The Maserati Spyder is a two-seater grand tourer made from 2001 to 2007. The Spyder was released alongside the Maserati Coupe which was a similar vehicle, but made in a four-seater coupe version rather than a two-seater convertible. The Maserati Spyder was a predecessor to the 3200 GT, while the GranTurismo would eventually come after. Since the moniker Spyder and Coupe could also be used to describe many other Maserati models that came in a coupe or Spyder-convertible option, these vehicles are also known as 4200 GT. This references their 3200 GT past along with the increased engine displacement up to 4.2L.
Maserati Spyder Introduction and Design
The Spyder was first unveiled in 2001 at the Frankfurt Auto Show and brought the Maserati name back to the United States market after more than a decade away. The 3200 GT was not sold in the United States, although the leadership had planned on that happening. Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign was behind the design of the Spyder’s exterior. This name was already well-known and respected in the Maserati world as he had also been responsible for the design of the Maserati Ghibli, Bora, Quattroporte III, and the 3200 GT. The Spyder features a soft-top convertible that stows beneath a cover in front of the trunk. It is electronically controlled and operated by a push button on the center console. While the Spyder initially came with a plastic rear window common on some convertibles, this was changed to a true glass window in the 2003 model year. It has a 96 inch wheelbase, a full 9 inches shorter than the Coupe version. The total length is 169 inches, width 72 inches, and height 51 inches. It weighs in at approximately 3,800 pounds.
Engine and Performance
The engine was a 4.2L Ferrari/Maserati F136 R V8 rated at 385 horsepower (390 PS) at 7,000 RPM and 332 lb ft of torque at 4,500 RPM. Boring out the cylinders from the 3200 GT’s 3.2L resulted in most of the displacement gain. Breaking away from the twin-turbo design that Maserati had brought to mass production, the Spyder was naturally aspirated. A 6-speed manual transmission was standard and came in a true-manual with foot clutch GT version, plus a new CC (Cambiocorsa) manual automatic option using paddle shifters. The CC option included four different operating modes the driver could select from based on conditions and driving style desired: Normal, Sport, Auto, and Low Grip. The transmission was fused together with the differential, providing an excellent overall weight distribution in the Maserati Spyder of approximately 48% front and 52% rear. The driver could also select to control the various electronic stability and traction control settings, and engage different active suspension settings when desired. This allowed the Spyder to have a better feel on the track where pushing its limits meant that the drivers usually preferred the maintain control, while you could still sit back and cruise the city streets with the electronic assist for those daily drives when safety is priority.
Interior and Changes
Interior design was completed by the same person responsible for the 3200 GT, Enrico Fumia, who brought a similar concept to the Maserati Spyder. It included a full infotainment system that controlled both audio and climate settings, and could feature a leather headliner, carbon fiber kit or Briar wood kit throughout. 2004 brought in a redesign of the Maserati Spyder, with a small change to the front facia including a larger grilled with a lower lip. A new rear bumper and air outlet were also added in that same year. Eventually, the Spyder and Coupe were fazed out of the Maserati lineup. The impressive performance figures combined with stylish exterior and comfortable interior might allow this to quickly enter into the collectors’ market. Only time will be able to tell what public demand will come to think of this Maserati offering.