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From what I keep being told, Its more an Italian thing. They do not want their cars shifting like all the German and Japanese cars. From reading numerous posts on Ferrari shifting, it is the same way. After looking into it for a while I went with GT. You will find just as many complaints with the Cambio shifting. They both have good and bad features, Just a matter of what is more important to you. I had the SMG on my M3 that I traded for the Spyder GT and I missed the feel of using a clutch. The SMG/Cambio system is a great feature for everyday driving but this car will not be my every day car just mainly used for fun drives and learning the shifting of an Italian sports cars is what I am looking forward to. Have talked to people who have driven these cars and they tell me the system is great, Just have to learn the shifting pattern with some practice. I should have my car next week so if your still undecided I could give you more feedback then
 

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I had the S2000 and that car was by far the smoothest shifting car I have ever driven, Almost to the point where it was boring. Then traded for a Boxster S and that car was not nearly as smooth and now will find out about Maserati GT. Its funny it seems the more money I spend, Shifting gets harder. That is part of the reason I went with the GT. This car will not be my everyday vehicle, Will mainly be used for fun spirited drives and learning all the little tricks is what I am looking forward to. My car is a February 04 build so will let you know if they have addressed those linkage issues once I pick it up this week. And the smell of one month old Italian leather was incredible
Hoping those electrical niggles got fixed also. Took the owners manual home with me so that I will be familiar with car when I pick it up and boy o boy that car has a lot of electrical things. It seems they are worried about battery as there is much written about conserving juice. Then read that whole emergency start up procedure about pressing gas pedal to match light flashing to the 5 digit code they give you. Could just imagine trying to do that after a drink or two. Then maybe again I could use it as sobriety test to see if I should be driving. And leave it to the Italians to say you should avoid heavy meals before taking a drive, That was the first time I have ever seen something like that in an owners manual
 

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Just picked up my 04 GT this morning. found you cannot lazily shift from 1st to 2nd, Once you start you need to use some authority to get it there, Will take a bit to get use too but did not find it much of a problem. Plus I have been driving an M3 SMG the past two years so am probably a little rusty anyway. Bigger problem was the Alum race pedals are so close, found myself pushing gas and brake at same time and could be a much bigger problem if I was pushing brake and gas went with it. Those Italians must have little feet. I have a size 11 sneaker and the width on them with those wide bottoms they put on sneakers nowadays probably did not help. Think I need to look into some of those Italian driving shoes I saw at the dealership. Also the Tubi sounded great
 

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Am posting an update on my driving experience of the GT, Hoping it will help anyone trying to decide which way to go. On my drive home from the dealership I was really starting to think I made a mistake going with the GT. Started with me spending 10 minutes trying to get car in reverse before I had to go back in and ask for help. I had remembered something about pulling up to get in reverse but I pretty much missed everything he was saying as I was just staring outside in disbelief at the downpour going on outside. I ordered car in November for A late March Del. figuring I would get car just in time for spring time here in the Northeast. Then the big day comes for me to get my car, April 1st which happened to be the day that set records for rain here, We got over 6" in less than 24 hrs. Like a dope I had been pulling up on the gear shift and he tells me about the little ring under the knob. So get that problem out of the way and start my trip home which requires me to take the Mass pike, a very busy road. visibility was very tough with driving rains and spray from all the big trucks, and like all roadsters, spyder has big blind spots. Car seemed to behaving badly as engine kept revving as I would try to slow, Then realized my Basketball sneakers were catching the gas pedal as I would press on brake, was getting very frustrated thinking of how easy my M3 SMG was to drive and why did'nt I order the Cambio. Once I got home I just parked car in garage and really started to wonder if I make a mistake getting GT. The next day more rain so did not drive but went on to the F-chat board and found out I need to switch to driving sneakers and ordered a pair online. This morning the weather finally improved enough to go out for nice long drive most of it with top down even though it was only 42 degrees out. Found a pair of dress shoes that were narrow tipped and what a huge difference it made, had no more problems with pedals. Once I got use to the dog leg type shift from 1st to 2nd, just need to make sure you pull the shifter towards you, it went in very nice and all other gear changes were great. Roads were finally dry and I really got to get on car for the first time and quickly remembered why I wanted the GT. After driving my M3 SMG for two years it felt great to get that feeling of really having full control of car again. I know both transmissions offer you the same power but it just feels like having the clutch gives you an extra boost. I found this also when I would drive friends M3 with stick. I hope this helps anyone trying to decide as I know first hand how tough A decision it is to make and how little info is out there on the GT. One last little funny story, My wife was looking at my car and then she saw the Alum race pedals and told me I should cut up some pieces of rubber and cement them on :roll:
 

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Got up nice an early this morning to get a nice long ride in before the rain/snow starts up this afternoon. Have had many after-market exhaust and none were close to what the Tubi gives me. Does not have the drone sound when highway cruising and the sound on up and down shifts is amazing and has that great burbling sound when slowing down. For anyone considering Tubi, Go for it, Its worth every penny. Between the sound of the engine with those chains whirling and the exhaust, The Maserati will make many Ferrari owners jealous. A couple other observations I have had on the 04, is after reading all those reviews and starting to make me nervous of ordering the Spyder GT without ever even sitting in one were not problems at all. Have found ride very comfortable, Better than the M3 coup I traded for it, Much better than my S2000 and about equal to my Boxster S. found very little cowl shake, Maserati seemed to have addressed that and many others issues with the 04. Great thing about small production cars is that they can make changes very quickly in production.
 
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