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Discussion Starter #1
OK. . .the title says it all. I drove my first Gransport today. Here's my impressions. . .WOW!

It's got a ton of power, and at speed, it's more stable than I imagined. Getting onto the highway, I was over 70 in a few seconds and thought I was going 70 kph, not 70 mph. It's Faaasssstttt!

The engine sounds incredible. I drove in sport mode and just starting up the engine made my head spin. However, it is LOUD. Way louder than anything else in the parking garage where I went to get it.

Knocks. . .It's lower that I thought it would be. As low as my Porsche Boxster was. Also, it'll beat the heck out of you. I don't know what I was expecting in terms of ride smoothness, but it wasn't smooth. Now, it would surely grip the road like it was on rails. . .I guess I was expecting more of a Grand Touring rig and not a full on sports car.

Tried it in both automatic mode and regular. I like shifting manually better than the automatic mode. It doesn't shift too nice from 1st to 2nd, but going into 3rd and 4th is almost like a regular true automatic. I think it's more fun shifting manually.

Color. . .Pearl White with black interior. Nice looking car. I'd imagine it would be very stealthy. . .not as in your face as some of the other colors. Maybe collectible. I think I'm looking more for black exterior. Not sure.

Also, sat in a couple of new Aston Martins. Started one up. It's not the same thing. No great engine sound. It's a great looking car, but it doesn't stir my passion. I do like the way it looks, but it's almost like it doesn't have any soul.

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts later and I'll probably add to the post as I do.

:cool: :D ;) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Another thing I was so surprised by was how fast the engine rev'd up to 7000 rpm. Almost like it was some kind of electric, free revving engine is the only way to explain it.
 

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good times

i totally agree about the aston martins- they do nothing for me....
i find the interior guages kind if cheesy as well.
i really wanted to love the car-but cant.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Didn't try the DB9, as it's more than I want to spend. . .at least, if I want to stay married. Great cars though. . .I went to Houston at StarMotorCars and they've got several AM Vantage V8's upstairs and probably 3 or 4 DB9's, including a black on brown convertible stunner. Still. . .the engine sound on the Vantage didn't do anything for me. Now, this is after I'd just gotten through driving the Gransport in sport mode. Maybe it just wasn't what I was looking for. Besides, I've got an 8 year old that has to fit in a backseat.
 

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Driving most any other car will feel like watching TV compared to a GS.

I enjoy the CC transmission, once I learned to treat it just like a manual (which it is underneath). Except keep your foot buried through the shift when you want to have fun.
 

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i have driven both a GS and a V8 Vantage.

as you noted, the 'loud' exhaust on the GS can be 'activated' on demand even at idle via the sport button, whereas on the V8 Vantage exhaust's loud mode activates when the valve pops open at 4500rpm. i like the V8 Vantage's note. it has more bass to it. it gives a very primitive/raw roar. it sounds like bombers flying by....

if you go for the prodrive exhaust, it becomes selectable (quiet/active/loud). their suspension upgrade is also switchable.

Jeremy Clark gave a good description of the exhaust in that top gear episode (it's the one about V8 Vantage vs 997 vs M6). sadly the GS was not even invited....

i like the aston's chassis better, it seems more rigid. steering is more nimble. suspension is more direct. it's lighter and more compact. it seems to grip more whereas the GS loves to slide more.... the brakes do need to get used to. the manual transmission is fun. the interior is very nice. the styling of the car is gorgeous. warranty is short one year compare to maserati. it's very difficult to hate the V8 Vantage (or the GS).

it doesn't seem as violent as the GS. (may be i wasnt pushing it hard enough). the engine revs well but perhaps the torque is less?... only if they come up with an engine upgrade or if you get the prodrive upgrade...

having said all that, i love the GS just as much as the V8 Vantage.
it would be tough to pick one over the other. The GS can be had for much much less money....

of course, if you need the backseats, the V8 Vantage is out of the question. there's more room front and back in the GS. bianco fuji is a great color. forget about ever driving it in automatic.

there are tons of articles about it. but here's one with a side by side spec comparison
http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=3&article_id=2853&print_page=y

i encourage everyone here to test drive a V8 Vantage and see for it themselves. they are both very comparable, fun, exclusive and a good alternative to 911s.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Get a coupe if you're looking for that experience (which I was).
That might be a good idea. You see, I drive a Merc E500. I've always got it in it's stiffest setting, and it just doesn't provide enough sport for me. But, man, the Gransport was rough. Maybe I'd get used to it. . .maybe that's what I want and just wasn't prepared for it. I've lusted after these cars for a while now, but never got to drive one. In fact, I've never seen a Gransport in my city (Lafayette, Louisiana), so it was just books and internet photos for me. Anyway, the whole scenario was so surreal. The engine, the feel of the wheel, the road, the acceleration. I've got to take some time to digest everything. It was quite an experience. I've pretty sure that a Gransport would put a smile on my face everytime I drove it. Just not sure I'd want to drive it everyday. I might go the route of getting one as my "fun" car and keeping the Merc as a daily driver.

