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New Spyder
The new 4.2L Spyder (all photos in this section courtesy : Maserati N.A.)

The New Maseratis

The New Spyder was unveiled at the Frankfurt Show in September. This model combines several innovative new technologies with modern styling in a unique package. Although similar in appearance to the 3200GT that preceded it an all-new chassis with many, many new features makes it a unique package. The factory has created a new website specifically for information on this new model at: www.maseratispyder.com . The following excerpted notes on this new Spyder come to us courtesy Maserati, N.A.: 

Main features include: a completely new 4244cc V8 engine, transaxle transmission for more effective weight distribution, “Cambiocorsa” racing gearbox borrowed from F1, “Skyhook” suspension, and lavish equipment levels for life onboard.

Main Specifications

Length:         4,303mm   (169.4")
Width:           1,822mm   (71.7")
Height:          1,305mm   (51.4")
Wheelbase:  2,440mm   (96.1")
Front track:   1,525mm   (60.0")
Rear track      1,538mm   (60.6")
Kerb weight  1,720 Kg / 3,792lb (Cambiocorsa=1,730kg / 3,814lb)
Front tyres    235/40 Z 18
Rear tyres     265/35 Z 18

Type:                             8 cylinders in 90̊ V
Bore & stroke:             92 x 80 mm
Displacement:             4,244 cc
Compression ratio:    11.1:1
Maximum power:       390bhp@7,000rpm
Maximum torque:       @4500 rpm  =  4,51 Nm
Maximum speed        283 Km/h    -    175.85mph

The styling of the Maserati Spyder, developed by Italdesign-Giugiaro, is expressed in its compact dimensions (the chassis is 8.66 in shorter than that of the coupé), and the personality of an elegant, dynamic design. No detail was overlooked on the Maserati Spyder, from the roof finish and its external cover, to the body-coloured arch-type roll bars upholstered for safety, and the new 15-spoke 18’’ wheels, and minor details like the return of the historical oval Maserati shield on the bonnet in addition to the trident on the grille.

Spyder side view

The new 4.2L engine .
V8, 4,244 cc, compact, light (it weighs 44.09 lb less than the 3200 turbo engine), it has the structure of the latest racing engines with dry sump lubrication, pump assembly outside the crankcase, and head with 4 valves per cylinder. It delivers 390bhp at 7000 rpm, with a peak torque of 451 Nm (46 kgm) at 4500 rpm derived from an entirely new design, the results of which are immediately apparent in its smoothness and performance. Overall performance is outstanding, with a top speed of over 175 mph. The efficiency of the new engine design made it possible to lower fuel consumption by an average of 10% compared to the 3200 turbo engine, with peaks of 30% at higher performance levels. The new V8 engine is also extremely environment friendly, easily falling within the limits of present and future standards. 

Transaxle transmission.
To achieve the best balance and weight distribution, the gearbox assembly is positioned at the rear with the differential (with the hydraulic actuator on the Cambiocorsa version). The layout envisages a rigid link between the engine and the gearbox which also contains a self-locking differential. The two assemblies are joined by a tubular element within which the propeller shaft rotates. Because of this layout, the load is distributed rationally between the front and rear axles (respectively 53-47% of kerb weight) with significant advantages in terms of the stability and balance of the car and maximum traction which translates to greater acceleration.

Spyder interior
Interior showing F1-type paddle shifter on steering wheel.

Racing gearbox
Another radical innovation on the Maserati Spyder is the electronically actuated six-ratio gearbox with computerised speed selection. The Maserati Cambiocorsa gearbox borrows from experience in Formula 1 and manages gear changes in four specific modes: Normal, Sport, Auto and Low Grip. Each of these programmes, which are selected by buttons on the console, corresponds to a specific operating logic which offers a choice of manual selection by the driver, with two more or less “aggressive” levels of sportiness (Normal and Sport), totally automatic gear selection (Auto), or particularly smooth starts and change management where grip is poor (via specific settings).

The gear change dynamics in Normal and Sport mode are also associated with different logics of the electronic traction control system, calibrated for maximum stability in the Normal setting, or for maximum traction and sporty driving in the Sport setting. When it is combined with the variable suspension setting option, the Cambiocorsa gearbox combines the suspension setting under the Normal and Sport functions, in addition to control of gear changes and traction. The Cambiocorsa features efficient, ergonomically positioned actuation levers behind the steering wheel integral with the column, for Up and Down selection, thus combining GT driving enjoyment with extremely swift gear changes guaranteeing excellent exploitation of the engine and totally safe use of power output.

Suspension and braking
The road qualities of the Maserati Spyder are heightened by the "Skyhook" automatic damping control system, the first car to be fitted with it. The principle of the Skyhook system, developed with Mannesmann-Sachs and fine-tuned by Maserati is the best that advanced technology can offer in the field of automatic suspension control. It is based on a series of sensors that constantly monitor the movements of each wheel and the body of the car and transmit them to a central computer; by processing this data the control unit interprets driving and road surface conditions and instantly adapts the damper setting, by acting on the proportional solenoid of each damper. This solution is 10 times faster than existing systems and drastically improves the driving quality because it controls suspension response perfectly and actively, and thus the reactions of the car in all circumstances.

The Maserati Spyder's braking system, developed with Brembo, reflects a number of production requirements designed to maximise brake performance in terms of efficiency, immediacy of pedal response and fading resistance, including high speeds. This is primarily the result of adopting large diameter discs (dia. 12.99 x 1.26 in at the front, 12.20 x 1.10 in at the rear), calipers with four pistons, high performance friction materials, and high capacity brake servos, in addition to electronic ABS antilock and EBD brake effort distribution systems.

Deluxe equipment and life on board .
The hood is controlled electro-hydraulically and is completely automatic; it folds away into a closed compartment behind the passengers that is separate from the boot. The interior of the Maserati Spyder was designed for two people. It offers plenty of space in all directions, thanks to the newly designed seats, which adjust electrically, with memory on the driver's side, and integral head restraints.
The equipment does not depart from the classic elegance one expects of a Maserati GT car, combining an array of functional features with the comfort and enjoyment of life on board. The Maserati Info Centre in the central console, with 5.8" colour display, incorporates an information panel, the controls for the music system which includes a mono CD player, the trip computer and the climate controls. The same multi-function system can include a GPS navigation system, a hands-free GSM telephone and a 5-disc CD changer. The safety of the vehicle is guaranteed by both active safety devices that monitor the dynamics of the vehicle (electronic braking and tractive effort controls in particular, which can be supplemented by specific equipment such as xenon headlights), and passive features, first among which the state-of-the art bodyshell which meets the new EEC/USA collision standards, and the 4 airbags fitted as standard (front and sides). Other features such as cruise control and electronic rear parking sensors enhance the level of comfort.

Spyder rear view

Attention to detail and exclusive features.

The leather and other materials are all of the highest quality, and the luxury of the hand-crafted finish blends with the precision of the latest technologies.
The Spyder comes in a wide range of colours (some of which were developed specifically for this car), with a choice of 10 shades of leather upholstery and 5 for the hood. And each shade of leather comes with colour matches (carpeting and chromatic shading of the interior rendering), designed to enhance the elegance and chromatic harmony in the passenger compartment. Like the 3200 GT, the Officine Alfieri Maserati personalisation programme also offers numerous possibilities for you to customise the constructional elements of the Spyder.