Featured: This Is The Cheap Ferrari-Powered Maserati You Forgot About

This Is The Cheap Ferrari-Powered Maserati You Forgot About

By Davide Cironi
January 11, 2016
29 comments

Photography by Davide Cironi

We’ve all met that person who was completely out of control, but infinitely elegant and sensual. Never predictable, always sideways…even when not necessary. Often, annoying as hell.

The Maserati 4200 GT Coupé gives me the same sensations of hidden desire and, maybe, hate. She is a beautiful sleeper, with that pretty face you could never imagine what lurks just below the surface.

Underhood, a Ferrari 4.2-liter V8 engine, (mostly) shared with the F430 and Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. Guess which one was slower and softer? It’s the same reason the 8C Competizione was beautiful as a goddess and soft as Venus’ hips. The Ferrari is the fast, athletic one.

That said, there’s still that V8 underhood. In the Maserati, this means tons of fun—because it’ll still go as sideways as your hooligan self will want to.

Why not a GranSport then, the final edition with more power and some good improvements? Because this rare model has a manual gearbox…that’s the only reason. The GranSport was available with a paddle gearbox and, in my opinion, it’s less fun. This particular unicorn traveled to Abruzzo from Switzerland, 1,250 miles under the wheels, just to be driven by this tall Italian guy.

Here’s what it’s like: the V8 engine sound is screaming differently from the Ferrari unit, because of the different shaft that’s not flat as on 360 and 430, so ultimately a less acid note in my ears. Amazing, but in a classy way. Its manual gearbox is way more soft and confident, and so is the clutch.

You can drive it as a Porsche 911, almost as a daily driving—and when it was new, it was priced in that ballpark. You probably can’t—or wouldn’t want to—do that daily driver routine with a manual transmission-equipped Ferrari.

But who cares about daily driving when you’re in Italy on a perfectly sunny morning? Let’s go sideways…

It has a light steering feel, and not the one I expect from an Italian V8 pure GT car, but it’s easy to use while slipping away through tight and wide corners. The more I drive it fast, the more I think the Coupé could be a honestly crazy companion for a true enthusiast. For ultimate pace, it should have a better suspension set up, better brakes, and very good tyres. This reminds me of another undervalued coupé, the Jaguar XKR. I’ll find one to drive, someday…

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying this unexpectedly fun ride and, what can I say, this car is probably wrong for so many different reasons that I keep on smiling…and flattening the accelerator. I think that on this one, Maserati missed a trick: a “Nuts / Elegant” switch to change its two characters.

It’s both the perfect car to have during a slow and classy sunset drive with a beautiful soundtrack on, or to wake up to in the morning, leave your family at the mall, aim the mountains, and drive…

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StewAndrew GriffinGranSportyMichel DupuisBertone Recent comment authors
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Andrew Griffin

I have had the privelidge of owning a 3200GT for the past 10 years and its been brilliant. I have put over 35k miles on it. This has the 3.2 twin turbo maserati v8 with 370hp std and a manual box. I have put in a starter as the only break down and due to some damp Irish weather it has had a respray and brake pipes. Along with servicing. It has had no clutches or engine issues. The car is sports car not a comuter box so if you dont mind it it will break. My car is driven… Read more »

Stew
Stew

. Although I don’t miss paying €1,800 road tax over there to drive something older and big-engined. What a racket.

Michel Dupuis
Michel Dupuis

Stop spreading false claim … it’s the last real Maserati engine before the takeover !!!

Bertone
Bertone

I have a 2007 Gran Sport and love it. 55k kilometers, no problems, still the first clutch. Once per year a service for less than 1k CHF.
It is terrific!

Gavin Barron

Was excited to see this article pop up. I owned a ’02 coupe for 10 years with paddle shift, but traded it for a F430 that I still own. There’s lots to like about both engines. I put 50k miles on the Maserati. I did have some initial issues, but Maserati assisted and it stayed a great ownership experience afterwards. Sideways fun, lots of low end grunt. Two clutches. Steal of a deal used right now in my opinion.

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Jam
Jam

Nice cars. I have a gated 360 and 3 pedal Maserati GT (with 85,000 miles). Everything in the powertrain is original on the GT and never been replaced.

The stigma for the this Maserati model only applies to the paddle F1 shifters IMHO. Lot’s of horror stories and high maintenance. But 3 pedal? Heck, it’s just cables that’s been utilized since cars are invented.

SCinfidel
SCinfidel

I own a 2006 Gransport(better suspension and much improved F1 gearbox) and can say that without a doubt the ‘rumors’ of reliability are a joke.. This car has been far less trouble than my previous 911 turbo, actually it’s yet to be in the shop for anything outside of standard maintenance and one clutch replacement. That said, the fix on that is to buy the Formula Dynamic kit which improves performance and doubles longevity of the F1 system. As always Davide turns the automotive experience into lustful relationship with ‘that’ woman we all know.

