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First days with the MC Stradale

Discussion in 'Maserati' started by maranello71, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. maranello71

    maranello71 Formula 3

    Jan 23, 2004
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    On saturday I picked up the MC Stradale from the factory, and I drove straight up towards the Alps. Traffic was heavy but the car was very comfortable and smooth at low speeds. Once I reached the mountains I could finally give it some throttle - and boy, the big GT did show some teeth!

    You can really tell that this car is lighter than the GT-S. For one thing, the acceleration is much more aggressive. 0-100 mph takes only 9 seconds, and most importantly the car flies through the corners with an agility that defies its size.

    The P Zero Corsa surely help, but it's the whole set up of the car that surprises. For a road car, it's been set up with a remarkable amount of oversteer. It is absolutely fantastic for an experienced driver, you can very easily make the car dance around the corners with the front end firmly set on the ideal line and the tail immediately responsive to throttle input. It is virtually impossible to make the tires squeal on an open road, I reached my limit of sanity and safety way before I reached the limit of the car.

    The carbon brakes are phenomenal - the braking distances are on a par with supercars as the Superleggera and 458 Italia. This completely changes your perceptions - you can fly into a sharp corner at 100+ mph and slam on the brakes literally at the last moment, and the car will stop dead. The first few times I was braking too early and the car virtually stopped before I had even reached the corner. I felt like a beginner!

    This kind of neutral/oversteer set-up and the insane braking power makes the MC Stradale a true driver's car like no other Maserati. I am still very, very far from exploiting it to the limit, and probably on the open road it is impossible to do it safely. This is definitely a car for the race track.

    Another good point: excellent driveability even in bad weather, and good fuel economy. On a long drive through Switzerland at legal speeds, I averaged 10.9 l/100Km (22 mpg US). On the negstive side it is a very big car and you do feel that it could - and should - be a lot lighter. 1670 Kg is still too much, a good 250 Kg more than a 911 GT3 or 100 Kg more than a 458 Italia.

    Tomorrow I'll be heading down to the Italian riviera and towards the hills of Tuscany. To the next episode of this epic drive...
     
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  3. staatsof

    staatsof Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    I guess the only question is how did you convince them to let you test one or did you purchase it?
     
  4. Ferrari 360 CS

    Ferrari 360 CS F1 Veteran
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    Fantastic review! I am looking forward to part 2!
     
  5. veloce49

    veloce49 Karting

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    Sure sounds like he bought it
     
  6. staatsof

    staatsof Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    An unfortunate turn of phrase given that the next report is now overdue.
     
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  8. maranello71

    maranello71 Formula 3

    Jan 23, 2004
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    I'm still alive... :)

    Final report after one week blasting through Europe:

    Switzerland - horrible weather, torrential rain, cold

    The Stradale behaved wonderfully in such hard conditions, despite the P Zero corsa tires. I was concerned about aquaplaning so I stuck to 60-70 mph most of the way to Milan, but the car never felt less than rock-stable on the road. The bonus of this slow travelling was a fuel consumption averaging 25 US mpg over 200 miles including the climb up to 6000 ft. for the Gotthard tunnel, and traffic jams around Milan.

    Italy - drive down to Portofino

    The A7 highway is a straight arrow going south from Milan, but 50 miles from the sea it starts snaking through the mountains in a succession of difficult blind curves. It is like being at the Nurburgring on a public road! Again, poor weather prevented me from exploiting the cornering ability of the Stradale, but I followed a very good driver on a BMW M3 V8 who obviously knew where he was going. He kept a safe speed in the wet and together we were faster than anyone else on the road. The PZero Corsas never lost grip on the wet surface, I was always careful to avoid any hint of standing water. I never thought I'd enjoy a wet run of the A7, but I did. The Stradale was an absolute joy to drive and greatly rewarding for the driver.

