I always liked the Maserati 3200/Coupe/Gransport. I think they look nicer than even the newer GrandTurismo, which I find much too big. They are my favorite coupe by far!
So after much delay, I finally decided to have a look at getting one.
While I have always heard they are not really sports cars, despite everything about them saying otherwise, I think I wasn't ready for what I encountered.
After test driving a couple of them I was truly disappointed. After looking online for reviews from back in the day my experience pretty much matches them. Top Gear for example put it down horribly for very much the same problems I found.
Now I know they were never intended to be full on sports cars, most likely because big sister Ferrari would never allow it. And I know they are GT cars. But even as GTs, I must say they handle horribly. They handle like a bag of bananas.
As far as GTs, something like the Jaguar XKR X150 handles way better. I have not driven it for a while but I don't remember even the old XK8 being that bad. And I remember thinking it handled like a canoe with it's large behind and roll prone body. But the Maserati somehow managed to be even worse.
So after being shocked by what I experienced and truly disappointed, I'm left with two questions. Why and can it be changed?
I ask why because the Maserati has everything to be stellar. It has a powerful engine and one which not only sounds wonderful but looks it too. Very refined and special. It's RWD and more importantly, it uses a transaxle. The holy grail for handling and balance in a front engine RWD car. So how can it be so unstable and unbalanced? The XKR for example doesn't even use a transaxle to balance things out an it's better than the Maserati. And they weight about the same too. So the XKR is also a heavy car.
I don't know what the weight distribution is in the Maserati but it has everything to be better than the Jag and its front mounted gearbox. But yet the Maserati handles more like a Mustang than like a Jaguar or any European car. Don't take me wrong. The XKR is far from perfect. It's hard to put the power down too and of course not in the same level of the newer F-Type. But at last it has less going for it than the Maserati, while delivering more. So what went wrong with the Maserati?
Which brings me to the next question. Can it be changed? Can it be fixed?
I don't expect it to handle like a Cayman or any rear mid engine car. I just expect it to handle like a good expensive exotic European front engine coupe that can hang with similar cars. Old Porsche 944 handles better too for example. Same set up. Front engine, RWD with a transaxle and rear seats. So it's a GT too instead of a full blown sports car.
It is so disappointing because the Maserati has been my favorite coupe forever. It's so beautiful, so harmonic. The interior is such a nice place to be. This is why I was so disappointed. A true case of never meet your heroes. But I hope it is not final and something can be done to correct things. It has so much going for it that I can't believe it can't be fixed. If a front engine, heavy Jaguar GT like the XKR can do better without a better balance, why can't the Maserati? If a big and much heavier 4 doors car like a BMW M5 can handle better, why can't a lighter 2 door Maserati GT?
I'm still hoping a Maserati Coupe will be in my future and that it can be made to handle like it should have been able to from the factory. So I'm all ears.