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Discussion Starter #1
If I have no intention of tracking my Coupe, why is Skyhook a must have option ?

I'm ready to pull the trigger on my first Maserati, a low mileage '02 - it does not have Skyhook but is otherwise a clean car at a great price. The only thing holding me back is all the commentary about Skyhook being a must have.
I'm an aggressive driver and love handling in winding roads - currently driving a '99 911 and have found that generally, on long drives or even as a daily driver, it's tiring after a while and would like something slightly more 'forgiving' on the organs.

Comments please - do not want to buy a non-skyhook and be sorry.



Thanks

RMB
 

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I participate in drives with a few other Maserati owners and a few of them have upgraded springs/shocks, etc (Look for other threads on this site).
Needless to say they can out corner my stock '02 Coupe with Skyhook.

Since I am not really an aggressive driver, the upgrades are not of any real interest - to me. Although I do appreciate the benefits.....

I would focus on the history of the car; care and upkeep are my priorities and the upgrades can come in time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. So, If I'm reading you and the other threads correctly, Skyhook, when on, lowers the car and stiffens the suspension for better cornering and sharper handling - otherwise, the ride is more compliant.

Then, is the non-Skyhook cars the same or similar to the Skyhook cars with it turned off ? And, if so, then by going aftermarket on non-Skyhook cars, I can effectively achieve the same thing ?

Correct or am I missing something.

Thanks again.

P.S. the Coupe is a 2002 silver/gray w/ 24k, 2 owner, 6 speed with clean carfax - traded to the dealer for a new 5 series.

Any comparisons to the '99 996-911 C2 I have now ?
 

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The skyhook button stiffens the damping when on. Non skyhook is about in the middle of the two settings.

The skyhook cars are lower, but the button has nothing to do with it. The springs are lower.
 

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IMHO the advantage of Skyhook is being able to soften the suspension for rough roads. People on here have said the non-Skyhook cars are fairly stiffly sprung and damped.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks - I guess, than if I like the ride, I should have no issue buying a non-skyhook car - I doubt it's stiffer than my 996 - and most likely considerably more comfortable drive.
 

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Remember that there are currently no mods for non skyhook springs.

there IS no aftermarket fix for it.

I think skyhook is a deal breaker.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think skyhook is a deal breaker.
Is the ride just that awful without the extra dampening ? I don't get why a suspension option is a dealbreaker ? Maybe I'm just used to Audi's and Porsche's where there is a multitude of options, and for me, I have generally been satisfied with the balance between performance and comfort that stock usually provides.

Would it be a deal breaker for you for aggresive, everyday driving with the occasional road trip through the winding/hills ?

Thanks

RMB
 

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Skyhook does not lower the car. However, the design of the skyhook spring perches allows for adjustable ride height with the use of tools. Skyhook electrically adjusts the damping of the shocks.

It sounds to me as though you like the car as it is. In that case, I see no reason to avoid it. It IS a Maserati, after all.
 

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Remember that there are currently no mods for non skyhook springs.

there IS no aftermarket fix for it.
That is currently true...however, I believe FormulaDynamics has stated that they would be willing to make a spring package for the non-skyhook cars if someone would be willing to leave their car with them a while for the prototype process. I am one of the ones' who has been too lazy (and too busy) to drive my car to them. Part of the problem of my semi-lack of interest, however, is that my main reason to change the springs would primarily be to lower the car for looks and, secondarily, maybe a bit more body (roll) control. Otherwise, I am perfectly happy with the current level of handling and ride characteristics. Thus, I don't know if a spring package is worth the money. (I don't track the car).

If I was buying an out-warranty maser, skyhook is a gamble. It is another electronic system in an Italian car. (My neighbor's F360 is in the shop for - among some other interior items - a skyhook fault. The initial potential bill for this is $1500. This bill is expected to increase after they start a detail suspension inspection. BTW, this is a reputable independent shop - not the dealer- price accordingly.)

(edit - I, maybe, did not make clear that I am non-skyhook and proud of it. :) )
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, now that I as reaching a comfort level buying a non-skyhook car, I think IT DOES have skyhook. Per th dealer, there are both an ACR and SPORT switches on the console. When he pushes the Sport button, a yellow 'sport' light on the dash illuminates.

Definitive guys ?

Thanks
 

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All the threads I've read on this forum related to the topic seem to indicate that if the console button says 'sport', then its a skyhook car, and if it says 'power' then it's a non-skyhook car.

For the record, I think I would consider skyhook a deal breaker as well. My '02 Coupe CC is a daily driver in the midwest, and I haven't tracked my car to date, and might not ever. However, I would bet that after driving the car for some time, you will eventually want to both lower the car a bit purely for cosmetic reasons and want a bit more stiffness in the suspension (both of these much easier accomplished with a skyhook car). I keep the car is sport (skyhook stiffening on) almost all the time, and still find the body roll a bit annoying just tooling back and forth from work.
 

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I thought skyhook is more for street than for track. It uses sensor to adjust the shock so you have a smoother ride. The whole idea is that you can have suspention dialed more on the sporty side w/o giving you a harsh ride.

Given what these cars are being marketed to, a skyhook is desireble in general...

jess
 

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Skyhook

I have an 04 Spyder with Skyhook. I am an experienced aggressive driver with two other high performance cars (Infiniti G35 sports) and quite frankly I find the stock suspension on the Mas a complete joke. The car rides like a '73 T-Bird (e.g. it wallows, floats, and is just plain scary at high speeds) despite good ultimate grip. The odd part is that the Skyhook does nothing to improve the handling but makes the car ride very rough at low speeds. If anyone does not believe me, just check out Jeremy Clarkson's review of the Coupe on Topspeed.