GranSporty
GranSporty

Sorry for chiming in 1 year late, but thanks for your post. I also have a 2006 GranSport and in 2 years of ownership I have driven about 7,000 miles. It is super fun to drive! I have driven it hard at two track events at Road Atlanta and it was very reliable. During the past two years I had to pay a pro to replace the alternator, replace the oil pressure sender and add rear suspension upgrades. I do the routine maintenance myself. I hope to,keep the car a long time!

Arie Salim
Arie Salim

The car is beautiful and great, however having A Ferrari Engine means Reliability would be an issue….Having said that Jaguar XKR (certain years) on the other hand is very reliable, pretty fast and have a good hwy mileage (26mpg) However, the downside is it comes as an automatic only.

Jam
Jam

This has the same powerplant as a 430. Reliability of Ferrari engine’s changed since the birth of 360. This is newer engine. I have both 360 and Maserati GT 85,000 miles (3 pedal), none has engine issues.

This statement applies only on older Ferrari engines like 355 or later.

Donald Callum
Donald Callum

Only the nose (or is it the roofline….) lets these cars down abit. Lovely answer to the behemoth age of SUVs.
4 for sale in greater NY area all under $US 30k with less than 35k miles, hard to beat.

GranSporty
GranSporty

I agree, these cars are a great value if you can fix minor issues yourself and enjoy the process. Two years ago I paid $25,000 for a 2006 GranSport with 65,000 miles on it. I have enjoyed it !

Demos Thenes
Demos Thenes

Hate the front end. Looks dated. But yea, it’s a 30k Maserati.

Abraham Drimmer
Abraham Drimmer

I felt the same way for some time, but it has begun to grow on me.

I think it is very…of the era. Nostalgia for the early aughts is only a few seasons away from mainstream penetration and I think we will see prices rise on the manuals.

Christian Peta
Christian Peta

The price on these, and the quattroporte make them so tempting. This much car for roughly $30k is a bargain anyway you look at it. Beautiful, fast, and luxurious, BUT the horrific cost of maintaince keeps me from jumping in. Quite a shame really.

Slidefighter
Slidefighter

As a new owner of a very nice 2002 4200 Coupe, I believe the “book” on this car as being a destroyer of clutches and a maintenance nightmare is WAY over stated. My car has 25,000 miles on it and is superb condition as verified by my local dealer. Luxury interior and iterally everything works, no clutch, engine or any other problems, just service and go.

Beautiful, smoothly sensuous, organic, classic Maserati design with Ferrari hardware and horsepower. These cars are the best kept secret in the automobile world in my opinion.

Jam
Jam

Yup. Mine is a GT model (3 pedal stick shift) and has 85,000 miles. Still running on original clutch. The powertrain are all original as well.

Sander
Sander

Love your vids Davide.
They are great!

Your vid of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Gt junior is one of my old time favorites!
Although I don’t speak a word Italian, the emotion in your voice really makes this vid splendid.

Look it up guys, its great!

Keep up the good work.

Kyle Johnston
Kyle Johnston

I’m so torn with the styling of this car. I can’t put my finger on it but it feels like a italian-ized Bentley Continental.

Linda N Brian Schick
Linda N Brian Schick

In spite of all it’s short Cummings, I wouldn’t kick one out of my garage!

ChasH
ChasH

All the talk about a Ferrari engine and not one photo of it.

Theo de Jong
Theo de Jong

I like the first serie better, with the original stoplight at the back.

JB21
JB21

I second Theo. The boomerang taillights was the coolest feature of the GT.

Abraham De Funes
Abraham De Funes

The clutch had to be serviced every 5k miles…..not cheap….

SCinfidel
SCinfidel

Sorry man but that’s not close to true.. I got nearly 30k miles out of the first clutch and with the FD DWB upgrade I expect at least 50k miles from the next. 5k miles is either bad-luck or a terrible driver.

Jam
Jam

This only applies to Cambiocorsa (F1 paddle). My GT (3 pedal / stick shift) has 85,000 miles on original clutch. Beat that for reliability.

Jam
Jam

Not for stick shifts (true GT models)! Mine has 85k miles on original clutch. Everything is still all original.

Amir Kakhsaz
Amir Kakhsaz

Even bone-stock, well-maintained manual gearbox models (just about impossible to find these days) are wallet-draining.

Jam
Jam

Mine is bone stock manual gearbox (True GT) has 85,000 miles and all original components still. Like a Honday / Toyota reliability. The killer for this model car IMHO are the F1 paddle horror stories (no offense to F1 cambio owners) which everybody assumed to apply to all models. True GTs 3 pedal are very reliable.