Do you guys who drive Gransports use them as daily drivers, or do you have another vehicle for daily chores and use the Gransport for fun or good days?
 

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That might be a good idea. You see, I drive a Merc E500. I've always got it in it's stiffest setting, and it just doesn't provide enough sport for me. But, man, the Gransport was rough.
I have a coupe with skyhook, and I use the soft setting for long freeway trips and also downtown Seattle where cobblestone roads would be considered better. I use sport mode for everywhere else, but if you hit a bump, you definitely feel it.

GS is definitely more purpose built.
 

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I use my GS Spyder as a daily driver, 25 miles daily mixed freeway and stop-and-go. For me, it's turned out to be a lot of car to experience every day... sometimes you just want to get from point A to B without the drama. But on average, I'm very happy to be driving something you don't see every day.

Lexus and Mercedes are pretty much opposite cars from the GS, they're both designed to be mostly numb. I've also owned 3 Lexuses, 2 Ferraris, a BMW and a Merc, they're fine in their own ways... except the @#$% Merc.
 

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That might be a good idea. You see, I drive a Merc E500. I've always got it in it's stiffest setting, and it just doesn't provide enough sport for me. But, man, the Gransport was rough. Maybe I'd get used to it. . .maybe that's what I want and just wasn't prepared for it. I've lusted after these cars for a while now, but never got to drive one. In fact, I've never seen a Gransport in my city (Lafayette, Louisiana), so it was just books and internet photos for me. Anyway, the whole scenario was so surreal. The engine, the feel of the wheel, the road, the acceleration. I've got to take some time to digest everything. It was quite an experience. I've pretty sure that a Gransport would put a smile on my face everytime I drove it. Just not sure I'd want to drive it everyday. I might go the route of getting one as my "fun" car and keeping the Merc as a daily driver.

Do you guys who drive Gransports use them as daily drivers, or do you have another vehicle for daily chores and use the Gransport for fun or good days?
sounds like the spell of the trident got you. ;)

the spyder is driven on sunny days.
the QP is driven on rainy days.

my other cars are driven when i go places that i know i cannot get prime parking spots for my maseratis.
 

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If you drove it in sport mode and thought it was to ruff try turning that off (it changes the suspension). When I want an easy drive I turn off sport and turn on the automatic. It's like being back in the benz.

I sold an SL500 because it was a little too sloppy for me through the turns.... just too heavy. I’m not knocking the SL. It is a great car it just leaves me a little to disconnected from the road. The GS is perfect, light weight and nimble. It does take some getting used to though.

The only problem I have with the GS are its lack of a decent stereo/nav system and the absence of cup holders. I know the cup holder thing sounds minor but I really miss 'em.
 

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I enjoy the CC transmission, once I learned to treat it just like a manual (which it is underneath). Except keep your foot buried through the shift when you want to have fun.
:cool: :cool: :cool:
That's a good point, I've never thought about that. I drive a 6-sp, and whenever we change gears, we let go of the throttle. It's the same principal.
 

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i have driven both a GS and a V8 Vantage.

as you noted, the 'loud' exhaust on the GS can be 'activated' on demand even at idle via the sport button, whereas on the V8 Vantage exhaust's loud mode activates when the valve pops open at 4500rpm. i like the V8 Vantage's note. it has more bass to it. it gives a very primitive/raw roar. it sounds like bombers flying by....
Nice writeup M!,

If the stars were to align correctly, I would go with a QP Exec Auto for the daily driver and have an AMV8 as a weekend car. I'll test drive an Vantage again when the Sporthift tranny is released. Supposedly it has a 'creep' mode for that dreaded stop and go traffic that tends to eat up the (F1-type trannies) clutches.

(BTW, the Vantage's transmissions - 6MT and Sportshift - are by the same Italian supplier to Ferrari and Maserati - Graziano Transmission Group).
 

