Thanks Ed, This is exactly what I was thinking, and why I began to suspect something was off. Everything I've heard about these cars is how fantastic they handle, and while it's pretty sharp as is - I can't drive it nearly as easily as I can my Alfa. I've been chalking it up to me being very green to the platform, and hoping in time I'd get the feel for it towards it's limit (I've been driving nothing but Alfettas for the past 16 years, so I'd expect to have to make some adjustments!
). So far, I'm finding myself loving it for day trips and tooling about the city, but feeling somewhat uneasy when I take it out and really try to flog it on longer rallies. I will say I have adapted to the high revs, and I rather enjoy 4500+ RPM in 2nd and 3rd gears.
It just doesn't feel right ride-wise - I hope shocks will improve it - and if not - then I'll start to tackle the stuff Adan recommended (motor mounts/bushings etc.) to try and figure it out.
I also forgot to mention that the Sumitomo tires in the pictures, came with the car and are still on the car. I've been thinking they are not so good, as they really squeal in the twisties, but now I'm not so sure. They still have a lot of life in them, so that will be explored further down the road...
When you say you're 'green' with the platform, I think you've hit on a very important insight. I think your lack of experience with front wheel drive cars really is causing the discomfort you're feeling when you're pushing the Fulvia on rallies. Driving around town at slow speeds, there's no apparent difference in handling characteristics between FWD and RWD cars like the Alfetta. But as you approach their handling limits, understanding the differences in handling characteristics between FWD and RWD really becomes crucial.
After 30 years, on and off (3 Beta Coupes and 1 Honda CRX before the Fulvia), FWD is really intuitive for me, but when I first went from an X1/9 to a Beta Coupe, there was a real adjustment period in learning how to control weight transfer, suspension loading, and front tire loading. None of us understands these things intuitively; it takes practice and familiarity, but I'm also a big believer in understanding handling theory; here are a couple of diagrams of the differences in RWD and FWD cornering from De Vita's Il Rally
(yeah, OK; it's in Italian, but the pictures are in English).
Rear Wheel Drive
Front Wheel Drive
blue = lift-off and/or braking ; orange = acceleration ; purple = opposite lock (RWD only)
In each case Diagram 2 shows wheel lock under braking. With RWD the car tends to rotate--same as when you simply lift off the throttle (Diagram 1), while with FWD the car tends to understeer straight. For FWD, what this means is that if you try to carry braking through the corner, you'll get understeer--to get the car to rotate through the corner you need to unload the front tires by releasing the brakes.
Diagram 3 shows another dramatic difference. Heavy acceleration = oversteer for RWD, but = understeer for FWD. This means that you need to use opposite lock under acceleration for RWD, while throttle--not steering--gets the same effect with FWD; turn in early and get on the gas to widen the radius.
Obviously, you aren't going to be executing many pendulum turns, even on events like the Melee, but it's a useful comparison of handling at the limit.