Calling all Maserati Coupe/Spyder owners w/Cambiocorsa

Discussion in 'Maserati' started by BusDriver, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. BusDriver

    BusDriver Formula Junior

    Mar 30, 2004
    I am hoping to reach as many Maserati Coupe/Spyder owners with Cambiocorsa (F1) transmission, as possible, and would like to hear your experiences, with the aim of summarizing the info for Maserati in Italy.

    A number of us have encountered problems with the latest software update - loss of power, engine no longer matches revs during downshifts, etc, particularly for 2002 cars using updated software.

    Among the changes myself and Brad have noticed after the upgrade:
    - Creep Mode is gone (no more beep when you pull Down in 1st)
    - Modulated (limited) engine torque and clutch engagement on launch
    - Sport Mode shift speed is slower
    - Engine no longer pulls strong past 7,000 RPM
    - Engine revs more slowly, takes longer to reach top RPM range, especially in 1st and 2nd gear
    - Engine cut-out is 7400 rpm now, which is below the redline. Used to be higher.
    - Does not always blip to match RPM on downshifts, especially at high RPM (e.g. 5000), even in Sport Mode. On occasion, rear wheels lock.
    - Dyno showed a drop from 335RWHP to 316RWHP

    For background info on the above issues, refer to this thread on FerrariChat:

    And these 2 threads on MaseratiForum.Net

    I already have my own info, and Brad’s. It would be tremendously helpful, if all owners post a brief note indicating their experience with regard to the above.

    The more data that I can gather, the better. I will be summarizing the problems with the software upgrade and sending this off to Maserati in Italy via my dealer. The idea is to help Maserati understand as much of the specifics of the problem as possible.

    Please help by sharing your experiences.


    - Jon
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  3. PRD

    PRD Rookie

    Feb 11, 2004
    My experience with the Cambiocorsa software is horrendous. (Ps, I owned a 456GTA and have taken my son to the facility in Modena so I am definately a fan and wanted this experience to work) I bought the car for my wife last Christmas and she likes the way it drives and the styling - except for all the transmission problems.

    From the first drive on Christmas day she noticed the car hesitating/stalling on launch. We contacted our dealer in Dallas immediately after purchase and they kept assuring us the problems would be fixed. So, we waited patiently. Big mistake - now, 8 months later and at least 5 visits to the shop seems to have only traded some F1 problems for new ones while the launch issue is still unaddressed.


    Launch (normal): car hesitates/stalls until 2000 rpms are reached. At least 4 friends have driven the car and without prompting, each one asked what was wrong with it when leaving from a stop sign or light.

    Launch (full throttle): car jerked drastically (finally fixed after 3 or 4 visits to dealer and a part sent to Maserati NA for replacement)

    Shifting: Maserati technician tweaked this summer and now the clutch slips when accelerating hard and shifting at 4000-5000 rpms. It also is worse when down shifting. I took it back and they said it is in spec!!!

    Check engine light: came on several times. Dealer even returned the car once with this light lit in their parking lot

    ODBCII (sp?) light: on once or twice and car idled very roughly

    Convertible top: frayed and tearing at the fold point

    Convertible deck piece rubbing and leather worn off - been on order for over 4 months

    2 recalls

    AC unit fix

    Several other misc. issues (a lot in total for a brand new car)

    I drove the car with a Maserati North America employee and he literally counted 2 seconds each time we launched from a stop sign or light before the car reached 2000 rpms and then took off strongly. When he could not adjust this long lag away he took the position that this is not a design defect but rather a "feature." I asked why the 575M F1 didn't have this "feature", or any other sports car I have ever driven. He said this car can't be compared to others. . . etc. because of the transmission. My BMW and Cayene Turbo have the shift/automatic option and they take off perfectly normal from a stop when driving in manual shift mode.

    My dealer has been sold but before the sale their service person told me that many of their customers have complained about this and brought their cars back. He said Maserati told him they are working on a "fix" but they won't give him a date. I asked Maserati about this and they told me there is not a problem to fix. Based on our experience and these postings from a lot of other owners they shouldn't deny there is a problem.

    I wonder if Maserati NA's internal technical documents and engineering documents will show there is a problem? Telling their service reps they will fix it later, but denying this to the customers who dropped $100,000 is unacceptable.

    Any advice on how to fix the F1 issues will be GREATLY appreciated!

  4. barbuckle

    barbuckle Rookie

    Aug 21, 2004
    My 2002 coupe has just returned from the dealer after the cambiocorsa hydraulic pump failed. They tell me they replaced the pump (and control relay) and "updated" the software.
    The paddle-shift is now working signficantly better than prior to the pump-failure.

    It appears to me (although I couldn't speak to the actual technician who did the work) that there are a number of "latest versions" of software. It is important that a 2002 car receives the latest version of the 2002 software, rather than simply installing the latest 2004 version.

    It is also, I understand, possible to alter configuration settings in the software after it is installed, to "tune" the timings of gear shifts.

    All in all - pretty damn complicated stuff!

    Thsi makes for some variance in the performance of the system - you need to ensure the technician "tunes" the system well.

    Just for information:

    - The pull-down (creep mode) is still present
    - The slow take-off in first is MUCH improved (the throttle appears to react faster and you actually get off the line as you would expect)

    It appears some of the improvements listed for "2004" software are now present (as above) but some of the other features are not altered.

