The 2004 Maserati Spyder | Part Two

The 2004 Maserati Spyder

Maserati Spyder

Design

The design of the current Maserati Spyder 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. With its reduced wheelbase, the Spyder is 220 mm shorter than the Coupé.

The Spyder features a fully-automated convertible fabric roof, with an electro-hydraulic operating system, and a design which does not intrude on the boot space when folded down. The heated rear window is made from glass and twin body-coloured roll-hoops are positioned behind the cockpit.

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 Spyder 2004 sits on 18 inch diameter, 15-spoke alloy wheels as standard, or an all-new 7-spoke design available as option.

Bodywork

The body is a two-door, two-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 Spyder’s structure is designed to meet the latest EC and USA standards for both front, side and rear impact crash tests. In addition, the Spyder features twin hoops behind the cockpit to protect occupants in the unlikely event of a roll-over.

Engine

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.

continues... | Part Three
Published 20 May 2004 Melanie Carter

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