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Discussion Starter #1
I'm currently driving a SL55 and am looking at getting into a Maserati Spyder... I'm focusing on 2004 CC models and have noticed that in '03 the Spyder's received a 20% increase in chassis stiffening so that the body doesn't flex as much.. However, my question is -- How rigid is the '04 Spyder body? Will the chassis flex when going over bumpy roads? Is there a lot of cowl shake? What about comparisons to a 911 (997 model), Mercedes SL, and BMW M3 convertibles? I HATE cowl shake as it makes a car feel cheap... So what are your opinions on those who have driven the spyder and any of its competitors?


Thanks ahead..
 

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kilikay said:
...How rigid is the '04 Spyder body? Will the chassis flex when going over bumpy roads? Is there a lot of cowl shake? What about comparisons to a 911 (997 model), Mercedes SL, and BMW M3 convertibles? I HATE cowl shake as it makes a car feel cheap... So what are your opinions on those who have driven the spyder and any of its competitors?
yes, yes, yes, yes... spyders aren't designed as convertibles from ground up, just an incarnation of the GT with the top chopped off. S2000 and Boxter are probably your only choices :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So yes, it has more cowl shake than an M3, 911 (997) drop top, and SL convertible? How much more?
 

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If you want rigidity and performance, get a hardtop and open the windows...you often pay a substantial weight penalty to stiffen a ragtop.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The thing is.. I love convertibles, and I live in LA...Ya gotta have a spyder when it's sunny 300 days a week..

So any comparisons to any other cars?
 

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shake rattle and roll

my 02 spyder is a wonderful road car. not a track car. i cannot understand compliant of cowl shake. please, more info? i have no experience of same
 

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kilikay said:
The thing is.. I love convertibles, and I live in LA...Ya gotta have a spyder when it's sunny 300 days a week..

So any comparisons to any other cars?
Can't blame ya there! One other stiffening technique is a rollbar...but again, you're adding weight (though adding safety, too!).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Right..

However, does anyone have comparisons of cowl shake to other vehicles??
Does the whole car rattle or the front windshield shake when going over rougher roads?
 

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Well, I'm not an expert on cowl shake, or how rigid a convertible is, or whatever. All I know is that my spyder is a complete blast. I drive fairly aggressively, and have tracked it five times in 2 1/2 years of ownership. I am not even close to the open run group of drivers (I accidently ran with them one day and was humbled beyond belief!!), but I do run in the middle class or run group. For me the car is awesome, and handles better than I can imagine. I certainly don't get it close to where cowl shake, or any other 'limitation' comes into play.
If you don't need the rear seat, why even consider anything but a 2003 or later spyder??
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Haha.. I've had TWO SL55's.. and I LOVE them, the 520lbs of torque at ~2000RPM is just amazing, and the car's active handling system does pretty well for a 4000+ lb car.. However, I am starting to get a little bored and want something a little lighter and sportier.. My two concerns are quality (will the car be in the shop all the time?). and whether the chassis will shake, rattle, and roll over bumpy roads (makes the car feel cheap as if the chassis wasn't solid).. On the SL because it's a convertible and a hardtop coupe the car is exceptionally solid... However, so are other soft-top convertibles like the 911 and the Boxster.. I'm just wondering if the Maser Spyder will be solid like that..
 

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Get the Maserati

I have owned a Boxster, a 911, BMW convertible, Miata, Thunderbird, Sebring. My Spyder is an 03. Have only had it a week, but it is more fun than everything else. It is not a stiff as the 911, but makes up for it in total package. Cowl shake is minimal and liveable.
 

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I don't have data, but many previous threads have referenced that there were some rigidity improvements made after the 2002 year. I could be wrong on this.
Mike
 

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Spyder chassis

I have an 04 spyder and I have to say there is a decent amount of cowl shake. While I do love the car, it seems as if Maserati could have done a better job with the shake. I also have a 97 Boxster. This car has no cowl shake at all even after 9 years. I guess porsche is able to do a better job with this issue
 

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I have a Coupe, and find that it's not terribly rigid to begin with. It moans, groans, squeeks, and rattles (I love it...the car, not the noises). Having driven the convertible, there is appreciable cowl shake. From a rigidity perspective, it is not in the same league as the M3 or 911 convertibles. But like anything else, not everybody will notice it, and even less people will be bothered by it. The lack of rigidity does adversely affect handling, though. There's no denying that. If you find the handling of the spyder superb, then so be it, the car has overcome a potential handicap. I had a friend who wouldn't even buy a car with a sunroof because of the "perceived" loss of rigidity as compared to that of a fixed roof coupe.The real reason I'm adding my two cents, though, is I believe the 2003 and later spyders have foam inserted into the hollow cavities of the A pillars to better quell vibration. I also believe that the '02's were tuned a bit sportier suspension- wise, which would act to emphasize a spyder's lesser rigidity.
 
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