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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Affordable Supercar Series: Maserati

It may seem odd to some that the Affordable Supercar Series has yet to cover an Italian marque. Most people do think of that boot-shaped country whenever they hear the word "supercar." Well, there's good reason for such a delay. To tell the truth, very few cars from Italy can be described as both "affordable" and "super." However, we at Flappy Paddle Heads have persevered to find a car more super than a Fiat Panda and more affordable than a Lamborghini Countach.

This is the Maserati Coupe. It was Maserati's re-entry into the United States in 2002 under the ownership of Ferrari. Yes, the same Ferrari that makes your neck hurt every time one flies by in the other direction. This car could also be had as a convertible, or spyder in Italian parlance. The only other options to really consider are a proper 6-speed manual versus a automated single clutch manual called Cambiocorsa and a conventional suspension as opposed to the adaptive Skyhook suspension. I'll give you a minute to digest all that.

Luckily, there was no decision to be made when it came to the engine department. Stuffed in this gorgeous wrapper is a 4.2 liter V8 that produced atleast 385 horsepower and 333 lb-ft of torque. This was enough to catapult this 3700 pound grand tourer to sixty in 4.7 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds. Even with all that weight, it could still hold on to the skidpad for .88g and be hauled down repeatedly with fade free brakes.

All this performance and sexy understated sheet metal can be bought for as little as $27,000 according to current Ebay prices. My personal choice would be a 2004 Gransport which has a few more horses but a much better sorted set of suspenders. With prices that low, you won't be relegated to boxed wine and Chef Boyardee for a matching Italian dinner.

Specs courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

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