    I am not sure how much of this is attributable to the pump working properly and what is due to software "tuning".
  5. BusDriver

    BusDriver Formula Junior

    Mar 30, 2004
    Hi Rich

    Could you post the model year of your car? I can respond with greater detail then.

    In the meantime, here is some general information from my experiences that may be helpful…

    In general, the latest software updates make the car more user-friendly and easier to drive in traffic at the expense of diminished sporting character. I prefer a sporty car, and that is what I had when I purchased my car. If you prefer a car that is easier to drive and smoother from a standing start, you should get your car updated to the latest software. The only caveat is that there may not be a way to "undo" an update you do not like.

    Aside from software updates, there are a number of things your dealer can do to make the car better:
    - make sure that you have the latest dual plate clutch (covered under warranty)
    - The clutch engagement point can be adjusted to make smoother starts, esp with regards to stalling and hesitation below 2000 rpm

    By the way, my car does the same thing with respect to sluggish acceleration below 2000 rpm in 1st gear, and then sudden powerful acceleration beyond 2000 rpm. This is because the latest software limits the engine torque below 2000 rpm to make for smoother starts. I completely agree that this is a terrible (and dangerous!) way to engineer the car. The only solution is to accelerate gently in 1st gear until at least 2000 rpm.

    In general, Maserati NA and Maserati SpA have been pretty good about providing updates to cars under warranty - the dual plate clutch, various software updates, and so on. In early August, I sent Maserati all the information I had collected. I am hoping that once the Italians return from their August vacations, they will be just as good about providing a fix for the problems with their latest software. Given that they are trying to reestablish the Maserati brand in USA, I am optimistic that they will make every effort to address the problems.

    For what it is worth, other than the various problems with software updates, my car has been reliable.

    - Jon
  6. ciao baby

    ciao baby Formula Junior

    Feb 15, 2004
    DC<---> MB
    Full Name:
    Michael Karagiannis
    For what it is worth. I have the same issue with "hard launching" our 2003 CC Spyder. Hope they can fix it. Bought the car instead of a used modena for the warrentee/service. now I think I need to trade it in for the Modena
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  8. dave_fonz_164

    dave_fonz_164 Formula 3

    Mar 11, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Full Name:
    Davide Giuseppe F.
    yall should of bought a manual, so many less problems thats for sure!!
  9. 410SA

    410SA F1 Veteran

    Nov 2, 2003
    West Coast
    Full Name:
    I have had at least three versions of the "new" software. The latest version is really good and works well both in sport and normal mode. It was a trial getting here though. Jim Summers at Maserati of Scottsdale has been great in ensuring I am happy. The car was bought for my wife but she could never really get the hang of the transmission and she wanted another SL, so she now has an SL55 and I hammer the Mas around town. I kinda don't feel that it is "special" like an F car so I drive it a little more "roughly" and it is fun! It likes to be driven hard and is best at higher revs. The transmission really responds well to high throttle inputs and is definitely better than when driving carefully.

    I don't have any of the hesitation spoken of in this thread by others. The car responds immediately to throttle input and is a great performer off the line. I think the key is not to baby it. There are so few of them around that I still have people ask what it is, but I am really enjoying it. Anyone with issues should contact Jim at Scottsdale Maserati (480-990-9000) and ask him what version of the software is in my car.
  10. damcgee

    damcgee Formula 3

    Feb 23, 2003
    Mobile, AL
    Unless these problems are solved soon, I think Maserati will have a tough time selling the QuattroPorte to potential S-Class/7-series customers.

    I hope they fix it, but I think they should offer a torque-converter equipped automatic.
  11. BusDriver

    BusDriver Formula Junior

    Mar 30, 2004
    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for your comments and the contact at Scottsdale Maserati.

    Are you certain that your does not limit torque in 1st gear?

    If you floor the throttle when rolling at 1500 rpm - 2000 rpm in 1st gear with the clutch fully engaged (car in Sport mode, ASR disabled), can you feel the car limiting itself until it gets to 3-4000 rpm? My experience is that the engine is so severly limited in 1st gear that it is very difficult get full acceleration below 30 mph. Would be interested to know your experience...

    The main problem for me - is that I can't undo the upgrade. Even if I identify the version of older software that I want on the car, there is no way for my dealer to "downgrade" my car to the older software. Not sure why!

    I was told that the only way to "downgrade" is with an engine computer replacement - and that requires new keys, new alarm system, etc.

    Also, would you share your car's model year or serial number (PM me if this is Ok with you)

    - Jon
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  13. Bindo

    Bindo Rookie

    Aug 17, 2004
    I just picked up my 2002 coupe (w/ CC) from the dealership after having the clutch replaced with less than 17,000. I would be interested to know if others have had similar experiences. The dealer has told me this is normal for Cambriocorsa that are used as daily drivers.
  14. jack

    jack Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    Full Name:
    From my dealer, the best : replacement after 62'000 km (my car). The worst, after 12'000 km. 17'000 miles is cleary in between.
  15. BJS

    BJS Formula Junior

    Jan 18, 2004
    Central FL and SW MI
    Full Name:
    Brad Stephenson
    My dealer replaced ours at 11,000 miles, but said it was part of the Maserati update program. The older single-plate clutch was replaced with one of the new style double-disc units.

    I'll bet the torque limiting engine management software is aimed at increasing clutch life.


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