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Maserati Coupe

2004 Maserati Spyder CC
Maserati Coupé / Spyder
Manufacturer Maserati
Parent company Fiat Group
Class Grand tourer
Layout FR layout
Production 2002–2007
Assembly Modena, Italy
Predecessor Maserati 3200 GT
Successor Maserati GranTurismo
Aka Maserati 4200 GT
Related Maserati Quattroporte V
Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
Body style 2-door coupé
2-door roadster
Engine 4.2 L 390 hp V8
Transmission 6-speed manual
"Cambiocorsa" or "CC" electrohydraulic manual transmission
Designer Giorgetto Giugiaro
2002 Maserati Coupe GT
2002 Maserati Spyder GT


The Maserati Coupé and Spyder are grand tourers produced by Italian automaker Maserati from 2002 to 2007. They have now been replaced by the GranTurismo. The two nameplates refer to the four-seater coupé and two-seater roadster versions, respectively. Both models were based on the 3200 GT, which was sold in Europe, but not in the United States. The Coupé and Spyder are both commonly referred to as the 4200 GT, which is an evolution of the prior model name and a reference to the increase in engine displacement from 3.2 L (3217 cc) to 4.2 L (4244 cc).

The Spyder was first unveiled to the public at the 2001 Frankfurt Auto Show with the Coupé's debut following shortly thereafter at the 2002 Detroit Auto Show. Sales in the United States began in March 2002 for the Spyder and in May for the Coupé. The release of the Spyder heralded Maserati's return to the North American market after an 11 year hiatus. Almost as soon as it was introduced, the Spyder was selected by Forbes as the Best GT for 2001.

The Coupé and Spyder were designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign, who also designed the Maserati Ghibli. The cars were built at the Viale Ciro Menotti plant in Modena, Italy.

Design

Maserati Coupé

The Maserati Coupé is a true four-seater capable of comfortably seating two adults in the back. It has a wheelbase of 104.7 in which is about three inches longer than a Jaguar XKR and twelve inches (305 mm) longer than a 996 Series Porsche 911. Overall vehicle length is 178.1 in, width is 71.7 in, and height is 51.4 in. Total curb weight is 3700 lb.

The Maserati Spyder is a ragtop convertible that is electronically operated by a pushbutton on the center console. The top automatically stows beneath a hard cover that sits flush with the body in front of the trunk. Both deployment and stowage of the top takes about 30 seconds. Arch-type roll bars are provided behind each seat. The Spyder's 96.1 in wheelbase is 8.6 in shorter than the Coupé's. Overall length is 169.4 in, width 71.7 in, and height 51.4 in. Curb weight is 3792 lb.

Equipment

The Maserati Coupé and Spyder utilize the same vehicle systems – engine, transmission, suspension, and interior driver and front passenger controls and safety equipment. Their performance specifications are almost identical, with some reviewers claiming that the Coupé has better performance due to its lesser weight and more rigid body structure, while others measured faster performance from the Spyder. Both models came standard with 18 inch alloy wheels that originally had a 15-spoke design, but after 2003 most buyers chose the optional 7-spoke sport wheels which became standard by 2005. Maserati offered sixteen exterior colors, ten shades of leather interior along with the ability to select among colors for various interior details such as the piping and stitching used. Five colors for the Spyder's convertible top were also offered.

Engine

Maserati V8 Engine

Both models utilize the shared platform based Ferrari/Maserati 4244 cc engine which develops 390 hp at 7000 rpm with a peak torque of 333 ft.lbf at 4500 rpm.

Significant changes from the prior 3200 GT engine were the larger displacement resulting from an increased cylinder bore diameter and the move to a naturally aspirated intake that replaced the twin-turbo approach Maserati had used for the previous 20 years, fundamentally because the powertrain is now Ferrari based. The engine operates at a compression ratio of 11.1:1 with the cylinders configured in a 90° V8. The cylinder bore diameter is 92 mm and piston stroke length is 80 mm. The engine shares many of the design features of modern racing engines, including dry sump lubrication, a pump assembly located outside the crankcase, and four valves per cylinder. The 32-valve DOHC utilizes chain-driven, twin-overhead camshafts that provide valve actuation in less than 0.15 seconds, with the intake cams being controlled by variable valve timing. The crankcase and cylinder heads are made from an aluminum and silicon alloy, giving the engine a relatively light weight of 405 lb.

Transmission

The manual transmission is a six-speed that was available either as a GT (manual stick shift) or CC (Cambiocorsa) using paddle shifters. The GT version utilizes a foot operated clutch, whereas the Cambiocorsa (Italian, meaning "race change") is a electrohydraulic manual transmission that uses a Formula One-type gearbox with hydraulic operation and electronic management operated by F1-style paddles behind the steering wheel. The system allows the driver to choose between four different operating modes: Normal, Sport, Auto and Low Grip. Each of these programs is selected by means of console-mounted buttons, corresponding to different types of operating mode. By switching between the Normal and Sport modes, the driver can select between different electronic stability control settings and, if installed, different active suspension settings. The Normal mode provides a more comfortable ride, whereas the Sport mode stiffens up the suspension and provides fast gear shifts of around a quarter of a second. Automatic mode electronically handles shifting of the transmission, but allows the driver to rapidly revert to manual using the F1-style paddles. The Low Grip, or Ice mode, allows for smooth starting and gear changes on snow and ice.