The ONLY solution to this sad situation is to upgrade the springs to something much, much, stiffer. If you are serious about handling and don't want an '87 Golf to blow by you in the twisties, then I would suggest that you dismiss Skyhook and solve the real problem by stiffening the entire suspension.
 

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Definitive

Ok, now that I as reaching a comfort level buying a non-skyhook car, I think IT DOES have skyhook. Per th dealer, there are both an ACR and SPORT switches on the console. When he pushes the Sport button, a yellow 'sport' light on the dash illuminates.

Definitive guys ?

Thanks
It's definitive - if there's a sport button on the console, it's Skyhook equipped. It's really not a deal-breaker either way, just a matter of preference. I agree with FlashGordon that the standard Skyhook setting is way too soft much of the time and switch the system over to sport mode pretty often, but I like hard riding sports cars. The nice thing about Skyhook is that you have the choice. Enjoy the car!

Best -

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's definitive - if there's a sport button on the console, it's Skyhook equipped. It's really not a deal-breaker either way, just a matter of preference. I agree with FlashGordon that the standard Skyhook setting is way too soft much of the time and switch the system over to sport mode pretty often, but I like hard riding sports cars. The nice thing about Skyhook is that you have the choice. Enjoy the car!

Thanks - I got a copy of the original order sheet and confirmed its Skyhook. Today's the day. Need to test drive first, however, compare it to my 911
 

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I have an 04 Spyder with Skyhook. I am an experienced aggressive driver with two other high performance cars (Infiniti G35 sports) and quite frankly I find the stock suspension on the Mas a complete joke. The car rides like a '73 T-Bird (e.g. it wallows, floats, and is just plain scary at high speeds) despite good ultimate grip. The odd part is that the Skyhook does nothing to improve the handling but makes the car ride very rough at low speeds. If anyone does not believe me, just check out Jeremy Clarkson's review of the Coupe on Topspeed.

The ONLY solution to this sad situation is to upgrade the springs to something much, much, stiffer. If you are serious about handling and don't want an '87 Golf to blow by you in the twisties, then I would suggest that you dismiss Skyhook and solve the real problem by stiffening the entire suspension.
Actually, the '83 VW GTI was the owner of the twisties. That car was on RAILS. I used to drive it so hard through the esses that on two occasions, with recommended tire pressures in the stock Pirelli P6's, I actually peeled the tires off (debeaded them). That was without equal the tightest handling car I've ever owned. It got to the point that I actually installed a stopwatch on the dash, and every day on my way to work I'd try to better my time on a 3/4 mile stretch of road. Basically a stretched out autocross with potholes. What fun that was...
 

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The Maserati is a GT car. If you want an autocrosser, get an old Lotus or, apparantly, an '83 Golf. All cars are a compromise and trying to make it into something it is not will be frustrating. Of course, there is certainly room for improvement to suit individual tastes.

Does anyone know if the larger diameter sway bars from the later cars will bolt right into the early cars?
 

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Maserati Handling

With respect to Fast Freddie's comments on GT versus autocross handling - I agree completely that that Mas is a GT car and when I bought it, I did not harbour any illusons that it would equal a Porsche 911 or Lotus or similar hard core "sports cars" in handling (especially not in Autocross situations). The problem is that (in stock trim), the Maserati it is not even up to the standard of a very mediocre handling car let alone something with sporting aspirations like my 07 Infiniti G35 Sedan (which is by no means even close to state of the art).

As an example, I went directly from driving my Maserati to a Ford Mustang GT rental this summer while on vaction and I was dismayed that the Mustang out performed the Maserati in every meaningfull performace category related to handling. Believe me - I did not desire this.

The problem is the springs. They are specced for the NA market and are simply too soft and too high - just look at the clearance over the wheels (it is over 3 inches!!). My understanding is that the tall and very soft springs were installed for the US market because the cars are marketed as "GT cars" or as a luxury alternative to Ferrari.

I am not advocating turning the car in to something incompatible with its fundamental design (like an Autocrosser). But let's face reality here - try driving the car to its max speed on anything other than a perfectly straight, glass smooth road and you will quickly discover the shortcomings of the stock suspension set up - it is truly frightening at anything above about 125 MPH. I think a reasonable expectation for an italian exotic GT is that it at least handles as well as a mid priced japanese sport sedan (Infiniti G35, Acura TL, Lexus IS 350 etc.).

The good news is that there appears to be a cheap solution for Skyhook cars - both Formula Dynamics and Leo Nardo make stiffer springs that should solve the problem. I just bought a set from FD (less than $1000) and I will have them installed in the spring. I will post the results.

Going back to the original posted question - my opinion (for what it is worth) is that Skyhook is a "must have" because nobody makes stiffer springs for non-Skyhook cars and without the stiffer springs, the car is simply substandard when compared against other modern performance vehicles.
 

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By looking at the diagrams on Eurospares's web site, the springs for all versions of the car look the same. For all Coupe/GS/Skyhook, the part numbers for the front/rear are: 197890/197896.

The only different is the shock assembly, the sports version has an electronic damper. If there is any difference between the Euro and NA specs, it could only be the height of the spring settings.

One could always lower the springs to get the car back to the original specs, which should improve the handling. There was a post a while back, someone did it and had great success.

Front shock for Coupe

Front shock for GS
 
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