The Maserati GranSport | Part Seven (2005)

Maserati GranSport

Maserati GranSport

400 hp Dry Sump V8

The Maserati GranSport’s normally aspirated 4244 cc V8 has all the structure of the most advanced racing engines with dry sump lubrication and twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank with four valves per cylinder hydraulic tappets. The intake cams also feature variable phase timing.

Its maximum power delivery has been upped from the original 390 hp to 400 hp (295 kW) too, thanks to special development work to reduce internal attrition and careful work on the intake manifolds and valve seats. The engine has been combined with a sports exhaust system that is instantly recognisable, thanks to the unusual design of its twin chrome exhausts and was designed to give enthusiasts that instantly recognisable deep, full-bodied rumble. Thanks to an electronically controlled pneumatic valve system, even more can be made of the exhaust by pressing the "Sport" button on the central console too.

Cambiocorsa Only

The Maserati GranSport is only available with the six-speed electro-hydraulic transmission in which the gears are changed using paddles mounted behind the steering wheel, a feature that further enhances the car’s sporty personality. The Cambiocorsa systems allows drivers to choose between various gear shifting modes (Normal, Sport, Automatic and Low Grip), and in the case of the Maserati GranSport, is controlled by specific software to speed up gear changing in all driving conditions. Even with respect to already very highly developed Coupe Cambiocorsa system, the Sport mode in the GranSport offers 35% faster gear changing on average and also balances engine revolutions and gear speed to make dropping down a gear even faster. Thanks to the new Cambiocorsa software, the Maserati GranSport can sprint a whole kilometre from standstill in a breathtaking 23 seconds flat.

The gear shift ratios are specific too, with the adoption of a sixth gear that is five per cent longer, which, in combination with its more powerful engine and improved aerodynamics, allows the Maserati GranSport to improve on the already blistering speeds of the Coupe, delivering a top speed of 290 km/h.

As with the other models in the Maserati range, the driver can choose between two levels of gear changing. Normal mode is more comfortable and typical of Grand Tourer driving, while with a touch of the Sport button on the central console they get to feel the true power of the car. The Sport mode delivers a much faster gear changing, a deeper exhaust sound and less invasive use of the MSP stability and traction control system. The optional Skyhook suspension system, which offers continuous damping control, is also affected by the driver’s choice of Normal or Sport modes.

For more comfort-oriented driving, there is even an Auto button which puts the gears in full automatic mode so that the driver need do nothing more than sit back enjoy the thrilling experience of driving a Maserati. However, the Sport function can still be activated in this mode.

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

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