The technology of the Maserati GranCabrio
The Maserati GranCabrio's engine is an eight cylinder, 4,691cc 90° V8 capable of developing 440 bhp at 7,000 rpm and with a peak torque of 490 Nm at 4,750 rpm. The power unit uses the advanced technology typical of all Maserati engines the high power figures to be reached, while ensuring smooth gear changes and a refined engine exhaust note.
The timing is actioned by two overhead camshafts per bank and four valves per cylinder controlled by hydraulic tappets. The overhead camshafts on the intake side are controlled by a low pressure, continual phase variator, a technical solution that together with the optimisation of the combustion chamber, allows 82% of the maximum torque to be available from 2,500 rpm for superb acceleration, even in high gears.
The Maserati GranCabrio features a six-speed, ZF automatic transmission with a hydraulic torque converter yielding extremely quick and fluid gear shifts while maintaining the characteristics of the sporty V8 engine.
The transmission has four modes and is also equipped with a self-adapting control system that adjusts gear changes to both the driving style and road conditions.
In Manual mode, gear changes are made sequentially by the driver via the steering column mounted paddles or the gearstick.
The engine sound is enhanced by the sport exhaust system managed by the by-pass valve. Pushing the Sport button opens the pneumatic valves if the car is on the move and the engine is above 3,000 rpm. The engine and drivetrain are fully ready to deliver a rewarding engine roar which becomes even more intense with the roof open, bringing the GranCabrio at one with the environment.
The weight distribution of the Maserati GranCabrio is slightly biased towards the rear with 49% of the vehicle's weight located over the frontaxle and 51% over the back with the roof closed. With the roof retracted, the front-rear distribution changes to 48-52%.
This design result was achieved by positioning the engine behind the front axle and results in true and predictable handling that makes driving easier and increases car stability.
The new loadbearing chassis is constructed from a blend of materials with the overriding goal to maintain low weight. The vehicle framework is made from toughened steel apart from the bonnet and front bumper bar, which consist of aluminium, and the boot lid in heat treated plastic that uses Sheet Moulding Compound technology.
The chassis was developed to provide maximum stiffness even without a roof. The result is that the Maserati GranCabrio is able to offer the same driving pleasure as a high performance coupe.
The Maserati GranCabrio is fitted with the electronically controlled Skyhook suspension system as standard. This system employs dampers with an aluminium body which continually adjust the damping. This solution means that the set up adapts instantly to the driving style and the road conditions to offer the utmost in on-board comfort.
The Skyhook system acts by using acceleration sensors that detect movement on all four wheels and the body. A control unit processes the data it receives from the sensors, analyses the driving style and road surface and instantly adjusts the dampers accordingly via their proportional valves.
The vehicle’s superb dynamic handling is constantly monitored and optimised by the Maserati Stability Programme (MSP). The MSP works to correct even the hint of a skid by reducing engine torque. Working further with the ABS and EBD, the system prevents the wheels locking under hard braking, distributing the braking force between the front and rear axles. It also prevents the wheels spinning on low grip surfaces when accelerating or climbing (ASR and MSR) to maintain available traction.
The Maserati GranCabrio’s canvas roof was chosen for both its technological and aesthetic advantages. The resulting soft top solution means a lower centre of gravity because the bottom of the car remains heavier. This enhances the car’s dynamic handling.
The hood weighs only 65kg and the materials, mechanism, its operation time and stowage are all top quality. The GranCabrio transforms from an amazing coupé into a cabriolet in just 28 seconds if the car is travelling up to 30 km/h.