MASERATI GRANTURISMO: A Stylish AlternativeApril 23, 2013 • By M.E. Cribbs
The Maserati GranTurismo line is a series of beautiful cars for people who want refined luxury at ridiculous speed. Maserati has always positioned itself as a stylish alternative to the mainstream luxury marques. This is the car of choice for those who wanted something a little more stylish and a lot less abundant.
The newest line of GT machines from Modena comes in three flavors: GranTurismo S (automatic), GranTurismo MC and GranTurismo Sport. I was privileged to experience the GranCabrio S, GranCabrio MC and GranTurismo Sport models and let me tell you, these are very different cars. Aesthetically, the GranTurismo is a beautiful car. Its lines and curves are spellbinding – to say the least. There are some angles where the car seems a little ungainly, but there is no angle in which the car is unattractive.
The Sport model has the familiar Maserati grille and front fascia, but with a more powerful appearance. Rightfully so, behind that aggressive front end lies a 4.7 liter, 454 horsepower V-8 powerplant that catapults this 4,147-lb. beast to 60 in 4.7 seconds. That feels like 0-60 mph – immediately. There is little time between the planting of one’s right foot and the production of speed. Judging from my short stint in the car, the Gran Turismo Sport’s 186mph top speed is not hard to get to on an early morning Interstate….uhhh, I mean Autostrada run. A lion’s roar is the only comparison I could make as I moved the paddle shifters and heard the engine render the sweet sound of premium fuel being turned into horsepower.
The Maserati GranTurismo S Convertible features a 433 horsepower V-8 and equally brisk performance – even if not as neck-snapping as the MC- it is flawless and natural. The convertible is like the attractive woman in a restaurant; most will act as if they don’t notice, but you can’t help it, you have to look. This is a stunning four-place drop top that accentuates the lines established by the coupe while showcasing the well-finished interior.
The MC is the middle child of the range and goes zero-to-60 in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 185 mph. It has the luxury of the S with the “oomph” of the Sport. There is an MC Sport Stradale available for 2014. Performance will make if a true high performance coupe. Thanks mostly to carbon fiber and aluminum implants; it has the same engine as the sport without the girth.
Fuel economy figures on all models are less than impressive, but hey, nobody drives a Maserati to go green.
Inside the GranTurismo S and Sport, creature comforts abound. Cabins are upholstered in leather that were handcrafted by Poltrona Frau with a selection of prestigious wood trim used for the dashboard, door panel and rear areas. The level of craftsmanship and attention to detail can also be seen in the chrome rings that enhance the dashboard switches and steering wheel as well as the Alcantara sections meeting the fingertips on the back of the steering wheel shift paddles. The hand-stitched seats are cradling but comfortable and have integrated bolsters, headrests with ventilation. There are two full-sized seats in the rear but I pray rear seat passengers have short trips and an even shorter driver in front. The GranTurismo MC was dressed in tuxedo black carbon fiber, leather seats with Alcantara inserts and contrasting stitching. Contemporary technology is sprinkled throughout the leather-lined cockpit. This includes a Bose sound system with satellite radio, iPod connectivity, and a parking warning system specifically tuned for the types of curbs found here in the States. A backup camera is not available yet because of an integration problem with the in-dash head unit.
Options and customizations are contingent on your patience and pocket book. Some of the popular options include: faux-suede headliner ($1700), red contrasting seat stitching ($450), trident-logo headrest stitching ($625), piano black interior trim ($2500), blue anodized brake calipers ($860), and gray paint for the 20-inch aluminum wheels ($800).
The Maserati GranTurismo is a machine that offers comfortable accommodations while being able to deliver copious amounts of speed. Discerning buyers should aim for one of the GranTurismo variants. Choose Coupe of Convertible, S, MC or Sport. Whatever your flavor, you have chosen a car that is “Bella e Forte”; beautiful and strong. It performs as good on the highway as it looks parked in the garage.