Saturday, November 8, 2008

Be it a thump or a purr, sound is a turn-on

Maserati in Miami Beach. Can you hear it?

"Buyers want authenticity. They expect exclusivity."

Are we talking about Royal Enfield motorcycles? No, the speaker was Jeff Ehoodin, public relations manager for Maserati USA. He addressed the press Friday at the Maserati display at the South Florida International Auto Show, in Miami Beach, Fla.

There were few motorcycles of any sort at the show, although a vintage Triumph Daytona found its way into "Memory Lane." But lovers of any honest machinery might find they agree with Ehoodin.

A Maserati GranTurismo S packs 433 horsepower and an electro-actuated transaxle gearbox. But Ehoodin pointed the press to the Bose sound system, which features two large knobs and works "intuitively, like the radios we grew up with."

"You're driving the car; you're not screwing around with a piece of electronics."

He touted the Pininfarina styling of Maseratis, which evokes their heritage. I happen to like the portholes in the fenders, but what really appealed to me were the wheels. At 183 mph you wouldn't want wires, but these were the next best thing in my opinion, with spokes that refer to the Maserati trident emblem.

Maserati showed four models in Miami Beach and each had a unique set of wheels, yet each design was a variation on the trident theme.

The nicest treat was when Ehoodin briefly fired up the 4.7-liter V8. I wish I had a sound file of it for you. I would describe it as primal, yet machine made, not animal. Just perfect.

Ehoodin naturally brought up the famous Hiscox insurance company study earlier this year that found the sound of a Maserati increased testosterone in 100 per cent of women participants. The sound of a Volkswagen Polo had an opposite effect. You get what you pay for, I guess.

I can only say that, like the thump of a Royal Enfield, the sound of the Maserati was authentic. Real authentic.


  1. "You're driving the car; you're not screwing around with a piece of electronics."

    Amen to that. The radio on my car has some things on the front I don't know if they are knobs or screw heads, and icons I can't see, much less figure out. I try to only touch the volume control and the tuner.

  2. Anonymous11/09/2008

    Too-quiet electric cars get flack from the deaf community, which appreciates at least a little rumble to indicate what's coming. I guess nobody complains about too-quiet motorcycles?


  3. can those statistics about testosterone be true? i'm skeptical.

  4. I admit I was thinking "hoax" myself, especially considering the name of the sponsoring insurance company, "Hiscox." Hmmm. Yet it seems on the up-and-up and received wide coverage. There is this to consider: any loud noise causes the human body to go on alert. The pulse quickens, in other words, even if the noise is a chainsaw. But, hearing the Maserati myself, I will say that I have heard chainsaws: this was no chainsaw.


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