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I'm thinking about having my 'local' dealer upgrade the software in my 2002 Spyder, but am concerned that I don't know much about the changes.

I've heard the shifts are a bit more crisp in Sport mode, which mine needs. But I've also heard that the throttle blip on downshifts and the firm launch capability goes away.

Have any of you upgraded your early-model Spyders? If so, what differences did you detect?
 

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I have the 04 cambiocorsa upgrade on my 04 coupe. I cannot comment much on the 02 revisions but I found the gearshift to be a lot smoother in both lower and upper gears compared to the 03 revisions. The most significant change relates to the lower gears. I did get an adjustment to the clutch travel which made a huge difference to the lower changes. Personally I felt that the 04 changes made the car more driveable for general purposes. Since 04 does not have the throttle blip I am not quite sure what that actually does - certainly on some occasions dropping gear leads to the clutch thudding. Another feature which I am not sure was available on previous revs is the seamless way the car drops gear as you slow down to a junction with foot on the brake pedal - previous reviews of the CC commented on the thudding of the clutch as the transmision stepped down the gears - this no longer happens. Not really tried sport mode yet as I am waiting for some dry weather - snow, ice , rain here at the moment!

My only gripe is the annoying hesitancy as the gas is applied in first gear there seems to be a flat patch of power and then a sudden surge forward. I think that if Maserati could improve the performance in first and second then they really wil have cracked it. I am amazed that they have gone for the auto mode of the CC system as default for the Quattroporte - this will be a disaster as auto mode is really pretty poor compared to a conventional auto box - all the press reviews in the UK have basically said "nice car, shame about the gearbox".
 

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All these uprades are simple plug-in and download new sofware to the controler. Very easy and quick to have a dealer perform this
 

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Brad:
As someone that bought a 2002 coupe just over a year ago – my cambiocorsa has been through several updates - I would recommend getting the upgrade. The difference isn’t related so much to better performance, but instead provides noticeably smoother shifts. This goes for both upshifts and downshifts which are less clunky, particularly at slower speeds. Previously, slow speed upshifts were jerky and decelerating downshifts were clunky. Keep in mind I have a coupe, not a spyder, but I don’t see a reason why there should be any difference in our experiences. I did quickly notice the “lack” of throttle blips, which is much more subtle than the original software. However, I am told that it will be more noticeable on very aggressive decelerations – but I haven’t performed a 70-0 mph test to confirm this. Clutch action different, and the new software seems to dump the clutch a little later and harder than before, resulting is some lurching if you are not used to it. However, I find parking maneuvers a bit easier. Launching the car from a standstill to high speeds doesn’t seem to suffer with the new software – very quick in my experience.

Jimveres:
The upgrade we are talking about (mainly the ECU) can be performed on both the coupe and spyder. Mine was covered under warranty…
 

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I wrote this in anothe post, about the shifting experience for me. The reason I chose not to do the update was because the quicker shifts made the car faster. If you nootice in their literature over the 200, 2003, 2004 model years, the zero to 60 times drop, as well as the quarter mile times. That's due to the shift calibration and added weight to Spyders in '03 to fix the cowl shake. I wanted the fastest Spyder I could get, shift smoothness wasn't a big concern. But like it was mentioned, the '04 shifted noticeably smoother all around. It depends what you are after...


"About the shifting... I drove 2002, 2003, and 2004 Cambio Spyders back to back. All had skyhook, and here's my conclusion:

The 2002 shifted very quickly in sport mode. It had no software update, or clutch update. When at full throttle, the shifts were insanely fast and sharp. However, those same characteristics when driving part throttle made the shift feel rough/jerky. Also, when pulling the car off the dealers somewhat slick epoxy floor, at the slightest throttle the wheels would slip a bit. Imagine a clock mechanism.. slip,roll, slip, roll. On the concrete it rolled smoothly.

With sport mode off, the shifting was slower, noticeably. However, with part throttle driving and a slight lift of the throttle just as you pull the paddle and the shift was pretty smooth. Suprisingly smooth, albeit not perfect. I then tried auto mode for about 30 seconds. It was bad. Jerky, rough. (consider that bad to me is compared with a true automatic). Saw no reason I would ever use this mode. Valet perhaps...

The 2003 had the clutch upgrade but also did not have the shift software upgrade. Same exact shifting as above, couldn't tell a difference in shifting. The only noticeable difference between driving the '02 and '03 was the 'cowl shake'. We have some seriously crappy roads here and the cowl shake was the worst on the 2002, but still there on the 2003 to a much lesser extent.

