The design of the current Maserati Coupé reflects the same ‘understated power’ already established by the earlier 3200 GT. The two cars are broadly similar in appearance, sharing many design cues, but the changes introduced by Italdesign-Giugiaro are clearly evident in certain features of the new model, particularly the more muscular design of the bonnet and the rear end, where new clear-lens light clusters have been harmoniously incorporated into the wings. The V8 badges on the front wings make the Maserati Coupé 2004 instantly recognisable.
The Maserati identity is conveyed by numerous design details, first and foremost the nose, which sports the historic oval shield as well as the famous trident on the grille. The Coupé 2004 sits on 18 inch diameter, 15-spoke alloy wheels as standard, or an all-new 7-spoke design available as option.
The body is a two-door, four-seater configuration. The engine is mounted longitudinally at the front, with rear-wheel drive and a transaxle transmission, which also locates the gearbox at the rear. The steel monocoque bodyshell incorporates a tubular steel sub-frame at the front. Great attention has been paid to all aspects of safety, the Coupé’s structure is designed to meet the latest EC and USA standards for both front, side and rear impact crash tests.
The 4244 cc, 90° V8 engine is compact and lightweight, weighing just 184 kg. It shares the same architecture as modern competition engines, and heralds a new generation of Maserati power units which are designed to combine superb performance with noteworthy improvements in torque, combustion efficiency and exhaust emissions.
Performance figures are outstanding, enhanced by continuously variable valve timing for each of the twin overhead camshafts per bank. The camshafts are chain driven, while the four valves per cylinder are actuated by hydraulic tappets. Maximum power output is 390 bhp (287 kW) at 7,000 rpm, with a peak torque of 330 lb ft (451 Nm) at 4,500 rpm.
A top speed of 177 mph is complemented by superb acceleration figures over short distances – the result of superb response and excellent traction – and over longer distances as a result of the prodigious engine torque, power delivery and sleek aerodynamics. In addition to the 0-to-62 mph (0-to-100 km/h) acceleration time of just 4.9 seconds, the Coupé accelerates from 0-to-400 metres in 13 seconds and 0-to-1000 metres in 23.5 seconds.