Fiat 124 Jerrari Coupe Thule Incline test up

07 September 2015

The trusty Co-pilot Miss Ophelia Knee bailed on me (slept in) , so its the work vehicle dash cam to the rescue. With both front windows down and the roof open the wind noise is a PITA, but the vision is more about the handling impact of the Kings low rider rear springs fitment. Up to now I did not mind the stock nose down look and the handling has been firm, sure footed and predictable. Lowering of these 124's can be a handling curse. Both stock height and lowered front Kings springs rate at 300lb per. Standard height Kings rears rate 145lb per, but the 3 cm lowered are a 'progressive' set up and rate 125-130lb per. So the springs are softer and some suggest a performance compromise as the spring transition from soft to hard mid corner may suddenly upset the rear end. The theory being the heavy end is not active under small loads, whereas the soft end is fully compressed. This test up jaunt is to judge if the low rider bodies in the boot look is more about form than function. With new stock rubber bushes all round, spax adjustables set at +18 , new springs, a tweaked Jerrari spec rear anti roll bar and performance rubber on big heavy 15 inch alloys, the handling characteristics are a way off from what FIAT engineers signed off on this model back in the day. Mentally prepared to re-fit the stock height rears if handling is the poorer I set off for the back of Thule Incline traveling over plenty of undulating uneven surfaces and sweeping bends well beyond the usual smooth Metro blacktop. So what's the prognosis ? To from up and down the Thule Incline handling was firm and flawless. Characteristic wallow is hard to detect in the cockpit. For a road application this softer rear set up is pleasantly acceptable. Recaro buckets and it would be perfecto. I don't believe I came close to the springs noticeably transitioning at any time try as I may. Grip is prodigious. Form and function ? You bet ! Box of fluffies then ? My word ! Home by 0900 for breakfast and Miss Knee is happy too ! Grouse !

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