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First off, I was driving a 2005 GranSport, 100% stock form in the HST group at Hallett Racing Circuit in Oklahoma. (www.hallettracing.net) The majority of my driving experience is in late model corvettes, bmw, aireal atoms, and a lot of motorcycle laps.

First impressions...

1) You may be comfortable cruising down the highway in non sport mode, but saying the soft springs cause an excess of body roll would be a GROSS understatement. The car lifts the front end when hard accelerating and the rear end floats everywhere under hard braking. In general the car is unpredictable and sloppy at best.

2) The Cambriocorsa transmission is very nice once you learn the speed/shift points. It could be faster and more aggressive ( less clutch feather at slow speeds) but then what would Schumi look forward too?

3) Engine power is very smooth. Lacks the low end torque of the American v-8's that is very useful on a smaller track like this. Like the transmission though, once you learn the power band and shift points its very pleasant. And very distinctive sound.

4) Brakes are stellar no complaints whatsoever.

5) Wow factor. There is no question the most distinct car at the track. Random people all day saying the most beautiful car they have ever seen.

6) Tires or lack thereof. Needs more rubber and much softer. Time for Mich. or BFG KD's



Overall, my fastest lap was a 1:34. My friend has a 5000$ gutted track day civic who ran a 1:31. Who is better? I think it depends is you are pulling up to the W or trying to cross the finish line first. Either way, There is no question the GranSport is a lovely car with gobs of potential but in stock form it needs work. Springs seem like a absolute must, and I will post some pics to emphasize the body roll I described.

I have researched and talked with the guys at Formula Dynamics and should have some enhancements soon.
 

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Thanks for your review.

I've never taken my (stock) GS on the track but when I drove it down some twisty mountain roads, it behaved impeccably well.
 

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So, did you run the day in sport or non-sport mode. It's unclear from your first point.
 

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Very nice review, if you do upgrade the performance of the car with a chip or springs... You may find that the stock brakes are a bit lacking as well. Your lap times should improve considerably though.

It's very difficult to properly aim and apex the car with stock springs due to the body roll. With sport springs you may accidently run over the apex your first few laps as the difference is very noticable.

Congrats on the good result and showing for the Maserat!
 

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Great pics, beautiful car... It does show the weight transfer very well also! It almost looks like you're lifting the inside wheel!
 

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Thanks for the report! That's exactly the kind info I am looking for. I also had pretty much same feeling after taking a good drive in the mountain at good pace. My conclusion

The springs are way too soft for the car

New springs are definitely in the future.

BTW, are you using stock brake pads?

Thanks

ps. nice photos!
 

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Is it possible that US versions are fitted with spongy version of the springs?

The GS was reviewed to have none of the handling issues known to the previous coupe/spyder suspension, but it doesn't seem to be the case with GSes that I've experienced.

The change of softer spring for US bound car is a common practice for many european cars in US.

I wonder where we can get some spring rate info for the stock euro GS vs stock US GS...

Jess
 

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They are the same part numbers from what I can tell... I beleive they are the same.
 

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Jeff, I heard that Bluyork did the sway bars on his Gransport. And I also heard that he mentioned that the car felt 100 lbs lighter in the front, and he reported that it wasn't much stiffer on the street? Even when I had visited Kent recently at Universal Autosports, he pulled me aside, and mentioned that he didn't think this was going to be an upgrade that showed a ton of difference, but when he did put them on, he highly recommended it. Whats the deal, is this streetable without making my ride more choppy? Because with the springs it does feel a lot better than stock, but still nervous when I have to brake suddenly and I get a little nervous on turns at high speeds, the roads here in New York City and surrounding areas suck big balls!!! Potholes a plenty, and just plain crappy roads. So whats the trade off?? I'm a street driver, I haven't had the time nor will I to really hit the track properly -
 
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