The Italian glamour never comes cheap, especially when it comes to their unique cars, which will usually cost a substantial amount. Thankfully there is a proposition that offers all the glamour you’d expect from an exotic beauty for a more affordable five-figure price. This proposition would be the Maserati Cambriocorsa, or otherwise known as the ‘Cambiocorsa’.
To quickly answer the main question regarding what is a Cambriocorsa, it is Maserati’s new F1 style automatic gearbox that was introduced in this car. It’s not your conventional automatic. It’s considered to be a automated manual utilizing paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel. The word Cambriocorsa itself is translated to “race change”.
Nowadays, the competition between car manufacturers is tremendous. The question is whether the bourgeois price of Maserati Cambriocorsa has been a good call to attract more buyers and highlight the comeback of Italian grand touring cars.
Maserati attempted to rejoin the American car market in 2001 with the Maserati Coupe and Spyder. Maserati’s main goal was to present itself with cars that are great for everyday use, and yet exclusive enough to compare to the most glamorous cars in the world.
In 2004, the models of Maserati Spyder and Maserati Coupe were upgraded with a larger grille and an interior with a dual-tone color with a few other styling parts and various other upgrades that would be sold under the revised variant called the Maserati GranSport.
In September 2005, however, Maserati participated at the Frankfurt Motor show, where they exhibited a Vintage model of the Maserati Coupe, which had involved many parts of the most famous Maserati cars from the past.
NOTE: The Maserati Coupe and Maserati Spyder have almost identical specifications, including engine, transmission, infotainment system (Passenger controls), and safety equipment. The only differences they have are very small, and we’ll highlight them as the article continues.
Maserati Cambriocorsa Coupe
From 0 to 62mph in 4.9 seconds, this car can reach a maximum speed of 177mph with fuel consumption of 13 mpg. The V8 engine makes 7000 revolutions per minute and gives this car an incredible 385 bhp with a torque of 332 lb. ft. Also, the Maserati Cambriocorsa Coupe is a rear-wheel-drive car with a great braking system of Vented Discs at both the front and rear. Total curb weight goes from 3,682 to 3,704 lb. Nevertheless, this car is an incredible four-seater, which is also the predecessor of the comfy long-distance touring cars (Granturismo). So, if you want to drive with both speed, comfort and Italian style on long-distance journeys, this could be the perfect car for you.
Maserati Cambriocorsa Spyder
The center console allows you to electronically operate its convertible top with a pushbutton. You can either have it open or closed, which depends on the weather conditions and what you prefer. The duration of opening or closing the top takes no more than 30 seconds. This car is 169 inches long (9 inches shorter than the Coupe) and 51 inches tall. Its total curb weight goes from 3,792 to 3,814 lb.
An Exterior Statement
The Maserati Cambriocorsa Coupe and the Maserati Cambriocorsa Spyder have similar styling. The key difference quite obviously being that the Spyder variant give you the option of enjoying all of the elements and soundtrack the car provides by withdrawing it’s roof into the boot. Simply put both cars are sublime, and it really depends on your taste which one you would choose.
The Coupe is larger than the Spyder (178 inches long – 51 inches tall). The Coupe has a four-seater car, while the Spyder has only two seats. Nevertheless, both the Coupe and the Spyder have been designed to drive smoothly both on dry and wet surfaces thanks to the inbuilt sensors in the wheels that can detect damp roads.
In the early 2000s the handcrafted leather interior, infotainment system and the GPS were something special and Maserati pulled it off brilliantly for it’s time. There’s even an option for hands-free communication with a GSM phone. As part of the options list, they included parking sensors, xenon headlights, seat heaters, cruise control, and a CD changer in the back of the trunk.
Iconic F1 Style Cambriocorsa Gearbox
The Maserati Cambriocorsa uses an automatic formula-one type of gearbox, which you’d usually see in Ferrari’s cars of the time. The gearbox works on a hydraulic system that allows you to choose between four different modes (Normal Mode, Sport Mode, Auto Mode, and Ice Mode).
As the name suggests, the normal mode provides you with a normal comfortable drive. The Sport Mode, on the other hand, provides you with a faster more exciting drive by stiffening the suspension, which leads to a faster gear shift by 0.25 seconds.
When it comes to the Auto Mode, the gear shifting is done automatically and electronically by the system, but you can easily switch to manual by using the paddles. And last but not least, the Ice Mode allows you to have a slower and safer drive on icy roads and snowy conditions.
All About Handling
The Maserati Cambriocorsa has very predictable handling. Its front to rear weight distribution is almost 50/50, which is excellent for performance driving, especially when you bring it into it’s true element, the race track. The Cambriocorsa has a lighter engine, a self-locking differential, and a longitudinal gearbox, which play a big role in its predictable and agile handling.
Now, you should know that the Maserati Cambriocorsa, like many other fast cars, might oversteer at the limits. But that is an unlikely scenario since this car’s limits are very high, unless you really push the car beyond the edge of it’s capabilities. But even if you decide to push it to the limits and that happens, it just adds to the excitement with controlled oversteer if your abilities allow you to drift without putting the car into a compromised situation. Regardless, if you want to avoid any chance of losing control there’s always the ASR (Anti-Slip Regulation) button that you can turn on and off as desired.
The double-wishbone suspension in the Maserati Coupe and Maserati Spyder is one of the many things that contribute to a quality drive. Thanks to its toe-in regulator at the rear suspension, this car has a fantastic cornering balance. If you love to drive this car in Sport Mode, you should know that the suspension will stiffen up in this mode to providing even more performance when cornering.
Personally I’d choose the Maserati Cambriocorsa Coupe due to the rigidity provided by having a roof as that greatly reduces body roll. Unfortunately, in the era this car was produced the chassis of the cars were not as strong as they are today, hence producing a lot of flex when ultimately reduces the driving performance. Although if enhanced driving feel is not the highest priority for you when purchasing your Cambriocorsa and the Spyder’s attractive drop top offering providing, a heightened feeling of emotion, then this too would be a phenomenal experience in itself.