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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody,

Just wanted to hear what your view on the Coupe handling is. I have a 2003 Coupe CC with Skyhook. I'm a quite "active" driver (guess most of you are!) and like to drive fast and hard from time to time.

I use the Sport mode quite frequently even though the roads are a little bumpy sometimes. Now, I find that the handling of the car isn't that great when put under pressure, whether in sport mode or not. It feels kind of heavy and also a bit unstable at times. You really have to work hard to move it well in corners and turns. Sometimes I actually think the cars handling differs from day to day, sometimes terrible, sometimes okey :)

Think the sport mode isn't much better. Still pretty unstable and unpredictable when under pressure.

Maybe my problem is just that I've driven the wrong brand before, which is BMW. Both my two previous BMW's, which were standard 3-series cars with sport packages, would easily outhandle the maserati and drive much more stable and sporty. The Maserati would of course kick their *sses on a straight road with that great engine though.. And I should fill in though that I really like the Maserati even though it has some "issues".

I've had my car checked for wheels, suspension, tires are new etc and everything is as it should be (even had it checked at two different shops). Overall, there seems to be nothing wrong with it.

What's your opinion about the Maserati Coupe's handling capabilities? Do you think there is something wrong with mine or are they all like this?

Thanks.
 

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Interesting....

I have a 2002 coupe, haven't made suspension mods at all, I do have some roll in the corners, which was fixed by Maserati in the 2004 coupe, and yet even with the roll I am passing M3, M5, and M6's in the corners and killing them in the straights... I eat them off the line as well.. If you check out Formula Dynamics and their new springs as well as the ECU mod, you will end up with a Maserati that no BMW will touch... I think the roll makes it feel like your Maserati is giving in a little in the corners but I think if you push it a little more you will realize it's not giving in at all, just has a little body roll...
 

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Definately 4200 is NOT a hardcore sports car.
Is most like an ultra capable GT whatever this means.
For sure is not as fast as a 911S in a windy road, but it is very similar on an open road.
Needless to say that you get to your destination much more comfortably and relaxing.
If you really need that cornering ability, check out the GrandSport.
Definately more agile and capable, but less comfortable and refined than the Coupe.
AFA i'm concerned yes M3s are slower M5s and M6s....... i seriusly dought.
Specially in the open road.
Don't forget the max speed of the M5 without the speed limiter is 330 Km/h (over 200mph). so...........
 

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Here they are....

limited to 155 mph.. I am talking here in the states.. My 2002 Coupe is not limited... and yes with the US EPA stuff on the BMW, my maser regularly eats M5 and M6's, and Corvettes.... I understand that in Europe, Canada and other places that is different, but here in the states with a few mods, the Maser is a top dog other than when up against at Ferrari.
 

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The Maserati needs some improvement to be considered a well handling sports car in todays world of so many top performance competitors. It was really more designed to be a balance between sport and luxury.

If you've ever followed a coupe in spirited driving you can see the pronounced body roll and sway as well as the loss of grip and substantial understeer as the nose pushes. In stock trim an M3 will outperform a Maserati in the corners by a good margin, having spent considerable time in both.

The Maserati does perform much better however with wider rims / tires and performance springs. It clearly outperforms a stock M3 or even perhaps a 911 with those changes. Of course there are bushing kits, coil over kits, swaybar upgrades, etc. The sky is the limit but springs and tires are a great start and a huge improvement for performance handling.
 

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... It feels kind of heavy and also a bit unstable at times. You really have to work hard to move it well in corners and turns. ...

That's why you have 400 hp under your right foot than what 200 or so in a 3 series....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Handling

Guys,

Thanks for all replies. :)

While I can agree that it might sometimes seem that the car will let go easier than it might, I have pushed it hard to find out with the back loosing grip and caused a spin. Ended off road once due to that. Nothing serious though, controlled circumstances.

In speeds over 150km/h and under heavy acceleration the car becomes more stable, which must have to do with the Skyhook kicking in and tightening things up a lot?

I have brand new Michelin PS2 tires (265/35 back and think it's 245/40 front) so the tires should be ok.

Discussed with the shop to change springs (mentioned formula dynamics, which they hadn't heard of here in Sweden where I live and had no experience of) but they advised not to do changes in the springs/damping in general but to stick with the original set up. The shop also mentioned that some guys had had their Coupe's lowered only to arrive back wanting them set to the original settings again.

Now I don't say you can't kick *ss when racing BMW's, Porsches etc (except that GT3 which left me long behind.. amazing handling on that one), since the power in the car is awesome, it's just how nice it feels and how secure it is. I'd like to find the right adjustments to make the car more sporty but still practical (like don't having to worry about speed bumps or curbs when parking). From my experience there is not a natural correlation between having a decent sporty handling and an uncomfortable ride, after all isn't that what the Sport-button is about? I know you can have awesome handling in a car and still use it for normal driving without finding it uncomfortable, seen that before!

M!!: Yes, having 400hp is great but you won't be able to use all that power (or even part of it) in most situations, which kind of takes out the fun of it a bit.

Are there any videos around showing a stock Coupe versus one with modified springs/lowered/damping etc? Would be nice to see how it changes the cars behavior. My gut feeling is that the main problem is in the springs and damping.

