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25.11.2012, 16:54:52 cet

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Münsing / Germany, May 3, 2002


La Giornata Maserati
The Oberambach edition
Some facts about Maserati
Driving the Maserati Spyder
Verdict



La Giornata Maserati
Maserati 3500 GT Coupé Touring & 3500 GT Vignale Spyder
Press conference
Press conference
Test drives start
Instructions
Ready to ride
Maserati Spyder Cambiocorsa
Maserati Spyder Cambiocorsa
Maserati Spyder Cambiocorsa
Maserati Spyder GT
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La Giornata Maserati


Maserati Vertrieb Deutschland Ltd., the Wiesbaden resident factory-owned German importer, initiated a series of four events held at different locations in Germany to promote the famous marque of the trident among automotive journalists and (future) customers. Each of these events was called ”La Giornata Maserati” — ”Maserati Day” or ”A day with Maserati” — and consisted of one day dedicated to journalists and one day for customers and prospect buyers to test drive Maserati’s latest products, the Maserati Spyder and the Maserati Coupé. A fleet of eight to ten cars was held ready to be tried by the invited guests, including ”CambioCorsa” paddle-shifted examples as well as vehicles with the new six-speed gearbox.


Some facts about Maserati


Hence the management of Maserati Vertrieb Deutschland was also present and opened the event with a press conference. Gianluca Pazzaglini, managing director of Maserati Vertrieb Deutschland, Thomas Kiesele, marketing director, and Rocco Cammarano, technical director of Maserati Vertrieb Deutschland welcomed the journalists and provided an overview of Maserati’s history and the company’s data. Gianluca Pazzglini explained that 550 Maserati (of a total production of 3500) are to be sold in Germany in 2002. Till 2004, Maserati plan to raise the output to about 6000 units. An important step will be the launch of the new Maserati Quattro Porte that will be presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in September 2003. Mr. Pazzaglini also presented the first design drawings of this upcoming Maserati saloon that will be about five meters long.

Thomas Kiesele presented some interesting views of the German market for Maserati. For example, the first analysis of the buyers of the new Maserati Spyder (launched in September 2001) revealed that 26% of the new customers formerly drove a Mercedes- Benz, while 21% swapped a Porsche for the Maserati.

Rocco Cammarano explained the CambioCorsa paddle-shifted gearbox to the journalists. The most important fact regarding this F1-style system is that it’s NOT an automatic gearbox although the car doesn’t feature a clutch paddle. The CambioCorsa system is basically a normal six-speed gearbox that is operated mechanically, not manually.


Verdict

Personally, I would vote for the Maserati Spyder CambioCorsa. The system handles the car’s extreme power and torque perfectly, and it is impossible to exceed the rev range accidentially by shifting to the wrong gear. The paddles allow precise and timed gear- change even when driving through narrow corners without taking the hands off the wheel — a most comfortable fact that I found very much to my liking. If you are looking for a sporting convertible, you have to experience the Spyder with the trident!

Driving the Maserati Spyder


About 20 journalists were present at the event, and thus there were no long waiting times for the test drives. www.Barchetta.cc editor Andreas Birner took the chance after the excellent lunch that had been served in the castle’s restaurant — when many journalists had already headed home after they had absolved their rides and test drives.

The organizers had compiled a road book that was handed to the participants and guided them via tiny, curvy (= fun!) roads to the nearby Autobahn from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen that has no speed limit and six lanes and thus allows high speed experiences. At the Seeshaupt exit the drivers left the Autobahn to head back to Oberambach via curvy roads.

Yours truly chose a red Maserati Spyder CambioCorsa for the first ride. Being a member of the ”joystick-trained” generation, I felt very comfortable with the unusual paddle-shifter after a very short time. The process of changing gears is usually very smooth — the current gear being displayed on the gauges. The CambioCorsa system allows to change gears without lifting the foot from the throttle, but if driving at high speed, this naturally causes a short nodding of the Maserati Spyder. So, I would rather recommend to interrupt the acceleration for a glimpse to change gears to any CambioCorsa pilot. Talking about acceleration: The one of the Maserati is brutal! Giving it full throttle, the Spyder storms away as if Poseidon was after it with his trident. Accessing a motorway, you will find yourself cruising at 200 km/h immediately while you’re still thinking that you were doing 120 km/h or so — with the top down! Further acceleration reveals that it is possible to drive the — still open — Maserati Spyder up to 270 km/h without affecting one’s hairstyle too much. The car’s agility is simply tremendous, its snarling sound is excellent and adequate. Handling is easy, the short wheelbase of the Spyder gives a feeling of go-cart driving in the corners, especially in combination with the very direct and precise steering.

After the red one, the yellow one that I had been waiting for (because of the photo background of Bavaria’s surrounding lush green pasture) was finally available and so I took this one out for a photo shooting. Now being more familiar with the CambioCorsa gearbox, the ride was absolved at even slightly higher speeds…

My last experience of the day was the silver Maserati Spyder, fitted with the new six- speed gearbox (up to that time, only the CambioCorsa version had been available). The manual gear lever can be precisely operated and allows quick shifting. Only the slot for the sixth gear seems to be slightly ”hidden” — when driving at high speed on the Autobahn, the driver might erroneously catch fourth gear instead of sixth when one actually wants to shift up from fifth. One just needs to get used to it — and if one cannot befriend with the CambioCorsa system, Maserati’s manual six speed gearbox allows motoring at its best. After my last ride, I closed the fully automatic top for the very first time — a very luxurious feature, by the way, that doesn’t require any manual assistance from the driver.


The Oberambach edition


On May 3, 2002 the ”Maserati circus” moved to Münsing on the shores of beautiful Lake Starnberg near Munich in Bavaria. ”La Giornata Maserati” organizer Mrs. Bettina Lüttgen, head of PR at Maserati Vertrieb Deutschland, had chosen Schlossgut Oberambach — a lovely small castle and hunting lodge housing an exclusive hotel and restaurant — as the site of the event. Munich is an important media city in Germany, home of many society and glamour magazines. Thus many of the attendant journalists were not members of the automotive press and had to be introduced to the history and the aims of Maserati.


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