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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All:

Newbie here, so please be gentle. I've sold my Lotus Esprit V8 to appease my family and am going to one car (unloading my Audi A8 too). The front runner is a Maserati coupe due to performance and the ability to actually fit adults in the rear seats. I don't have passengers often, but it's nice to know one can do it with the coupe. A novel idea!

I'm looking at several coupes and know enough just to be dangerous to myself. Were there any major changes between the introduction of the current coupe (2002 or 2003 not sure of intro date) and the 2006 coupe at the local dealer? If there is somewhere I can access a "Buyer's Guide" to note the differences (if any) I'd appreciate it. Of course, any input from experienced owners would be fantastic.

Some palnned upgrades if/when I buy:
Tubi, Ansa or Mille Miglia exhaust
19" wheels from a Grand Sport, maybe aftermarket (conservatively tasteful)
Grand Sport front spoiler and maybe the rear trunk lip (color matched to car)
Any ECU or transmission upgrade to improve drivability (if necessary)
I love the MC Victory seats too (but not in blue - SOL here I bet)
Aluminum pedals and some tasteful carbon fiber accents

It looks like the major service(wear) item is the cambricorsa clutch which may well be every 15-24 months with my mileage and presumed driving style. I've read extensively on the "Do's an Don't Do's" with regard to said clutch.

What I truly want to know is the ability to bring say a 2002-2004 up to 2006 specs if there were programming changes to the ECU (more power!), transmission programs, etc. Again any help is much appreciated. Feel free to call me with advice at (314) 889-0572.

Thanks in advance and Happy Motoring!

Mark "Feff" Pfeffer
 

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Differences between 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 model years

There were minor changes between the introduction year (2002) of the Coupé and the current model, no major engine changes or HP output changes. There were several changes to ECU/transmission programming and as far as I'm aware, these can be made retroactively to older models (and is done automatically by dealers during services, unless you ask them not to; some forum members have done so out of personal preference). There also have been minor changes to the color mixtures you can choose. Here are the changes I'm aware of:

2002: Introduction year
2003: Many small gremlins fixed, shortened production year
2004: Center console revised, cupholder added and armrest storage increased; "hillholder" feature added to tranmission
2005: Front grill enlarged (looks like GranSport), rear grill added, now allowed to choose contrasting color for center of seats
2006: Some exterior color choices were removed from standard list, no mechanical changes I'm aware of

If you're interested in the Spyder, I believe that one major change was that the 2002 MY used a plastic rear window whilst the 2003 and later years used a glass window and also the body was reinforced to reduce cowl shake.

If you are looking for a GranSport-look, the 2005-2006 MYs have a similar-sized grill, although it is dark grey instead of the chrome that the GranSport has. Also, the GranSport has a more aggressive-looking lower spoiler lip. The GranSport also has side skirts, which, in my opinion, actually look a little dorky.

In terms of aftermarket performance tuning, there are many ECU (15-20 HP increase) and exhaust options (10-15 HP increase). I'm sure Kevin from MVPeurosports.com would be happy to fill you in on them. Before changing the exhaust, or the wheels for that matter, I would try driving the Coupé around for a few weeks and see if you really want a louder exhaust or harder ride.

One last thing I'll mention is the F1 pump, which you should add to your major wear items.

Enjoy your search!
 

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Where to begin....

I will try to be brief. Just about all of your concerns have a thread or two dedicated to them.

02 was the first year for the Coupe in the States. There were not as many 03 coupes produced in the States as 02s and 04 coupes saw a cup holder. I had a dealer installed ECU update done to my 04. 05 - 06 coupes got a minor front and rear face lift and there are different options and packages.

If you bought an 04 coupe, got all ECU updates and added the grandsport rims you would be pretty close to the 05 or 06 coupe spec wise, save the front and back ground effects. Judging by the costs of the rims and the costs of buying, painting and installing the front and rear updated ground effects, it would probably make more sense just buying an 05 with a few thousand miles. An updated exhaust will run you 1,500 - 3,000 depending on what you want and who installs it regardless of year.