I'm pretty determined I want to fix this on the car since I think with the handling in place the car would be just perfect, the engine and gearbox is awesome (except in rush traffic queues..ouch), its beautiful, got personality, and the sound.. wow, when you're doing 7000rpms in fifth gear and smash in 6th with sport mode.. mmm :)
 

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Stock vs Aftermarket Springs - Lowering

PS2's are good tires, that's just fine.

When most people lower their coupe with stock springs they do go back, the reason is that the stock springs are already soft and in order to lower it you take even more preload off the springs, then the suspension is actually very, very soft. However it will feel very harsh. The reason is that it's so soft that the suspension quickly accelerates towards bottom out and the skyhook attempts to save it from damage by quickly stiffening the dampening. This causes it to actually be very floaty on top which is dangerous when steering back and forth in high speed situations like sweepers. It also makes it very harsh over bumps like potholes and washboard. Really it doesn't handle very well at all when lowered with stock springs.

A good performance spring fixes all of these problems. There is a big difference between a stock lowered coupe and a proper performance spring on the Skyhook cars. We have many customers that can back this up as many first attempt to lower it themselves to save a few bucks, then decide that they like the lowered look and some characteristics of handling but want it to behave correctly and install the springs.

BTW, tires and springs also help you harness all that power, you will be able to put more down in the corners without the car wanting to spin out.
 

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I quite like the skyhook suspension. At speeds of 100-120 on windy mountain roads it works quite well. It doesn't work so well at 40-60 around very tight corners.

So, yah, it isn't a track vehicle.
 

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I quite like the skyhook suspension. At speeds of 100-120 on windy mountain roads it works quite well. It doesn't work so well at 40-60 around very tight corners.

So, yah, it isn't a track vehicle.
100-120 on windy mountain roads... !!!
 

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My take on this is that the shocks are crap.
I am looking for some used OEM ones to use as a pattern.
Any help would be appreciated.
 

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I have posted on the subject before, but as a non-Skyhook car, it severely understeers until you completely compress the outside shocks, then it will snap oversteer if you gas it. It makes for a hairy ride on the track, and I think I use about half of the avail. horsepower in the tight radius turns. Frustrating, really. In the straight I am hard to pass, but I'm a road block in the curves. Depends on the track, but it takes serious nuts and a willingness to "almost spin" in order to be fast.
 

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I have posted on the subject before, but as a non-Skyhook car, it severely understeers until you completely compress the outside shocks, then it will snap oversteer if you gas it. It makes for a hairy ride on the track, and I think I use about half of the avail. horsepower in the tight radius turns. Frustrating, really. In the straight I am hard to pass, but I'm a road block in the curves. Depends on the track, but it takes serious nuts and a willingness to "almost spin" in order to be fast.
Totaly true!
4200 is not focused on agressive driving and mindless placing over the apex.
I used to drive a 911S (996) and i must say that after tire warming, placing was a "walk in the park" comparing to the 4200.
When the road was slippery only a couple of times i remember the car behaving oversteering, but that was easily becoming controlable oversteering by just pressing the throttle hard.
Yes the engine's weight in the back helps, but also the whole setup of the car, helps you to drive agressivly.
The set out, engine front - driveway back is ideal for fast GTs but all true track-supercars are mid or rear engined. (most Ferraris, Lambos, Porsches, Paganis, Ford GT any many others)
 

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When the springs are right, the car places much easier. In stock form, you have to first compress the spring as you enter a corner, this takes a second and is a bit nerve racking because you're not actually changing directions yet ;) . Once the car has compressed the outside springs, you can then place the car.

With the proper spring rate, you can simply place the car when you turn in, just like the porsche as it doesn't have any body roll. It's a very different experience. At the track we suprised a lot of people with the springs, because they were used to eating up the coupes in their porsches. We were the fastest of the day behind a boosted NSX race car.
 

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Totaly true!
4200 is not focused on agressive driving and mindless placing over the apex.
I used to drive a 911S (996) and i must say that after tire warming, placing was a "walk in the park" comparing to the 4200.
When the road was slippery only a couple of times i remember the car behaving oversteering, but that was easily becoming controlable oversteering by just pressing the throttle hard.
Yes the engine's weight in the back helps, but also the whole setup of the car, helps you to drive agressivly.
The set out, engine front - driveway back is ideal for fast GTs but all true track-supercars are mid or rear engined. (most Ferraris, Lambos, Porsches, Paganis, Ford GT any many others)
I also had a 996 and that was my experience as well. I will have to say, I got tired of the Porsche much sooner than the Maserati. Track days are few.
 

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I quite like the skyhook suspension. At speeds of 100-120 on windy mountain roads it works quite well. It doesn't work so well at 40-60 around very tight corners.

So, yah, it isn't a track vehicle.
Amen to that, Glenn. My Coupe's handling shines at higher speeds. I had a glorious drive home from work last night on an almost empty interstate, full moon, winding through a few sweepers at 135 mph...delightful!

It also seems to handle better in the turns under power. Pulls/rails right on through, whereas going in off the gas it seems to "seek" a bit before settling in.
 
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