    Italy - Tuscany

    Finally, sunshine!! I drove for a week all over Tuscany, looking for the smallest and most obscure B-roads twisting up the hills, where I could finally unleash the beast in all its potential. The final verdict: this is a GREAT car! The handling is a paragon of agility and the steering razor sharp. The acceleration is a blast (it is ON A PAR with the '05 Lambo Gallardo, believe it or not, I have figures to prove it) and there is always so much grip that you find yourself flying into the corners at speeds unthinkable on my old 550 Maranello or on the standard (heavier) Granturismo S. The carbon brakes are real monsters and never fade. They add such an enormous safety factor that you can rally afford to throw the car into bends at crazy speeds, safe in the knowledge that in case you misjudged the corner there is always enough braking power to stop the car dead before things get out of hand. The NOISE is something I'll never get used to, I keep on switching to race mode and grinning like a 10 year old kid. Just awesome, no German car even comes close for the emotions this car stirs. The set-up is not too stiff and allows plenty of suspension travel, actually it feels softer than my Gransport's! This is great for driving on real roads with real surface imperfections. It will bounce on the bumps but it will never lose traction or bounce off the line like a rigidly set-up Porsche GT2 or GT3 (or like a 430 Scuderia) will. Perhaps for the track I'd like a flatter, stiffer set up, but the Stradale was built for the road, not for the track. Finally a car that is not designed for the Nurburgring while becoming totally undriveable on a public road, like seems to be the case with too many supercars these days...

    The week is now over and I've driven the car back north on the busy highways. Unexpectedly, the MC Stradale is also an awesome car for long distance travel, comfortable and not too noisy (unless you select race mode). Fuel-wise, I recorded astonishing numbers averaging 22-27 US mpg (9 to 10 l/100 Km) on highway, which more than compensated for the high consumption when driving at full blast in the hills. This is the best all-round Maserati I've ever driven in my life (and I've driven all of them since the '77 Khamsin...), and the best handling car I've ever driven (fun-factor on a par with the 360 CS I drove a few years ago).

    This car is a winner. I suspect it has more than 450 horses... make it more like 500 real ones. It feels WAY TOO FAST for the nominal 450 horses, and Maserati has been known to downplay the power of the 4.7 V8, as many dyno results have shown. In my opinion it tops the Porsche GT3 for all-round fun factor, if not for raw track lap times (its weight is still too high). As a great handling car for the road it is unbeatable, far more usable and user-friendly than the GT3. Well done Maserati!
     
  9. staatsof

    staatsof Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    #7 staatsof, Jul 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
    Yeah OK but did you like it ...

    Those are pretty amazing mileage numbers since I'm pretty certain that wet weather or not you were never pussey footin' it on that trip.
    Does the gas in Europe have ethanol in it or is that the real McCoy?

    Wish I could afford one ... Oh well.
     
  10. maranello71

    maranello71 Formula 3

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    I thought my review was explicit enough... I love that car!! :)

    I am still surprised myself by the mileage numbers. The first Maserati that doesn't put you in the poor house every time you visit the pump. Euro fuel is mostly 100% oil-based, sometime you find ethanol content but it's not really advertised. However, at a cost of $8.50 a gallon you understand why mileage is important over here...
     
  11. staatsof

    staatsof Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    It's important here too but as you know the ethanol will hit a car like that for 3-4 mpg.
    My Jag S-Type R which is no slouch in power department and weighs a bit less or the same? won't get above 23 mpg on the highway here and fairs much worse when "properly driven". :)

    The Maserati is six years newer but that engine isn't direct injection now is it?
    Good to see them attacking the mileage issue a bit. Now for 4WD at least on the QP.

    Thanks for the review even if you haven't as yet answered the ultimate question ... :)
     
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  13. alberto

    alberto Formula 3
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    I averaged 19.9 mpg on my 2009 S, during a 3100 mile US trip last year, in all kinds of mixed driving. If you are getting 22 to 25 with a higher spec engine, that is simply amazing. Not that I doubt you, but you are calculating it rather than using the computer, yes? My values are calculated values (actual miles divided by actual gallons of fuel), not computer numbers (which if you are would be even more amazing, as the computer values seem to be lower than calculated values).

    By the way, THIS THREAD IS WORTHLESS WITHOUT PICTURES. :)
     
  14. staatsof

    staatsof Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    You mean you're casting doubt upon the voracity of the Italian (I don't even know who made it) computer! :)

    My friends 2008 Z06 does way better than my Jag on the hi-way. That car has a lot more power and mine has a bit more weight but even so, sometimes it's surprising.
     
