Vehicle Reviews
Maserati Cambiocorsa Spyder
By Pavan Lall
Jul 18, 2004, 16:33

While I've never gone so far as to experience a vehicle-induced "snapping" of knicker-elastic, I promise I saw the girl in the Lexus behind me on Plano Parkway wolf-whistle, as I punched the pedal on the Black Maserati Cambiocorsa Spyder ...and disappeared...

But before I get started let's time warp and step back for a second. In 1965, a designer took umbrage when Henry Ford II began to drive around Detroit in a Maserati. Ford, known for his wild streak promised to remove the Italian seductress from his parking garage the moment the designer came up with a car of equal allure.

Of course, the American media made quite a noise about the man who had betrayed his own marque and highlighted the brilliant PR coup for Maserati... 30 years later as financial woes threatened to halt production at the Modena plant; Ferrari acquired one of the oldest racing names in Italian racing history - Maserati. Since, Ferrari has labored on the marriage; infusing elegance with technology and producing what may well be a monumental pedigree.

This is a car with a sense of occasion, and based on Italian legend, when complete, it comes to retain a part of, what for lack of a tangible term can be described as, soul.

Such spirit usually distinguishes thoroughbreds from the rest of the field. And Ferrari technology adds more than just 390 studs mated with F-1 Electro-hydraulic transmission. That's the same transmission Ferrari dreamed up a couple years ago as the entire European circuit watched and snickered. Today, Aston Martin comes with the F-1 pedals.

Driving hard on the highway and over the corners with the top down over the toll-gates, you can hear the breeze blow 'whoop, whoop, whoop,' and there's a distinct feeling that this machine is weighing the pros and cons of whether it should kill you or not ... I ignore the feeling and punch the accelerator and the world goes into rewind. I've barely cut into it and I can imagine a situation where I'm waxing eloquently in a Dallas county court to a dark-robed, magistrate.

Advanced Skyhook telemetric suspension creates control like Nadia Comaneci on parallel bars, and here's how. A set of sensors monitor wheel and car body motion, sending data to a central unit. Through data-analysis, a control unit sets road and car running conditions and instantaneously adjusts dampers 10 times faster than anything else on the road. The result is Skyhook perfectly controls damping rate and car response in "real-time" and this car reads your every move. For a sticker that rounds off at about a 100 K, it's a relief to see a Spyder that's not aimed at the Highland Park housewife. Sleek, swift and sophisticated, this is going to be a head-turner even if you paint it toilet bowl-gray.

I think I'm done test-driving, so excuse me as I step out of the lifestyle of the fantastically wealthy and chalk plans to kidnap the closest oil-millionaire ... so I can buy myself one.

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