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Discussion Starter #1
Well its been a little busy at the ol' workplace so finally its slowing down to drop a few notes about my 2 week old GranSport.

I have little over 200 miles on it and here are my impressions, both good and bad:

--fit and finish is extremely impressive, I know Ferrari has dumped a ton of money into revamping Maserati's factory and it shows. From the quality of the paint (the best I've ever had on a car) to the interior, the car is solid. The paint looks like a diamond after I waxed it. The metal flake is very impressive in the Nero color. To me. the fit and finish is better than the Germans and thats saying something considering fit in finish is not an Italian cars hallmark. My daily driver has been a series of Benzes and BMW's since the mid 80's and by far it betters those. I drove the new Bentley GT this past August and its equivelant to that. I'm stretching here, but if I want to be picky when you shut the door it doesn't have the German like vault sound like the Benzes of old, but like I said I'm nitpicking, the car is solid and there are no rattles to speak of whatsoever. To me, this coupe series has been around for 8 years or so and you can tell they've bettered it year by year to the point of where it is now.

--ride is fantastic in any mode. While the suspension stiffens up in "sport" mode you can leave it in sport mode all the time and not complain. There is no bumpeness or choppiness at all. The damping is perfect. Absolutely no compliants at all.

--gearbox speed in "sport" mode on downshifts are awesome, the upshifts are fast too, but there is a yo-yo like reaction when accelerating. With the loud pedal floored, you shift and hear a thunk, then hesitation and than bam the acceleration hits. Now this is all within a span of a little over a second but it is noticable. I have a friend who owns a Challenge Stradale and he had an opportunity to drive it to compare, on his car you hear the thunk too but the accerlation is instantaneous, there is no yo-yo feeling at all. To me the GranSport when shifting feels like driving a regular stick shift with a foot pedal clutch, whereby when you accelerate you push in the clutch and lift off the throttle you body moves forward in your seat until you hammer the gas again and your body moves back in your seat, the GranSport paddle shift feels the same way. All this amounts to is what version software the car has. Now the Challenge Stradale is all about high intensity, no carpet, no sound deadening material, low weight at all costs, pure all out sports/track car, the GranSport is not that, its very, very competent sports car when pushed hard and a grand tourer when cruising at highway speeds or cruising around town. So what you have is two very competent cars with there end goal in design being different. If there are 5 versions of gearbox software available, 5 being extreme and 1 being slow, the GranSport is around 3.75 or 4 where as the Challenge Stradale is 5. Again not a huge complaint, but its one of those things where you wish the GranSport was that level 5 software.

-exhaust is flat out cool. Very deep at idle and to be honest with you sounds much better from the outside. It sounds good from the inside too, but trust me it sounds great from the outside. I've heard Tubi on a Maserati and I admit it sounds fantastic, but I don't think the GranSport needs it. A full conversation can be had when the car is floored its not blaring loud, but still very noticable.

-glitches so far, the trunk open warning light makes it appear the trunk is always open when its not, you have to give it a good slam to get the light off, no big deal

-the carbon fiber package fits this car perfectly, I didn't think I'd like it on paper, but with a black car its flat out killer.

-performance, to me when driving it I always feel that the car has so much more that I haven't experienced yet and thats very nice to know that I'm not even close to realizing its limits. Its one of those cars thats handling and perfomance at speeds lower than 100mph is like Lance Armstrong riding a bicycle around the block, its not hard work. At low speeds its really like driving a Lexus, its a smooth, comfortable ride, no joke. Once you crush the throttle and take some turns hard the car feels like its working and is controllable but its rabid dog thats leash has a lot more give in it before it snaps. I'd love to turn the car over to a legitimate race car driver because this cars limits I doubt I'll reach. I hope to take it to Mid-Ohio race course this spring/summer and do my best to push it there. After driving the car for awhile and then re-reading the review in EVO magazine I pretty much agree with it 100%.

Feel free to ask me questions if you have any.

Phil
8)
 

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GranSport impressions after a few hundred miles.

Phil,

Good to read your early impressions. Please keep them coming, when you have time!

All the GranSport reviews have been positive, but the eCOTY report was a little confusing. It looks as if one member of their team disagreed with another, and EVO does have a 'boy-racer' mindset which is detrimental to road car assessment.

I was very impressed with the GranSport when I had my test drive, and the fact that I've just ended two years with a Porsche 996 Turbo maybe underlines my preference for character, as opposed to faceless efficiency. I know the GranSport will be slightly slower than the Turbo, but I think it will be a more enjoyable drive.

I like to approach a car with an open mind, learn it properly, then keep it and enjoy it. I guess I'd make a lousy road-tester!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You'll love the car. Its every bit as luxurious as the regular coupe with just enough tweaks to give it that something extra. If Maserati continues to make cars like this I will be a long term, multi car owner for years. They really thought out the little things that make this car special.

Its a near blizzard over here in Ohio so its a little disappointing as spring can't come too soon.

Here is a nice picture of a yellow one I ran across.

Phil
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Great shot, Phil.

Does the GranSport have a different hood? In that picture, it looks like the hood has a much larger bulge than the standard car.

Brad
 

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Many thanks Phil - that's a real good-looker. You must be very frustrated by the weather, but the time will pass quickly enough and you'll have a great spring, and the rest of 2005 ahead of you!

Brad, I'm not sure about the hood - others will know better, but I think it's the same. For more comparisons take a look at the excellent pics in thebimbo's thread:

"My GranSport is here... pics & videos here" posted on Fri Nov 12.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm going to keep my calipers the light silver, it kinda matches the interior, so I'm going to pass, especially when I heard they wanted $3,500 plus USD. I really don't think I'll change them at this point, even if I just repainted them for a few hundered bucks.

This was one of the last pictures I took before it went into storage. I just noticed some weird vertical line on the rear chrome bumper grate, its not there in real life, just some weird photo glitch I guess.

Truly "bad ass" if you ask me. :D :D :D :D

Phil
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Now that really is sinister - people will run for cover wherever you park it Phil !

Beautiful car though, and the rest of us will have to cook the brakes day-in-day-out to get enough dust on the wheels to match you...

Thanks again for the photos - they make waiting much less of a pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Although I only driven it for about 200 miles it did create some whiplash, especially from the younger crowd who cranked their neck to see it. Most importantly, I'm 100% happy with my decision and thats all that counts. The reviews have been favorable if not surprising in many cases from writers who seemed to discount it before driving it. Its still and 8 year old car, but its about perfected as its going to get and when driving it you will see that. The other thing that surprised me is its an all around car, its truly a grand tourer when you want it to be and a hard edge racer when needed. I like the 2 personalities. You'll love the custom interior, you'll love the sound it makes, you'll hate it when your not driving it!!
:D :D :D
:D :D :D
Phil
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Discussion Starter #13
Besides the GranSport, I currently have a 1989 328GTB (only 3,000 miles) a 1994 Benz E500 (the one Porsche built with the big V8 and flared wheel arches, 30,000 miles) and a Lexus RX330 as my daily driver. The GranSport is my first paddle shift car.

Phil
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I love pizza said:
Besides the GranSport, I currently have a 1989 328GTB (only 3,000 miles) a 1994 Benz E500 (the one Porsche built with the big V8 and flared wheel arches, 30,000 miles) and a Lexus RX330 as my daily driver. The GranSport is my first paddle shift car.

Phil
8)
That is an unbelievably low mileage 328. Are you worried the seals are going to harden and crack?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Had a break in the holiday action, seals with my 328 are ok, I've had it checked out before purchase about 7 years ago then they were checked last year. Knock on wood, the car has been extremely reliable.

Phil
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