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FEATURE

FACTfile - Maserati GranSport

(photo:Maserati)

NEW - Technical Specification for the Maserati GranSport Spyder

GranSport is the name for the new model from Maserati celebrating the sporting soul at the heart of the Trident's Grand Tourers (GTs) which was unveiled at the 2004 Geneva International Motor Show. The new car joins the Coupé and Spyder in the Maserati range and goes on sale this summer. The GranSport name has special symbolic significance for Maserati as it was first used in the 1950s for the elegant two-litre coupe designed by the Carozzeria Frua on the chassis of the famous A6 G model.

The new GranSport is designed as an alternative to the current Coupé and has been developed to express the powerful temperament at the heart of the car.

AN AERODYNAMIC THOROUGHBRED
The Maserati GranSport's beautiful shape has been developed in the wind tunnel and uses muscular aerodynamic forms to improve the airflow over the car, ensuring a balance of vertical loads between the front and rear axles. The result is that the Maserati GranSport has a drag factor of 0.33, one of the very best in its category. The enhanced dynamic characteristics along with improved front-wheel driveability make it very easy to handle. GranSport owners will be able to enjoy the performance of the vehicle with complete confidence.

The aerodynamic changes include the development of new bumpers. At the front a very pronounced lower spoiler with side bars integrates elegantly into the body itself, while the boot lid has been given a discrete but efficient spoiler lip. Altogether the new aerodynamic features, combined with a 10 mm reduction in ride height, result in a two-point improvement in the drag factor over the standard Coupé delivering real benefits for the driver. The Maserati GranSport offers a truly blistering drive thanks to its direct, precise steering and excellent stability at high speeds. The traditional Maserati elegance is there too in the classic chrome grille reminiscent of the Quattroporte. The grilles over the air vents on the rear bumper are chrome, too. The Maserati GranSport's sporty stance is completed with new 19" wheels inspired by those used on the cars in the Maserati Trofeo Championship, with the spokes forming a very attractive Trident.

400 BHP V8 ENGINE
The Maserati GranSport's normally aspirated 4244cc V8 engine has all the character of the most advanced racing engines with dry sump lubrication and twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank and four-valves-per-cylinder hydraulic tappets. The intake cams also feature variable phase timing. Maximum power delivery has been upped from the original 390 bhp to 400 bhp after special development to reduce internal friction, along with work on the intake manifolds and valve seats. The engine combines with a sports exhaust system that is instantly recognisable, thanks to the unique design of its twin chrome tailpipes, designed to give enthusiasts that unmistakeable deep, full-bodied rumble. Thanks to an electronically controlled pneumatic valve system, even more can be heard from the exhaust by pressing the "Sport" button on the central console.

CAMBIOCORSA TRANSMISSION
The Maserati GranSport uses the Cambiocorsa six-speed electro-hydraulic transmission in which the gears are changed using paddles mounted behind the steering wheel, further enhancing the car's sporting heritage. The Cambiocorsa system allows drivers to choose between various gear shifting modes (Normal, Sport, Automatic and Low Grip) using software developed specifically for the GranSport. In Sport mode the GranSport offers 35 per cent quicker gear changes than the Coupé and boasts automatic heel-and-toeing to make dropping down a gear even faster. Thanks to the new Cambiocorsa software, the Maserati GranSport can sprint over a kilometre from standstill in 23 seconds flat. The gear shift ratios are unique to the car too with the adoption of a sixth gear that is five per cent longer than the Coupé, which, in combination with its more powerful engine and improved aerodynamics, allows the Maserati GranSport to improve on the already blistering speeds of the Coupé, reaching a top speed of 180 mph where legally permitted.

The Cambiocorsa system has two modes, in common with the Spyder and Coupé range. Normal mode offers a dynamic GT driving experience, while with a touch of the Sport button on the central console the true power of the car comes to life. Sport mode delivers much faster gear changes, a deeper exhaust sound and less intervention by the MSP stability and traction control system. The Skyhook suspension system, which offers continuous damping control, is also affected by the driver's choice of Normal or Sport modes. For more comfort-oriented driving, there is even an Auto mode. However, the Sport function can still be activated in this mode.

DRIVER-ORIENTED TECHNOLOGY
The Maserati GranSport boasts all of the technological and safety features offered by the Maserati range of GTs, but with some very important refinements. The car has the same sophisticated set-up as the Coupé Cambiocorsa: a transaxle layout with the gearbox rear-mounted in unit with the differential, stability and traction control (MSP) integrating ABS, ASR, MSR and EBD functions, which the driver can deactivate if desired, and the Skyhook adaptive damping system which instantly adapts the damper calibrations to suit the driving and road conditions and allows the driver to choose between two different settings (Normal and Sport).

The suspension has been lowered by 10 mm and along with new 19" wheels and tyres (front 235/35 19", rear 265/30 19"), characterised by a smaller slip angle, has lowered the centre of gravity and hardened the set-up of Maserati GranSport, making it even more agile and responsive. The Brembo brakes with alloy titanium-coloured four-piston callipers and large ventilated cross-drilled discs (front 330 mm; rear 310 mm) further enhance the dynamic characteristics of the car.

