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Discussion Starter #1
OK;

So I haven't been around here much lately - I've been too busy planning for the Gran Turismo launch.

If you're in the area, we'll have the press car on our showfloor all day Saturday.

I've had a chance to play with the stereo, and a few other tidbits that I'll post some pictures and reviews of soon. For right now, I'll just say pictures definitely don't do it justice, and I can't wait to finally drive the thing!



- Mark
 

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Stunning!
Can you post the exact color combos, exterior and interior?
That is the color combo I'll likely order if I don't get a 612.
Thanks.
 

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I saw the same car back in Sept when it was in Houston. The look is just stunning. Forget DB9, Vantage, BMW 6 series or even Ferrari . Nothing comes close. You have to see it to appreciate the design created by Pininfarina. Aggressive in the front and feminin in the back.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
more pics, round 1

For now, I'm gonna hold off posting images of the nav \ entertainment system, just because I'm not sure that all of the screens were finalized in the car that we had, buut, assuming its close to what I got to use, the new system is *awesome*

It's really interesting how photos haven't done this car justice - and how different it looks in person.. These aren't the best photos, but I tried to show some of the things that you don't appreciate in the photos I've seen circulating so far. I've also tried to show some things that the mags aren't talking about, that I think we'll notice - things like the new gauge typefaces, the trunk opening (and these great little handles they put on the inside that makes it really easy to close) there are a thousand little touches I noticed during my first hours with the car that clearly show this is a well thought out, refined machine.

I think they massaged or updated or changed nearly every item that had been a complaint in either the 4200 or the QP; They have clearly listened to owner feedback.
 

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Great pictures. That is a great looking car. Totally different than my 05 GS, but totally different purpose. Any pics of the view from behind...and the back seats? After they work out the bugs on the first production year, I may have two M's in the garage.

RP
 

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Manual / Duo Select?

Was just at my dealer and was discussing whether there are plans for a duo select version. He was just back from factory and suggested the Duo Select is on its way out, and further, we may not see any more Manual / Duo Select transmissions as Maserati goes more mainstream / luxury.

Tell me it ain't so!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Hard to say really.

I'll cover the easy bit first - regardless of what dealers hear \ see, even at the factory, until Maserati says its so publicly, it may not be so..

As far as the DuoSelect \ CambioCorsas being phased out, I guess there's really two schools of thought.

1st - Perceived reliability. How often are people questioning the clutches, etc. of these systems on the boards? Especially people new to the brand. And how varied is the life of the system across the board? Granted, take a model like a Ferrari, which will get the same or less clutch life at a higher cost of replacement - and 95% of the cars are ordered with F1. As far as I know, the Maseratis got as good or better mileage out of their paddle-shifted cars than most of the other systems out there. (I don't know the ratings for SMG or DSG life) Yet it was still a considerate source of reliability questions, and how often did people skip the cars entirely because of perceived reliability issues due to clutch wear? Speaking from a dealership perspective, it is a common theme among lightly educated buyers. The other half of that is, we've gotten to know the gearboxes and its quirks, but I've only seen one article in three years where the writer took enough time with the car to learn the system, and then he loved it. Every other writer on the planet whines about it not being smooth. Lay your blame where you will, but unfortunately its got its knocks.

2nd - Most every major manufacturer has some variation of the paddle shift manual, or one on the way. F1, CC, DS, DSG, SMG, E-Gear, and its variations. I don't think the mechanicals are going away, and considering the demand and advances, I would be pretty surprised if it didn't find its way back into Maseratis in some shape or form, but more than likely as an option vs. standard equipment. I think it depends a bit on Alfa too. Look at Audi and their DSG, which Alfa will be a direct competitor to. If the market wants a paddle shift there, and between Alfa Ferrari and Maserati they can develop something that is reliable, with good software, good sensors, etc, I hope that it never goes away.

I personally love the paddle shift, and I hope it doesn't disappear completely.

[edit +]

There is also the factor of how far automatics have come. The ZF in the QP is not the same slushbox of old.
 

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Was just at my dealer and was discussing whether there are plans for a duo select version. He was just back from factory and suggested the Duo Select is on its way out, and further, we may not see any more Manual / Duo Select transmissions as Maserati goes more mainstream / luxury.

Tell me it ain't so!
I said this two months ago when I went to the unveiling at F of SF. It was a money losers for them because luxury car buyers want a conventional transmission, AND, they alienated possible repeat buyers who were offended with clutch problems on such a pricey car. It makes sense.

The coupe is a nice driver, and the NAV is very nice. Much more advanced that what is presently in the QP. You won't see this NAV in the QP for another model year.

