Under the Hood: Tips and Tricks to Driving the Maserati GT4

Lacking any electronic assists, ACC’s Maserati GT4 provides drivers with a completely unique on-track experience. Let’s learn all about it.

The Maserati GT4 is available in Assetto Corsa Competizione as a part of the GT4 DLC. With a naturally aspirated V8 engine and no electronic assistants, this car has a unique character in the GT4 class. Here is what you need to know about it.

Introducing the Maserati GT4

The Maserati GT4 was introduced for the 2016 motorsport season, primarily targeting the GT4 Championships in Europe and the Pirelli World Challenge in the United States. Maserati does not run any factory motorsport teams in GT4, but it provides technical support and replacement parts for the private teams and drivers using the Maserati GT4.

Maserati followed a path set by many other manufacturers when developing the GT4 model. The car is based on the road GranTurismo MC with motorsport-specific modifications to compete in FIA-sanctioned GT4 events. The changes to the GranTurismo MC include a GT4-specific body kit and headlights, a roll cage, racing parts in the suspension system, a brake bias adjustment system and many others.

  • The Coach Dave Academy team of drivers and engineers have created setup offerings for GT4 cars in Assetto Corsa Competizione, available for purchase as part of our setup subscription.

The Basic Car Characteristics

The Maserati GT4 uses a naturally aspirated 4.7 litre V8 engine, restricted to 430 horsepower, and a 6-speed sequential transmission.

In terms of weight and power-to-weight ratio, the car is close to the BMW M4 GT4 and the Mercedes-AMG GT4, weighing 1,410 kilograms and producing 0.3 horsepower per kilogram. However, the Maserati GT4 has no electronic assistants, such as traction control (TC) and anti-lock braking system (ABS), so it is tricky to drive on the limit.

The Maserati GT4 is relatively simple to set up compared to other GT4 cars in Assetto Corsa Competizione. Here are the crucial features:

  • There is no front anti-roll bar adjustment. The rear anti-roll bar has four setup options.
  • Wheel rates range from 116,000 to 186,000 N/m at the front and from 113,000 to 163,000 N/m at the rear. But only three values in these ranges are allowed, and you can treat them as soft, medium and stiff suspension settings.
  • As usual, for many GT4 cars, the bump stop range adjustment is not available, and fast bump and rebound dampers are not adjustable separately. You can change only the slow damper settings.
  • Although the car has no TC or ABS, you can change the preload differential.

The priority of the setup work is to maximise mechanical grip with optimal suspension and anti-roll bar settings and then fine-tune the setup with aero adjustments afterwards.

Steering and Cornering

The Maserati GT4 is a joy to drive with no electronic aids. This intentional lack of assistance keeps you engaged and alert, even on a dry track, where it can pose a considerable challenge.

This car handles quite differently from other front-engine, heavy GT4s, such as the BMW M4 GT4 and the Mercedes-AMG GT4. With the default aggressive setup, you will not feel a lot of understeer on the corner entry. If anything, the Maserati GT4 has too much rotation when you attack curbs and get on the power after the apex.

You can adjust this behaviour with wheel rates, rear ARB, toe and dampers. Note that wheel rate changes are available only in large steps, so it is worth testing them properly on track after only one click up or down in the setup window. Besides, the fast damper settings are not adjustable separately, and fine-tuning handling on the curbs is challenging.

You will like this car if you appreciate the raw, unfiltered driving experience it offers, demanding precision and finesse from the driver. The Maserati GT4 is capable of impressive pace, but mastering this car requires dedication, especially on the wet track.

Power Delivery and Braking

The Maserati GT4 engine immediately impresses with its fantastic sound, making it one of the favourite-sounding cars in the GT4 Pack DLC. The engine has enough horsepower to be competitive on the straights. If you can negotiate corners well without TC and ABS, you will get overtaking opportunities on straights against many other GT4 cars.

As with many other GT cars, the differential preload is often low because it creates too much understeer and front tyre wear overwise. With the low preload settings, you must be careful with the throttle during acceleration to limit wheel spin. Adjust differential after suspension settings because it reduces the chassis’s ability to respond.

Braking can be a challenge at first, especially if you are used to driving modern GT cars with ABS. Interestingly, the bulk of tyre wear comes from locking tyres under braking, not unrestricted acceleration without traction control. Therefore, avoiding lock-ups is crucial for consistent pace in longer races.

Aerodynamics and Bodywork

In the aerodynamics setup of the Maserati GT4, you can change the rear wing angle and ride heights for the front and the rear. The front splitter is fixed, as usual with the GT4 cars.

Begin aero setup work with a lower rear wing because it has a minor impact on the overall handling. Experiment with this setting during the final stages of setup development. Test the higher rear wing for circuits with many medium and high-speed corners to check if performance improves enough to compensate for the reduced straight-line speed.

Final Thoughts

The Maserati GT4 is fun to drive and learn the limits without electronic assistants fixing driving mistakes. But it is also challenging for beginners to set fast lap times and keep a consistent race pace. 

If you need help to improve your driving fundamentals or extract the maximum out of the GT4 class, explore Coach Dave Academy’s Never Lift driving course or individual coaching.

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Under the Hood: Tips and Tricks to Driving the Maserati GT4
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