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Found this review interesting, Takes 4 specially breeded cows to put all that leather in a maserati

Those of you with a bit of a pash for Latino exotica will, I'm sure, lump the glorious and evocative Trident badge of Maserati into the same stable as the Prancing Horse of Ferrari.

Historically both these world famous manufacturers' raison d'être was motor racing, with either team enjoying ups and downs. For Maserati matters went truly the shape of rotting pears in the sloppy seventies. By now they'd climbed into bed with another ailing Italian manufacturer, De Tomaso, and were producing miserable hybrids such as the Kyalami. Matters reached an all time low in 1981 when they produced the bland and poorly built Biturbo saloons. It looked terminal.

But years on, a spark still burned and Fiat, good old Fiat, threw some money at the problem and Maserati sheltered underneath the same protective engineering umbrella as... Ferrari. What goes round, comes round, as they say.

Four years ago we got their first offering, the 3200 GT. Sad to report that the car left me, not to mention most others, unstirred - though it did look much more the part.

And now they've sort of face lifted the 3200 GT to produce this new coupe, with 4.2 litres and eight cylinders. Apart from its looks this is an all new car, as is the cabrio, called Spyder.

Inside you're wrapped in leather. Specially bred cows from Sweden, where there's no barbed wire to scratch their hides, sacrifice their lives to the tunes of four per Maserati. It's everywhere, including the evocative facia, complete with famous Maserati clock, which one colleague compared to a "crude representation" of, erm, a girlie's front bottom. But then, this man writes for a mag called Box of Neutrals, or something like that.

This new engine's a bloomin' stonker, to use the technical term, combining raw power with a full-on raspy V8 exhaust note. These things matter and the Maser makes one of the best noises in the biz. That said, at even high cruising speeds the motor is uncannily quiet. Give it another boot-full and it'll wake the dead. An odd yet wholly satisfying mixture.

For around 62,000 you get the six speed manual, which takes a firm, dare I say manly, arm to swap cogs. On balance I preferred this method of putting the Coupe's 390 bhp on the road to the more expensive option of the Gambiocorsa (racing) paddle shift, complete with automatic and very smelly clutch. This Gambiocorsa set-up is very, very closely related to the Ferrari system. I found up changes hard to keep smooth, though the Maserati folk reckon sixty per cent of their punters will shell out an extra three grand to be like the Lantern Jawed Teutonic Wunderkind one Michael Smugmacher. You pays yer money...

If you feel 65,000 isn't enough you can add bi-level adaptive damping to your shopping list, but when do you tick the box marked 'Skyhook'.
The new Maserati 4200 Coupe is big, almost beautiful, powerful and very fast. The best news is - Maserati is back.

Zog Ziegler
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