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Discussion Starter #1
I just received my '02 coupe last week. For the most part I am pleased, but there are some issues. I have done a bit of auto body work over the years, and I am very sensitive to finish defects. On my car, if you sight along the tops of the front fenders, directly adjacent to the hood while looking towards the rear of the car, you can see imperfections in the sheet metal. Nothing you would notice without looking hard, in fact I had to backlight the area to see it clearly. You can see what appear to be shallow ripples in the sheet metal. The curves of the fender are wide and there is twist along the panel, which makes for a challenging stamping, and I wonder if this is a defect common to this car, or only mine.

Second, the transmission is a bit of a disappointment so far. I bought the car as a "new" vehicle, on condition that all updates had been done. I have the shop receipt that the latest transmission updates have been done, but the shifting is quite slow, in my opinion. Also, twice while in auto mode and pulling away from a stop, the engine has revved quite a bit higher than expected, as though the clutch hadn't been fully released before applying the accelerator. Were this a conventional transmission, I would describe the problems as related to a sticky clutch release, and I wonder if that is a common problem on this car. The shifting seems to be improving as I drive it (400mi so far).

My car came with the fancy stereo, but the sound is awfully muddy to my ears. I've played with the bass and treble to no avail. Is there an equalizer that can be accessed?

Next, when pulling away from a stop, in sport mode and ASR engaged, I goosed it a bit and was suprised to swing the back end out severely. There had been recent light rains, but I figured I was safe with ASR. Anyone else have issues with traction control?

Sorry to lead off with compaints, I am sure Maserati can resolve them under warranty when I bring it in. I like to go in armed with as much info as possible.

On the plus side, the look of the car is fantastic, with just the right balance of sport and classic looks. I'm sorry to see the factory introduce the "Grand Sport" model, I can imagine the conversation at the factory: "Franco, the car, she is not selling in America, quick, slap on some mascara and high heels!".

The engine is of course wonderful, and the handling, minus my problem above, is also excellent.
 

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Welcome to the site and congrats on becoming a Maserati owner.

About the shifting, the software is still flawed from what I've read and heard. Some even have said the tires will squeel from too much torque. Hopefully they will fix this.

About the stereo. I'm surprised to hear this actually. Another user commented here (see post below) that the stereo system from the factory was more then enough. Here is the link to it:

http://www.maseratiforum.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=57

Hope this helps!
 

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The not quite right shifting of the Cambiocorsa system at this time is why I went with the GT. My M3 with SMG had all these same quirks, I think with more people driving these cars and giving back their feedback to the manufactures these problems will get fixed. And the great thing is since most of it is software related older models will be able to get the improvements. I trade my cars every couple of years and am sure my next car will have some type of F1 shifter. I hope Maserati will give us a shift lever option to change gears also. I found on my M3 I never used the paddles always used the stick.
My car is due in Newark on 3/9 and I should have it about two weeks after that and look forward to sharing the GT shifting with all of you. Am sure I will find some faults with that system also.
 

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The sport mode definitely lets you slide the rear a little. It allows for some degree of power oversteer out of corners but is supposed to rein you in if you get too enthusiastic. I like the feature since it makes things a little more exciting. You can keep it in regular mode if you don't want any slippage.

BMW has something similar on the newer models where the stability control can be partially switched off, leaving ABS and Traction control in place.
 

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About the shifting... I drove 2002, 2003, and 2004 Cambio Spyders back to back. All had skyhook, and here's my conclusion:

The 2002 shifted very quickly in sport mode. It had no software update, or clutch update. When at full throttle, the shifts were insanely fast and sharp. However, those same characteristics when driving part throttle made the shift feel rough/jerky. Also, when pulling the car off the dealers somewhat slick epoxy floor, at the slightest throttle the wheels would slip a bit. Imagine a clock mechanism.. slip,roll, slip, roll. On the concrete it rolled smoothly.

With sport mode off, the shifting was slower, noticeably. However, with part throttle driving and a slight lift of the throttle just as you pull the paddle and the shift was pretty smooth. Suprisingly smooth, albeit not perfect. I then tried auto mode for about 30 seconds. It was bad. Jerky, rough. (consider that bad to me is compared with a true automatic). Saw no reason I would ever use this mode. Valet perhaps...

The 2003 had the clutch upgrade but also did not have the shift software upgrade. Same exact shifting as above, couldn't tell a difference in shifting. The only noticeable difference between driving the '02 and '03 was the 'cowl shake'. We have some seriously crappy roads here and the cowl shake was the worst on the 2002, but still there on the 2003 to a much lesser extent.

The 2004 was a different story. It came from the factory with the new shift software upgrade and also the clutch upgrade. First thing I noticed was that the tires rolled smoothly over the slick floor. When driving in sport mode, the shifting was noticeably slower than the '02 and '03. It was also noticeably smoother. When sport mode was off, smoother, slower. In auto mode, smoother, but still rougher than any automatic or well experienced driver with a manual.

All the info I wrote above about updates came from the dealer. They were great. Explained everything to me, let me drive several, and were very patient.

This is just my observation.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot... I bought a 2003 with clutch update but asked the dealer to NOT do the software update. They mentioned that a lot of their buyers ask the same after they drive them back to back. They are putting the Tubi on as I write this (thanks to the suggestions of people on this board). I have to make a comment though, I cannot believe for the life of me that I just paid $3000 for 2 stainless steel coffee cans. I must be nuts. I have a great wife, very supportive, but trying to get that past her was one of my more formidable challenges. It didn't even make sense to me, but the sound... oh the sound... Once I heard it (the 2004 above had the tubi) I felt that my car wasn't complete without it. Something was wrong... Like Pavoratti singing through a voice box. Needed to get back to the way it should have been from the factory... the Tubistyle way. After all, this IS an Italian sports car, and that IS why my pocketbook will never be the same. Need to make the most of it.

Also had the dealer do a complete 3M paint protection kit. Have mixed thoughts on that. It looks like it will protect the paint (daily driver for me), but you can see it. It's not quite invisible. It has small wrinkles at a few places, and it scratches easier than I thought it would (the 3M film, not the paint). Dealer said that a few days in the sun will cause the material to stretch slightly and the small defects will go away. They promised to replace the piece if it doesn't (2 year warranty on install). Wonder how the finish will look when I put Zaino all over it....

The dealer should be done with the car in a few hours, then it will be mine! (err, mine and the banks) .
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update to previous post

I've driven the car a little more than 1k miles so far. The transmission has improved steadily, and I am pretty happy with it now. Something obviously needed a little breaking in.

Some of the stereo problems were resolved by the dealer. One door tweeter was loose and the passenger rear speaker grille was also loose.
 
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