The transmission gearbox is located at the rear of the vehicle and is integrated in with the differential. This gives both the Coupé and Spyder a 48/52% weight distribution between the front and rear axles.

Suspension

The Maserati Coupé and Spyder both have a light alloy double wishbone suspension. The rear suspension is fitted with a toe-in regulator bar which enhances the precision of the drive train and provides balanced cornering. The front suspension layout incorporates “anti-dive” features to prevent nose-diving when braking. The suspension system is completed by front and rear anti-roll bars.

Perhaps the most highly-regarded option is a computer-controlled suspension damping system called "Skyhook". This adaptive damping system uses coil-over shock absorbers and a set of six accelerometers that continually monitor the movement of the wheels and car body and transmits this information to a control unit. The vehicle's computer analyzes this data and coordinates it with the Cambiocorsa transmission and other Maserati safety systems. Skyhook then calculates, and recalculates, the data at least 40 times per second and instantaneously adjusts each shock absorber accordingly. When placed in the Sport mode, the suspension firms up for better cornering.

Safety

Both vehicles are equipped with front and side driver and passenger airbags as well as seat belt pre-tensioners. Driving stability is provided by Maserati Stability Program (MSP) which became standard on the 2004 models and controls the engine and brakes to help the driver control the vehicle in extreme driving situations. The MSP system integrates four different vehicle systems - the anti-slip regulation traction control (ASR), the motor spin regulation (MSR), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), and anti-lock braking system (ABS). The wheels employ a high-performance Brembo braking system with light alloy four-piston calipers and cross-drilled large ventilating discs.

Interior

The Coupé and Spyder came standard with an information center that combines audio and climate controls. An optional GPS navigation system and hands-free GSM phone were also available as options integrated into the info center. Additional optional equipment includes xenon headlights, upgraded audio system and CD changer, electrochromic rear view mirror, rear parking sensors, seat heaters, and cruise control. Various interior trim packages were offered, including a leather headliner featuring a grosgrain pattern, and either a carbon fiber kit or Briar wood kit sporting wood portions of the steering wheel, door trim, and shifter. Purchasers could even order custom Maserati luggage, made to match their car's interiors.

GranSport

2006 GranSport Spyder
The Maserati GranSport is a modified version of the Coupé and Spyder that was first unveiled at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show. It is equipped with aerodynamic body cladding, a chrome mesh grille, carbon fiber interior trim, and special 19 in wheels. It uses the Skyhook active suspension, with a 0.4 inch (10 mm) lower ride height, and the Cambiocorsa transmission is recalibrated for quicker shifts. The exhaust is also specially tuned to "growl" on start-up and full throttle.

It is powered by the same 4244 cc, 90° V8 petrol engine used on the Coupé and Spyder. However, the engine develops 395 hp at 7000 rpm due primarily to a different exhaust system and improvements on the intake manifolds and valve seats. A six-speed paddle shift transmission comes as standard. The car is 178.1 in long, 71.7 in wide, 51.0 in high and weighs 3704 lb.

Trofeo

The Maserati Trofeo is a racing version of the Coupé that was introduced in 2003. It utilizes the stock engine that provides 413 bhp due to a revised engine mapping and a modified free-flowing exhaust that uses a baffle-free muffler. Vehicle weight was reduced by 550 lb as a result of many stock components being stripped out: soundproofing, air conditioning, and the leather interior were left out, with the regular seats being replaced by racing seats. Carbon-fiber doors and hood replace the street car's steel components, and plexiglass replaces the side window glass. The result is a zero to 60 mi/h time of 4.0 seconds. A Trofeo racing series was organized for enthusiasts, with a per-race rental charge of about $20,000

A Trofeo Light (or simply the Maserati Light) was also developed for use in various national and international racing series, including the Italian GT Championship, Rolex Sports Car Series, and FIA GT3 European Championship.

Special editions

2005 Coupe CC with Vintage package

The Maserati Coupé and Spyder special editions are primarily exterior trim packages that were only offered for certain model years or on a limited number of vehicles. They include:

  • 2005 Spyder 90th Anniversary
  • 2006 Gransport LE
  • 2006 Gransport MC Victory


Also, in 2004, a Vintage trim package was introduced. It includes chrome air-exhaust vents in the front fenders, a new polished wheel design, silver-finished brake calipers, and chrome door handles.

A 2004 Coupé 90th Anniversary edition was announced, but apparently never produced.

The MC Victory edition features carbon fiber body panels and interior trim, and was unveiled at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show to celebrate the racing success of the Maserati MC12.


Gallery

2002 Maserati Combiocorsa Spider


External links



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Maserati S.p.A., a subsidiary of the Fiat S.p.A. since 1993, road car timeline, 1950s–present
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