If you got a used 04 in great shape for the mid 60s, then added the GS tires and rims and updated the front and rear you would be spending more than an 05 with a few thousand miles. See whats listed on cars.com. Also take into consideration what color you want. Black is by far the most common available on the used market, followed by silver.

Now if you stumble onto an 02 or 03 mint coupe with low miles, it may be worth it to buy it, and upgrade it for the additional 5000 - 8000 +

Just make sure you check out all the service records and take the car to a dealer if you can to have it checked out.

Good luck. CM
 

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Judging by your desires, and planned upgrade possibilities, it sounds like maybe you would be better off doing a GranSport rather than base Coupe. They aren't a hell of a lot more right off the bat, and if the ride isn't too hard compared to the Coupe, it might end up saving you some cash compared to getting exhaust and wheels etc. Definately at least check in with your local dealer and try to drive both of them and get a proper feel for the differences.

- Mark
 

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I agree with the previous comments... BUT...

don't use an ANZA on a Maserati....and OH...No Chrome Rims...

PS--you can find some Stock rims on ebay...there is a seller there who has had 2 sets for at least 2 months and hasn't found a buyer.
 

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i agree with mark. sounds like you got your eyes on a GS already.
if you are okay with the coupe's interior (vs GS's interior), you can upgrade the specs to a gs (or better).

may be just get the seats in red from an enzo? ;)
 

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F. Yu said:
TIf you are looking for a GranSport-look, the 2005-2006 MYs have a similar-sized grill, although it is dark grey instead of the chrome that the GranSport has.
This chrome grille is available as an option and is standard on the 05-06 vintage pack cars. To the untrained eye, it is very difficult to tell the difference between a GS and an 05-06 vintage pack from the front (only difference being ride height and lower spoiler), and from the rear they are basically identical, chrome grille and same bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Spent the day with a 6-speed manual yesterday. The CC needs to be very impressive to top the manual tranny. Dealer is (hopefully) going to let me spend a day witht he CC they have. I imagine finding a used manual will be like finding Bin Laden - difficult but with patience and diligence it will happen.

Wife even liked the car when I took her and both children out for a spin. Kids were comfortable too. AC is a little noisier then I expected when cranked up and Maser could see fit to install the stereo from the Gransport in the coupe instead of phone/stereo/read-out of the coupe. Cleaner look and easier to use.

Great car with an understated look. My wife commented, "It's not boy-racer like an M3". I love that woman. :)

Mark "Feff" Pfeffer
 

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BTW, how much are you looking to get for the A8?
 

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Feffman said:
Wife even liked the car when I took her and both children out for a spin. Kids were comfortable too. AC is a little noisier then I expected when cranked up and Maser could see fit to install the stereo from the Grand Sport in the coupe instead of phone/stereo/read-out of the coupe. Cleaner look and easier to use.
feff, it is gransport, not grand sport; and i dont see how you can install the stereo unit from the GS to the coupe, or why you want to do it....

anyways, certainly a 6MT are less common than CC, and the general impression that the owner will tend to keep them longer. don't know about bin laden, but if your color/options preference is some rare combination then it ceratinly difficult. good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
M:

Gransport it is. My faux pax!

As for the stereo set up, I like the simplicity of the Gransport stereo. Sort of like the choice of NOT having MMI (Audi) and I-Drive (BMW). Simple and effective. The screen display on the Coupe isn't bad at all (and fortunately nothing as horrendous to use as MMI or I-Drive), just like the look of the Gransport set up.

The hunt continues!

Feff
 

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Given all of the things you're looking for, I'd say a GranSport would be a much better choice than a Coupé.
 

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i cannot imagine the cost of upgrading the dash of a coupe into the looks of a GS.
you are better off getting a GS.
 
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