The Maserati Coupe (Coupé) was a two-door, four-seater sports car available from 2002 to 2007. It was part of the Tipo M138 model of Maserati, which also belonged to the Maserati Spyder. The main difference between the Coupe and Spyder is that the Coupe was a 2+2 four-seater, while the Spyder was a two-seat convertible. 13,423 units of the Coupes and Spyders were produced in total, before being replaced by the GranTurismo.
Design of the Maserati Coupe
ItalDesign’s Giorgetto Giugiaro spearheaded the design of the Maserati Coupe. He was also behind the Maserati Bora, Quattroporte III, and the 3200 GT. Enrico Fumia completed the interior design and took inspiration from the 3200 GT. With both exterior and interior design heavily based on the predecessor 3200 GT, which featured a 3.2L engine, the Coupe and Spyder received a larger displacement engine at 4.2L. Because of this and the past references to 3200 GT, the Maserati Coupe is commonly referred to as the Maserati 4200 GT (the Spyder is also known as a 4200 GT). The Coupe was first presented to the public in 2002 at the Detroit Auto Show, a year after the 2001 Spyder introduction. These vehicles marked a major moment in the history of Maserati as a reintroduction to the North American market after a long 12-year hiatus. The 3200 GT planned on being introduced to the North American market, but the plans never came to fruition. Thankfully for the Italian automaker, the Maserati Coupe did make it back across the Atlantic Ocean and back into North American sales floors and garages.
Engine Specifications and Performance
The Ferrari/Maserati 4.2L F136 R V8 engine produced 385 horsepower at 7,000 RPM and 332 lb ft of torque at 4,500 RPM. Unlike the 3200 GT’s twin-turbocharged design, the Maserati Coupe was naturally aspirated. It was paired with a 6-speed transmission that was offered as a traditional foot-clutch GT model or a CC (Cambiocorsa) variation using paddle shifters to control an automated manual transmission, more often seen in F1 type cars due to superior gear change speeds that couldn’t be replicated manually. The CC also had four difference modes to adjust for driving style and road conditions, including Normal, Sport, Auto, and Low Grip. Skyhook suspension provided on the fly, immediate adjustments at least 40 times per second through various accelerometers, a central electronic control unit, and adjustable shock absorbers. The Maserati Coupe had a wheelbase of 105 inches. Overall length of the Coupe was 178 inches, width is 72 inches, and height was 51 inches. It is a full 12 inches longer than the rival Porsche 911 and the height made the Lamborghini supercars look like the ultra-low unique style they were going for. Total weight ranged from 3,682 to 3,704 pounds depending on options and fuel.
Notable Highlights and Features
One notable aspect was the loss of the incredible LED boomerang-style taillights from the 3200 GT. The feature, while small in the total scope of the 3200 GT’s design, marked a world first use of wraparound LED taillights and received much acclaim. They have been noted in recent discussions as influencing a new world of taillight and headlight design. To remove them from the Coupe and Spyder models was perhaps motivated by concerns to appease regulators, but might have been shortsighted in just how dramatic of an appeal they provided. The Maserati Coupe features 18 inch 15-spoke alloy wheels initially, but eventually turned to a 7-spoke design entirely by 2005. One could fully customize the exterior and interior colors, with sixteen full exterior color options, ten shades of leather interior, and a variety of options to select for use in the trim, piping, and stitching used throughout the interior of the car. Those who wanted to dial down every detail of their car could do so with many choices to select from. Interiors were decked out with a full infotainment system with options GPS navigation, upgraded stereo system, and rear parking sensors. The Maserati GranSport was an improved version of the Coupe, first unveiled at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show. It featured improved exhaust and intake systems to achieve 395 horsepower.