  15. Ferrari 360 CS

    Ferrari 360 CS F1 Veteran
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    Awesome review, glad as I suspect its an great car. As long as Maserati keeps making cars like this I can perhaps overlook the possible SUV and saloons...
     
  16. Maserati Blue

    Maserati Blue Formula Junior

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    #13 Maserati Blue, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  17. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
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    Mar 4, 2005
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    photos, pleazzzzzzzze!

    Ciao!
    Walter
     
  18. maranello71

    maranello71 Formula 3

    Jan 23, 2004
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    Photos coming soon... give me a day to get back home to my faster PC and I'll download the lot.

    Regarding fuel: on the 2008-2009 "S" (MC-Shift) I also got less than 20 mpg, it was very thirsty. The 2010 "S Automatica" was much better but with the penalty of an interstellar set of gear ratios (theoretical top speed in 6th: 220 mph!!!) which did improve mileage but made the car a lot slower than the "S" in the high gears and less enjoyable in the twisty roads.

    I believe the massive improvement in mileage with the MC Stradale is due mostly to the weight reduction and partly to improved engine SW management. I also wonder whether they reduced parasitic transmission losses while they were at it.

    Anyway, the MC Stradale really feels like a totally different car. Almost like a "Junior Scuderia".

    To answer STAATOF's ultimate question: I leased the car and I would consider buying it outright if it wasn't so darn expensive... it costs as much as a low-mileage, used 430 Scuderia these days, and considering that the Scud will probably depreciate less over the next few years, it is probably the better bet for an outright cash buy. However, I firmly believe that the MC Stradale is far more user friendly and every-day usable than the Scud, including in traffic and in bad weather.

    Ultimately it all depends on what you want to do with your car, if you are after a track-day special then you'll be better off with a used 430 Scud; if you want a great handling car that you can also use every day, you'll happily trade off a couple of seconds a lap for a much easier to live with MC Stradale.
     
  19. GregD

    GregD Formula Junior

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    Great write up.

    Are you bringing this car to the U.S.? or will you keep it in Europe? I would really like to know if we can lease and import on a short term basis. Thanks : )
     
  20. staatsof

    staatsof Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    I thought he relocated back to Switzerland or Italy? I'd pick either over Chicago too.
     
  21. maranello71

    maranello71 Formula 3

    Jan 23, 2004
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    Sorry, I forgot. I am currently working in Switzerland. For my trips to the US I use a Camaro SS :) - cheap horsepower :) and my Gransport is still technically in the USA (but soon to relocate to Europe).
     
  22. TeamF1Jr

    TeamF1Jr Formula 3

    Nov 8, 2003
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    and he's got the REAL MC Stradale not the USA watered down version. Enjoy!!!
     
  23. GregD

    GregD Formula Junior

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    Andre,

    Any time you would like to post some pictures of your MC, please do so : )
     
  24. mairesse

    mairesse Karting

    Nov 20, 2009
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    Had a call this a.m.....mine is supposed to land in the U.K on Wednesday so with a quick prep turnaround I hope to be able to get in it for the first time this weekend. Will post pictures when it lands......
     
  25. mairesse

    mairesse Karting

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    #22 mairesse, Nov 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  26. staatsof

    staatsof Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    Well it certainly looks bad ass. What do you have planned for speeding ticket immunity? :)
     
  27. raider1968

    raider1968 F1 Rookie
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    Mar 13, 2008
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    I have a 2009 GTS and like the Stradale but I have one of the 380 GTS with the 599 Super fast F1 and i don't want to lose that - I had the car t the track for 1 weekend at Palm beach and did a 1:31 which beat all the amature Ferrari Challange cars drivers on a track day - pretty impressive with street tire, 1/2 tank of gas and a passanger
     
  28. raider1968

    raider1968 F1 Rookie
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    I just noticed that your Stradale does not have the shifter knob so it is totally paddle shift (Like the Ferrari I m sure you can run it in auto also). That is the same as on my 2009 MCS - no shifter knob - that is the only way to tell it has the 599 super fast F1
     

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