INTERIOR: ELEGANCE AND FUNCTION
The GranSport's interior reflects its personality in terms of aesthetics and functionality, yet exudes the elegant good taste and luxurious comfort of a Maserati GT. The dashboard, body-hugging seats, tunnel, thick-rimmed steering wheel, and innovative choice of materials (leather, carbon fibre, alloy, high tech fabric) all combine to create a truly sporty ambience. The Maserati GranSport's dashboard boasts special trim and central console options. The upper part of the dash is trimmed in leather, while the central area, framed by car-coloured piping, is trimmed in a high-tech fabric originally developed for nautical use and available in Nero (Black), Grigio Nickel (Nickel Grey) or Blu Metal (Metal Blue). This is a double-layered material that combines form and function, being non-slip and extremely hard wearing, ideal for trimming the central area of sports seats and the lower rim of the steering wheel.

The front seats provide high levels of lateral support ensuring maximum driver contact with the car for perfect control. They were developed with the help of Maserati test drivers using strict ergonomic principles to combine sporty characteristics and excellent seat comfort for perfect, long distance driving. This is why the seats are also fully power adjustable and can be supplied with a heating option and memorised settings on the driver's side. The carbon fibre, leather-trimmed tunnel separates the two front seats. It contains the Cambiocorsa control selector and the secondary commands, set into an elegant chrome surround. The main controls including the blue Start button are grouped together on the central console near the driver. The climate control and CD player buttons are also set in a carbon feature on the central console.

Customers of the Maserati GranSport will appreciate the craftsmanship involved in hand-making the three-spoke steering wheel with a moulded rim (trimmed in perforated leather, carbon and technical fabric) to offer improved ergonomic grip. All of the car's functions are arranged on the instrument binnacle, which boasts sporty white graphics on a Maserati navy blue background.

OFFICINE ALFIERI MASERATI PERSONALISATION PROGRAMME
The Maserati GranSport is available in six colours from the current Maserati range, which can be combined, with various interior options. Owners can choose from the classic Giallo Granturismo (GT Yellow) and Rosso Mondiale (World Championship Red) or, alternatively between the metallic Nero Carbonio (Carbon Black), Blu Mediterraneo (Mediterranean Blue) and Grigio Touring (Touring Grey). The sixth colour choice recently added to the range is Bianco Fuji (Fuji White), an original pearl white with the unusual depth typical of three-coat pearlescent paints.

This is the starting point from which the Officine Alfieri Maserati programme can be used to include a vast array of other personalisation options including non-standard interior trim leather colours and fabric as well as technical or comfort-oriented features, such as: Xenon headlights, Mercury Grey and Ball-Polished rims for the wheels, carbon interior and exterior components, GPS and GSM telephone module controlled from the radio unit, and a six-disc CD Changer, to mention but a few.

(photo:Maserati)

 

Performance, emissions & economy
Top speed (mph): 180
0-62 mph (seconds): 4.9

Engine details
Description: 90 degree V8, crankcase and cylinder heads in hardened aluminium silicon alloy. Crankshaft in refined forged steel, balanced individually on five main bearings. Dry sump lubrication in unit with cooling pump.
Engine management: Bosch integrated ignition-injection system, electronic drive-by-wire acceleration control.
Cubic capacity (cc): 4244
Compression ratio: 11.10:1
Bore x stroke (mm): 92.00 x 79.80
Valve gear: Chain-driven twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank command four valves per cylinder with hydraulic tappets.
Max. power (bhp): 396 at 7000 rpm
Max. torque (lb.ft): 333 at 4500 rpm

Transmission
Mechanical six-speed Cambiocorsa transmission with electro-hydraulic operation and electronic management operated by paddles behind the steering wheel, triple cone synchronisers 1st and 2nd, and double cone on 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. Rear-wheel drive. LSD.
1st: 3.286:1
2nd: 2.158:1
3rd: 1.609:1
4th: 1.269:1
5th: 1.034:1
6th: 0.816:1
Reverse: 2.733:1
Final drive: 3.73:1

Chassis
Front: Double wishbones with arms and hubs in forged aluminium; continuously variable aluminium gas dampers with adaptive damping and acceleration sensors on each wheel (Skyhook system), co-axial coils and springs.

Rear: Double wishbones with arms and hubs in forged aluminium, additional radius arm to control toe-in; continuously variable aluminium gas dampers with adaptive damping and acceleration sensors on each wheel (Skyhook system), co-axial coils and springs.

Turning circle diameter (m): 12.00

Brakes: Brembo braking system with four cross-drilled ventilated discs. Front: 330 x 32 mm. Rear: 310 x 28 mm. Alloy four-pot callipers with differentiated diameter: front 46-38 mm with ceramic insulating seals; rear 34-30 mm. Brake pads: Ferodo HP1000. ABS/EBD.

Wheels: 19-inch Trofeo-design alloy wheels: front 8J x 19, rear 9.5J x 19

Tyres: Front 235/35 ZR19, rear 265/30 ZR19

Dimensions & weights
Length (mm): 4523
Height (mm): 1295
Width (mm): 1822
Wheelbase (mm): 2660
Front track (mm): 1525
Rear track (mm): 1538
Cargo volume (litres): 315
Gross weight (kg): 2060
Kerb weight (kg): 1680
Fuel tank capacity (litres): 88

(photo:Maserati)

20/04/04

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