The Maserati 3200 GT is a four-seater grand tourer produced from 1998 to 2002. 4,795 units of the 3200 GT were produced over its production span. After realizing the desired name of Mistral was already owned by Volkswagen, Maserati settled on 3200 GT in reference to the first series production grand tourer from Maserati, the 3500 GT.
Design of the 3200 GT
Maserati turned back to the well-respected Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign for this 2-door 2+2 coupe. They had previously designed many Maseratis from the past, including the Ghibli, Bora, and Merak. Enrico Fumia did the interior design. The car made its public debut in Paris in October 1998 at the Mondial de Automobile. It signified a new era in Maserati history, as it was one of the first cars produced after Ferrari completed full ownership of the company. While Stuart Robinson, then CEO of Ferrari, announced that the 3200 GT would bring the Maserati brand back to the United States after a 12-year absence, that didn’t quite pan out. Instead, that reintroduction came in 2002 when the 4200 coupe (based partially on the 3200’s design) went for sale in North America.
Engine and Performance
The Maserati 3200 GT featured a twin-turbo 32-valve 3.2L V8 all-aluminum engine with dual overhead cams. A 6-speed manual transmission was available until 2001, when the 4-speed automatic took over. A rear limited slip differential was paired with a two-piece aluminum driveshaft. It produced a respectable 370 PS (365 horsepower) and 362 lb ft of torque. The 3200 GT could go from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 5.1 seconds and had a top speed of 180 mph. Double wishbone suspension was used on front and rear, along with forged aluminum control arms, coaxial aluminum-bodied dampers and coil springs, and front/rear anti-roll bars. The braking system was from Brembo and included vented and cross-drilled rotors with 4-piston calipers on all four wheels. Four channel anti-lock brass and Bosch ASR traction control system provided additional safety and traction assistance.
LED Boomerang Taillights
It was the world’s first vehicle featuring LED taillights, setting off a trend that would later been seen across models of all types from most manufacturers. This feature alone provides a reason that the Maserati 3200 GT holds a place in automative history. The Maserati 3200 GT placed the LEDs in a boomerang-like design along the rear of the car, with the brake light and directionals incorporated into one streamlined look.
Additional Updates and Variants
In 1999, the 3200 GT A (Automatica) was introduced with a 4-speed automatic transmission at the Geneva Motor Show. The transmission was produced by BTR, an Australian company. It added approximately 66 pounds in weight. At the 2001 Geneva Motor Show, a limited-edition 3200 GT Assetto Corsa was introduced. This exclusive package was featured on 259 units and had a special handling package. The vehicle was lowered by 15mm, used larger diameter sway bars, stiffer springs, and improved brake ventilation channels for increased performance. The 3200 GT Assetto Corsa was available in manual or automatic transmission, and in three color choices: Grigio Touring, Nero Carbonio and Rosso Mondiale. The interior had perforated Connolly leather seats with red stitching. The Maserati 320S was a concept racing car built based on the 3200 GT. It was a true barchetta design as a single-seater that was constructed for race purposes, complete with improved aerodynamics, 6-point seatbelt, exposed interior roll cage, and fire extinguishing system.
Concerns and Future Prospects
Known areas that can be potentially problematic include the regular replacement of cam belts (68,000 miles or every 5 years), throttle body failure, crankshaft end float (commonly requiring replacement of the engine block), and worn out bushings and control arm. The Maserati 3200 GT has not proved to hold up very well as a collector’s car. Recent listings of around $10,000 USD show that the pricey repair bills and somewhat lackluster performance have not been kind to the value of this vehicle.