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Liked the GS Spyder

Coincidentally, I drove an 05 Gransport Spyder a week ago. You are coming from a Merc but I am coming from an M-Roadster (daily driver) and a 360 Spyder so we had very different experiences.

I tried to make this an objective review. I liked the car so don't get bent. If you do, I have my flame suit on so .... here we go ....

I was looking for a good GT car to complement my 360 Spyder, dump the M. I found the Mazer to fit that bill pretty well. I definitely liked the car. It was very fun and comfortable.

I found the overall ride to be pretty smooth. I wouldn't mind taking it on long trips. The GS I drove had sport seats. That made a big difference in comfort. The stock seats aren't too comfortable for me.

I found the exhaust note rather subdued. The M is pretty quiet but the F roars so the GS was quiet in comparison. There was plenty of power and acceleration to redline was smooth and quick. It doesn't have slam you to the seat acceleration but it was plenty fast and you lack power to comfortably merge or pass.

It holds the road nicely. I didn't know the car well enough to push it hard. I could feel the weight difference compared to my other drivers but it wasn't excessive. The turn in was crisp and it was very stable in the corners. It carves a line without excessive under or over steer. You can feel the front engine, as compared to mid. The center of gravity is obviously low in the car making it stable. It is clearly very capable and easy to drive.

The ground clearance is much better than the 360. I didn't worry too much about bottoming the car. I suspect that is is lower than the M but adequate for every day use.

The CC shifts VERY smooth and engagement was great as well. Very impressive! Clearly a step beyond the 360.

My only complaint was that I experienced quite a bit of cowl shake transmitting to the steering column. It was worse at first and improved as we went. The sales guy said that the car had been sitting and the tires were flat spotted. He acknowledged that these tend to have shake but said this was abnormally bad. He also said that they are very sensitive to tire pressure. The shake was the only significant problem I found and is probably why I haven't jumped already.

Overall I was impressed. I have had numerous experiences where I have driven cars only to find myself disappointed. After my drive this is still a strong contender for my new driver; not too many car have made the cut.

FYI: I have already ruled out Z06, Z8, V8 Vantage, and others.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Skidkid. . .No flames here. . .I appreciate all the input I can get. :)

I didn't even think to turn off the sport mode. I thought it just had to do with the transmission (speed of shifts) and the exhaust note (louder in sport). I didn't know that it softened up the ride. I need to consider this.

Please, don't mis-read my intentions. I think the Maser is one of the, if not the best looking cars on the road. I just wasn't expecting this much sport out of the vehicle. I still might get the Gransport. If not, I'm sure a Coupe would be the way to go.
 

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Skidkid,

Re: cowl shake. A bit off topic.

I don't own, but have had significant seat time in the F360 Coupe. Never driven the F360 spyder (It is on a "future" purchase list), so how is the cowl shake compared to the Maser and M-roadser?

For point of reference, I own a 2005 Maser Spyder - agree with you about the stock seats - and just traded in a Z4 for a 335i Coupe/Convertible.
 

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Sorry to go off topic here.

I love roadsters. My M is a Z3 style roadster and I love the way it drives. It is great fun once you get use to short wheelbase, twitch feeling. I have driven the Z4 style M Roadster and it drives pretty similar. The biggest differences are that it feels more stable in the corners and it is spring softer. Lots more room inside too.

The Mazer is the worst of the 3. I don't experience noticable cowl shake in the M or the Spyder. In fact the Spyder is pretty darn rigid. If you push it you will feel more flex than the 360 coupe but not enough to make a differenece on the street. Let's face it, you can't open it up on the streets anyway; much too fast.

Wouldn't trade my roadster for an M3. Tried one but was too disconnected from the driving experinece and I am more familiar with a very low CG so the M3 had too much body roll. Then again, no kids so 2 seats is plenty.

If you are in the bay area we can take Spyder out for a spin. It really is a dream to drive.

Now back to the regularly secheduled programing :)
 

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I drive my '06 GS everyday, drop the kids off at school on the way to work (hence the need for backseats that actually work). The car has spent 99.5% of it's 10K miles in sport mode, and automatic once for 5 min just to see what it was like.
The car is sensational as a daily driver, and great for the weekend blast. I have absolutely no complaints.
When the kids get older I may need more room, and will likely look at the new GT...otherwise it is GS indefinitely.
 
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