet anyway).
Its not a fast car but feels plenty quick enough, turning in well and inspiring you with confidence that it will get around the corner. Having had girlie in the car (and I'm a shi*te driver), I did'nt really cane it so have no concept of its handling limits though I suspect it will oversteer quite eagerly and will eat front tyres very quickly.
The brakes are good and even though the little 300mm discs on the front look small inside the 19" wheels they do a great job and stop the car well, the rear solid discs look OK but the callipers look messy.
The cabin is airy (espesh with the top down lol!) and feels really very premium.
With the top down at reasonable speeds, the cabin is not draughty at all and my girlfriends very long hair stayed under control even at 80mph the cabin stayed calm and was quiet enough to have a conversation.
On a practical note, here’s a distinct lack of storage and cup-holders in the car so your Starbucks coffee cup has to go in the open compartment between the seats, your wallet and other bits and pieces can also find homes but it’s a squeeze.
The seats are truly awesome, probably the best I’ve sat in. they are good to both to look at and hold you nice and firmly in position. They really support you well and the electric controls are precise with no play at all.
The rear view mirror could be a little bigger as could the wing mirrors, with the top up vis is pants and you need to be very aware of the space around you by looking as opposed to using mirrors.
The Blue and me system is very good with speech recognition being top notch, I’ve not had a misunderstood command yet, really very good indeed though a little overboard in terms of function; you can push a button then tell the media player to change tracks, or just push a button to change the same track… hmmm... overboard tech…but cool all the same
Not sure what the threads about 'hesitation' refer to. To me it seems more like a really tall first gear than a fuelling issue. It does take a little getting used to (having such a tall first gear) but hey you learn quickly or look like a roo on acid.
Fuel economy seems OK though, this car will not win any awards for ‘frugal fuel sipping’ averaged about 23 over the 230 miles but it is new and tight so may get better.
Interestingly I can see why Prodrive stuck mud-flaps on the front wheels; with the wider rubber there’s definitely a tendency for the tyres to spray the wings and sills with road cak. When I got home having driven through a few small lanes, there was long streaks of mud and spray along the wings and sills to about a third of the way along the doors, this will defo cause scratches longer term (I need to get me some flaps… ooer)
Overall a big grin
throughout the run home and lots of ‘ooooh that’s a nice car’
stares, plus girlie loves it too, so all good!!
I’m really pleased with my decision. It’s a great car and the Black/tan combo is really very nice though the cars filthy now…
For the money you can’t do better.
Thanks to David Whitton at Piccadilly for doing such a great job in getting me into this car, for making me and my partner feel special. and for his fine patiance in dealing with two slightly hungover southern muppets. I'd recomend David highly he's a top chap.
NB also saw the new fiat 500 at the garage, its a real peach and at 7ish grand a bargain too!!