BTW, the lines look much better with dark colors.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've heard they improved the software in the new ZF for the GT as well. I still stand by that this auto is better than anything from Bentley, MB, BMW or Porsche. If they keep refining the auto and its accompanying MSP systems, we might not miss the paddle-shifters that much.
 

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What is the story regarding production numbers for the GranTurismos bound for the US? It sounds like the ones coming to the US initially are all spoken for. Will it be like that for all of 08? When might we see some GranTurismos on dealer lots? Sorry if this has been re-hashed before.

Its definitely starting to grow on me and I would love to see one in person.
 

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I lucked into a factory tour last month and got to see an assembly line of GranTurismo's, as well as several finished cars. MoM's photo at the top is a very good one, but you have to see it in person.

The GT is one of the most spectacularly beautiful pieces of sculpture I've ever seen. Absolutely jaw-dropping. The QP pales by comparison.
 

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I must admit the car has its strenghts, compared to the previous lineup. For me at least, I will wait for 1 or 2 years and see how this piece of kit evolves. If they plug-in an improved, beefier powertrain, THEN it will become a replacement for my GS when it goes out of factory warranty.

It must be said that Maserati, by using the same powertrain as the GS/Coupe (+ some fine-tuning to take a bit more juice our of it) is showing how reliable and trusted this engine is, and evolving from there is not easy and takes time. But they have something solid to build upon. Slightly worried they might be doing it with Alfa rather than Ferrari.

Interesting, though, that on the 3200 (which was the start-up product of the Ferrari times) there is a known issue amongst savvy users which have noted valve timings were not correctly set FROM NEW (that is, at factory) thus hampering performance. Word on the street is that this detuning was done purposedly... why valve timings were found incorrectly set even on engines inspected before the rear cam chain replacement FROM NEW..? And NOT ONE (and here quoting an indepentent who has serviced quite a few 3200s, possibly more than all official dealerships combined) was EVER found with timings to spec..?

When Ferrari tested the redeveloped 3200 biturbo engine (a De Tomaso legacy product) they found it kicked the ass out of anything with 8 cyls thrown at them. It even was on par with early Diablos (and we're talking a 5 liter v12 here...) The issue with the Maser was putting all that power on the tarmac from standing, but at top-end... it flies. In fact, I have driven 3200s, both standard and Asseto Corsas, and going too far down the pedal from 1st is asking for trouble... I have never experienced the same on the 4200 and the GS.

Now, if you think it twice, the 4200 engine block is the same as the 430 one, but obviously there are improvements on the 430 which give it that extra edge.

Anyway, just gossip. Got into memory-drive mode.

Back on the GT, must also admit I still have issues with the looks of the GT, but that's me, so each to its own.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I haven't had the pleasure of driving or researching tuning of the 3200's much, but I have to assume that with the biturbo setup there is *a-lot* of room for performance gains, especially if they were detuned to begin with. I'm sure that would be a fun car to build up.

re: production numbers;
From what I understand all of '08 production is spoken for, and I think most dealers are looking at pre-sales taking them to at least April or May at this point. I wouldn't be surprised if the waiting list gets longer as the demos hit dealers lots and people finally have a chance to drive it. I know we have 5-6 people that are nearly ready to order, once they get to drive it.

- Mark
 

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On DuoSelect/F1/CC, I think one big issue is the default (normal) mode is just too slow and wobbly, and people tend to base their opinion on that. Even though the sport mode shifts can be more abrupt under more throttle they are very very nice under light throttle. (James May made this comment in his last Maser review)

I was just driving my car yesterday (I put it away for a few weeks while driving my Subaru around) and in all honesty the F1 system is just fantastic. I love it.

Now on the ZF, my wife's new BMW 535xi has I think the same ZF (albeit with different software I am sure) and in terms of lockup and shifting that transmission is amazing. You still know it is an automatic, but it is very sharp indeed.

There is a lot of the new coupe design that (obviously) comes from the QP, definitely the nose packaging and how far back the engine is. I like the wheels, but the rear looks too Mercedes to me. I think the front is distinctive but the sides/fenders are very Pininfarina. The cockpit is also very "divided".

I think if you would consider a Mercedes SL, then this new coupe is a great choice as it has more exclusivity/styling. However the "old" coupe demonstrates more passion and I love the Giugiaro styling, and if you look at the configuration (dry sump, CC, etc.) it wound up being bought by those looking for an "entry level Ferrari", buyers who are more "car guys".

The real question is: what is Maser's target market for this car? Personally, I don't think it is "us", the people who wound up finding the prior model. But definitely those buying the SL65 et al, that is the their target market.
 
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