The 2004 Maserati Spyder | Part Four

The 2004 Maserati Spyder

Maserati Spyder

The Maserati Cambiocorsa system is based on racing experience and gears are changed by electronic hydraulic assistance. The system consists of a hydraulic actuator mounted directly on the gearbox housing, with two distinct hydraulic actuators which manage the selection and gear engagement movement. The two actuators are controlled by a group of solenoids and are supplied with the necessary hydraulic power by an electric pump and a pressure accumulator.

An electronic control unit identifies the driver’s requests and assesses the operating conditions on the vehicle via a series of sensors. It manages gearchanges by controlling the clutch (the clutch pedal has been eliminated), gearbox and engine torque directly.

The Cambiocorsa system interfaces with the engine control unit (ECU) and with the Maserati Stability Programme (MSP), allowing drivers to personalise their driving style with a choice of four different selection modes: normal, sport, automatic and low grip. Each of these programmes, which can be selected by buttons on the dashboard, corresponds to a specific operating logic:

  • Normal calibrated for maximum stability in a more comfortable setting.
  • Sport for maximum traction and responsiveness in a firmer setting Combined with the (now standard) Skyhook variable suspension system, the Cambiocorsa includes suspension control in the normal/sport setting, as well as gear change and the MSP (Maserati Stability Programme) system.
  • Automatic in this configuration gear changes are managed fluidly and smoothly, highlighting comfort. Even in fully automatic mode, the driver is always free to shift gears manually.
  • Low grip is for particularly smooth starts and gear changes on snow-covered or icy surfaces.

In terms of servo assistance, the system logic also makes first gear immediately available when the vehicle stops, and indicates the engaged gear on the instrument panel in front of the driver. A special 'hill-holder' facility ensures the Spyder cannot roll backwards during hill starts.

Suspension, Stability Programme, Steering

The Maserati Spyder's suspension system was carefully designed to guarantee the best possible control of the geometry and to minimise unsprung weight. The front and rear double wishbone suspension utilises forged aluminium hubs and arms, while the weight of the bearings and wheel bolts has been optimised.

The rear suspension has a supplementary strut to control toe-in, which guarantees better control of steering response and therefore ensures excellent tyre grip in all circumstances and perfectly balanced behaviour while cornering, together with outstanding ride comfort.

The suspension employs anti-dive geometry (front) to prevent the body pitching forward during braking, and anti-squat geometry (rear) to prevent the rear of the car sinking during acceleration. The suspension system is completed by anti-roll bars at the front and rear.

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

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