The Maserati GranSport | Part Four (2005)

Suspension

Designed to combine excellent dynamic handling with sumptuous comfort, the Maserati GranSport light alloy double wishbone suspension with anti-dive and antisquat geometries, offers a combination of superb performance and uncompromising comfort.

The rear suspension is fitted with a toe-in regulator bar which enhances the precision of the drive train, assuring optimal tyre grip at all times and perfectly balanced cornering.

The front suspension layout incorporates "anti-dive" features to prevent nose-diving when braking. The suspension system is completed by front and rear anti-roll bars.

To further enhance dynamic characteristics, Maserati and Mannesmann-Sachs developed the Skyhook adaptive damping system, one of the most advanced of its kind. This system, via a set of sensors, continually monitors the movement of the wheels and car body, and transmits this information to a central unit. By analysing this data, the control unit determines the road and vehicle running conditions and instantaneously adjusts each damper accordingly. The Skyhook radically improves ride quality in that it perfectly and "actively" controls the damping rate and hence the vehicle response in all conditions, producing maximum effectiveness in true comfort.

And it does so up to 10 times faster than other systems available on the market.

In addition to this automatic adjustment, the driver can also choose different operating modes at any time: Normal and Sport. The former ensures that every bump on the road is beautifully absorbed and maximum comfort is maintained at all times, while the latter is more performance-oriented. In both cases, a flatter set-up, more direct, precise steering and new tyres with improved lateral grip make driving even more accurate and fun.

Safety

Superior dynamics don’t only translate into excellent performance. The overall set-up of all of the components connected to driving and road behaviour are the result of a design created to strike a perfect balance between comfort, sportiness, with active and passive safety.

The GranSport employs a Brembo braking system with light alloy four-piston callipers all round and cross-drilled large ventilated discs (front 330 mm x 32, rear 310 mm x 28) to guarantee immediate deceleration and shorter braking distances. The two-stage servo brake is calibrated to retain high sensitivity, even with a very rapid reaction time, and is assisted by the four-channel Bosch 5.7 ABS anti-lock braking system, the EBD electronic braking corrector, and the MSR system, which controls the engine to prevent locking of the rear wheels when drivers change-down to exploit engine braking.

continues... | Part Five
Published 5 February 2005 Melanie Carter

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