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    My Maserati Test drive experience

    Well, well, well. First off is a mistake to have Maserati and Ferrari dealerships under the same roof, period. Not only me but whoever walked in was mesmerized by the 360, 575, and whole bunch of classical Ferraris as opposed with the Maseratis in the show room.

    I talked a little bit with John the Maserati sales guy whom by the way is an extremely nice and down to earth individual.

    I went for this test drive yesterday Saturday, with my brother-in-law who happens to own 2 Ferraris and also happened to pull me into his conversation with Mr. Ressi the owner of Ferrari and Maserati of Houston and Dallas whom is a very nice man too.

    We left the show room for test drive in a 2002 Maserati Coupe Cambiocorsa. When you open the door the car makes a buzzing sound and that seems to be, as John said, electronics system adjust or rather calibrate itself. IMO kind of nice buzzing sound that reminds you: hey I paid a lot of money for this car .

    Sat in the driver seat and John gave me a little tour of how the paddle shifters work and we were on our way. First we started driving with "Auto" switch on; the car did all the shifting for me. Once we were on the Freeway I noticed the car was indicating the 6th gear but the rev was around 3500 and speed around 60 mph . I told John this feels weird and he said that he is going to turn the Auto off and let me pilot. Once the auto was off and I down-shifted couple gears the car launched like a rocket . No offense to 996 Turbo owners, but it felt as if the turbos kicked in, very fast indeed. As John mentioned many times and I definitely noticed it too, this car is NOT a Porsche. Handling was good but not as good as a Porsche and I can't compare it to an F-car because I have never driven one.

    During turns, especially U-Turns, I felt as though the car was getting out of control but the electronic system (whatever is called for Maseratis) would correct it immediately. I even tried sports setting by turning it on but still didn't help. Comparing it to a C4 the M-car has a long way to go.

    One thing that I forgot to mention is that from 0-60 the M-Car (390 hp) will beat any stock C2 or C4. It has a fantastic pick up. However in straight line C2 will probably (?) catch up quickly.

    If I were given the option of owning a Jag, MB, or Maserati; no doubt that Maserati would be the ONE.

    Over all the ride was very nice, smooth, and Comfortable but for my taste I believe Porsche would still fulfill my needs better.

    Re: My Maserati Test drive experience

    Ron. Good to hear you had fun on your test drive. And I agree, the Maser is a great alternative to MB and Jag. the Porsche is really a different animal. As far as the buzzing sound is concerned, it also activates when you remote unlock it from afar. People nearby seem to get a kick out of it.

    The fully auto mode truly does suck, it shortshifts you all the way to 6th as you mentioned. I never use it unless I am driving in the snow. But all is forgiven once you take over in Sport mode. FWIW, the 2003s are supposed to handle a bit better than the 2002s. My personal experience with the electronic traction/stability control is that it compares favorably with the Mercedes Benz ESP system. My Benz used to cut off the throttle way too soon, while the Maserati at least lets the back end slide a tad before correcting things. I have had some spirited driving in my coupe, and have never felt in danger of losing the back end. In fact, the Maser is supposed to have a tendancy to understeer (52/48 F/R bias), but I haven't really noticed it.

    Good luck with your purchase. Would love to see some pics of your porsche when/if you get it.

    Re: My Maserati Test drive experience

    Hi Eric,

    One thing I forgot to mention was the sound, the engine sound is really awesome.

    I absolutley will post pics once I get my car but when? I don't know.

    Re: My Maserati Test drive experience

    Thanks for the report Ron,
    So Porsche it is then huh?
    Good man!
    Seriously, are you still on for the 997 or maybe a nice well equipped 996? What about the Turbo?
    Coupe, cab? Having a cab in Houston must be nice because it the nice weather.
    Any thoughts on a CLK55 Compressor?
    You'd get the speed, but I'm not sure you'd get the enjoyment from the Porsche though,
    Keep looking!
    Fanch.

    Re: My Maserati Test drive experience

    Since I'm not in a rush I'll wait for the second series 997 to make sure all kinks are ironed out.

    More horse power is a must even though you won't drive fast in town but you have to have more power .

    As to for Cab. cars in Houston, I would say there are probably 8 or 9 months out of the year that Temp is around 97F to 105F with humidity around %93 to %95 .

    I used to have a 993 cab. and a Boxster and I hardley put the top down in the heat . IMO You rearly see nice weather for Cab. cars.

    Re: My Maserati Test drive experience

    thanks for your report, ron.
    i like the maser as well -- of course it doesn't reach porsche dynamics (and build quality), but it's different, italian and beautiful. the only thing i don't get is that they shortened the spider and removed the rear seats. there's even not enough space to put a coat behind the front seats.

    Re: My Maserati Test drive experience

    Maser fun engine...harsh ride for the level of handling(skyhook just does not seem to get very compliant). Helps if your left leg is real short , as the dead pedal is huge.

    Engine is an artwork..should have glass over it like my 360. Leather is best part of interior. Car feels like a Mustang Cobra by Gucci(similar specs to Cobra..see prior R&T for data).

    If you love it..make sure you get lease with great residual as a protection...the current business conditions for Fiat make all of its subs a little chancey...and the Masers I have seen go thorugh exotic brokers really are getting hammered.

    Think I could get interested in a coupe about 1 year old...after the initial hit...sure feels like a mobile executive suite...

    Re: My Maserati Test drive experience

    Is there any Maserati board ?

    J.Seven


    Re: My Maserati Test drive experience

    Quote:
    Is there any Maserati board ?

    J.Seven



    You may also want to try Ferrarichat.com. Mainly for Ferrari chatters (obviously), but they have an "other italians" section I frequent which includes Maseratis of all years. Might be worth a look.

     
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