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By Jim Flammang
April 20, 2005
Vehicle Overview Maserati rejoined the U.S. market in 2002 with the Spyder convertible after a decade's absence. As the 2003 model year began, the Italian automaker sent a second, closed-roof Coup� to dealerships.
The styling of both the Coup� and Spyder is credited to the Italdesign-Giugiaro organization in Italy. In addition to having a shapely design and strong performance, the new Maseratis had to be easy to drive in everyday use yet promise exclusivity. The Ferrari organization handles the marketing aspect of Maseratis in the United States.
Mild updates to both the Coup� and Spyder for 2005 include a larger grille and two-tone interior colors. Maserati also introduced a GranSport coupe for 2005.
Exterior Even though the styling of the Coup� is similar to the Spyder's, the convertible is not merely a coupe with its metal roof snipped off. Measuring 178.1 inches long overall and 51.4 inches tall on a 104.7-inch wheelbase, the closed coupe is significantly larger. In addition, the Coup� offers four-occupant seating, while the Spyder is a two-seater.
Styling touches on the curved coupe body include a historic oval-shaped Maserati shield on the hood that sits above a trident on the wide mesh grille. The Coup� rides on 15-spoke wheels measuring 18 inches in diameter.
Maserati's Skyhook automatic suspension control system was developed with Mannesmann-Sachs. Sensors monitor movement in the wheels and body, and a computer changes damping according to driving and road-surface conditions.
Interior In the handcrafted interior, many shades of leather upholstery are offered. An information center in the console holds a 5.8-inch color display for the sound system, trip computer and climate controls. Options include a navigation system, xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights, rear parking sensors and a five-CD changer in the trunk.
Under the Hood The Coup�'s 4.2-liter V-8 develops 390 horsepower at 7,000 rpm. It teams with either a conventional six-speed-manual gearbox or a six-speed Cambiocorsa paddle-shift transmission similar to units used in Formula One racing.
The electronically actuated Cambiocorsa transmission has four modes � Normal, Sport, Automatic and Low Grip. The driver can operate the car in fully automatic mode or by manipulating paddles behind the steering wheel for gear changes. Maserati claims the Coup� can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.
Safety All-disc antilock Brembo brakes and side-impact airbags are standard.