The 2004 was a different story. It came from the factory with the new shift software upgrade and also the clutch upgrade. First thing I noticed was that the tires rolled smoothly over the slick floor. When driving in sport mode, the shifting was noticeably slower than the '02 and '03. It was also noticeably smoother. When sport mode was off, smoother, slower. In auto mode, smoother, but still rougher than any automatic or well experienced driver with a manual.

All the info I wrote above about updates came from the dealer. They were great. Explained everything to me, let me drive several, and were very patient.

This is just my observation. "
 

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Shifter congrats on the car - if you haven't already, post some pics in the photo sections. I always get a little jealous of spyder/spider/cab owners once the long winter ends!

That is interesting. I first purchased a 2002 coupe, then later had all the upgrades performed - but I didn't notice a slow down in "aggressive driving" shifting. If anything, after the upgrade there was perceptably less lag in power transmission from one gear to the next. Whereas before, when upshifting at high RPM there was a noticeable loss of forward momentum (causing neck snapping), the upgraded version does not jerk as much. Forward progress of the car seems less interrupted than before. BTW, I am talking about Sport mode - never really drive in anything else. I also recently got a brand new 2004 coupe, with similar results.

Another that I noticed is that Sport mode doesn't really get that aggresive/quick until you start stomping on the gas. Shifting at 6500 RPM is a whole different world than shifting at 3000 RPM - much much quicker and snappier...

After driving 4 or 5 different cambiocorsas, one thing I observed is that each seems to have its own personality. Depending on the year, number of miles on the odometer, etc, each car seems to shift a bit differently - with the overall performance being pretty similar.

My observation only goes for the coupe, so perhaps there is something different with the spyders. Considering that the later spyders were reinforced to reduce cowl shake, the added weigth might be the cuplrit.
 

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Thanks! Just had it delivered, already had a small problem. I was coasting to a light in neutral (revving the engine to hear the Tubi). Came to a stop, flipped the up paddle and nothing happened. It wouldn't go into first. Tried a few times, nothing. Tried to put it into 'auto', wouldn't go. Shut it down, started it back up. No 1st still!. Hazzards go on. I'm at the intersection in my new 100K car, 5 blocks from my sub, with the hazzards on!!! Not real happy. Turned the car off again, waited a few seconds, started it and it went into first with the paddle.

Happen to anyone else? I couldn't get it to do it again after that.

You guys see dancing triangles at the 'horizon' from the lights, dead center, while driving with the Xenons? Can be a bit distracting watching them.

Other than that little tantrum, the car is incredible. I'll post some pics tomorrow. Too dark at the moment.

-Joe
 

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From my experience driving the M3 SMG for two years all I can tell you is it may never happen again or will happen frequently and at least then could be diagnosed and fixed easily. First thing to always check is to make sure hood is securely latched, you would be surprised to know how many times I have heard that this was the problem with Sequential gear boxes acting up. Anyone know how the sport button affects a GT? I hear how it speeds up the shifting in Cambio's but for the most part I leave it off to improved the ride cause of the many terrible roads we have here. For most of you driving a Sequential manual gearbox is probably new to you and their is definitely a learning curve for it so do not try and judge it till you put some miles on car. At first I thought I made a mistake getting it, Then found it an amazing feature and had a blast with it. Life is all about change and that's why this time I opted for the GT, Am having a blast using a clutch again but next time will probably be some sort of Sequential . Would love to see Maserati give us a shift lever option like BMW does, I never got use to using the paddles the way they moved with the wheel but when I test drove a Cambio I did notice it was a much better design
 

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shifter said:
...

Happen to anyone else? I couldn't get it to do it again after that.

...

-Joe
Hi Shifter. You may have noticed that I used to own a 2002, and now own a 2004. Well that is because my 2002 had numerous problems, particularly with the cambiocorsa. Several times the car refused to upshft, instead going into neutral getting stuck. Occured each time while I was on a highway! Scared the crap out of me. I also had other issues not related to the cambiocorsa.

Though it wasn't quite yet a lemon in the legal sense (I did all the math), I was able to trade my 2002 for a new 2004 for an agreeable sum. While my experience with the car was jeckyll and hyde, Maserati and my dealer owned up to their responsibility so I look back at the experience positively.

My experience seems to be the rare exception, so I don't mean to frighten you. But you should be aware that cambiocorsa is not without flaws - which seems to hold true for the ealier model year cars. However, assuming it is still under warranty, you should be fine...
 

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I have an 02 Spyder Cambiocorsa and in the beginning also had the gearbox acting up on me at intersection or when coasting.

(1) Make sure that when you shift from N to 1 or R you have your foot on the break.

(2) One other time, my hood was not securely latched and that caused the problem.

Since then I haven't had any gearbox problems (yet). But will have a big check-up done in a few days while I'm on vacation.

Cheers,

Dietrich
 
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