Maserati GranTurismo Review

Maserati GranTurismo Review

Shoppers in the market for a $100,000-plus performance coupe understandably have high expectations. Fortunately for them, every car in this rarefied segment offers ample power, responsive handling, upscale surroundings and a unique character. But there are always those who seek a bit more -- more exclusivity, more presence, more panache. For these particularly discerning buyers, the Maserati GranTurismo is, quite literally, a tailor-made solution.

Resurrecting both the spirit and the nameplate of the original GranTurismo A6 road car of the late 1940s, Maserati's all-new 2+2 grand touring coupe replaces the discontinued Coupe and Spyder. Constructed on a shortened Quattroporte chassis, the GranTurismo is longer and heavier than both its predecessors and many of its rivals. As such, it's not as quick as less expensive competitors from BMW and Jaguar, despite featuring a sonorous 405-horsepower V8. Nor does it possess the cutting-edge electronic wizardry of its high-tech rivals.

But logical considerations about numbers and features aren't what the Maserati GranTurismo is all about. In the best Italian tradition, the emphasis here is on striking beauty, hand-crafted elegance and soulful sounds and sensations. For some, superior speed and technology isn't as appealing as that distinctive Italian character, which the GranTurismo has in spades. Buyers of this persuasion will gladly sacrifice cutting-edge power and technology in return for the GranTurismo's uniquely engaging personality.

Current Maserati GranTurismo

The Maserati GranTurismo is a four-passenger luxury performance coupe available in two trim levels. The base model is powered by a 4.2-liter V8 that sends a robust 405 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. A conventional six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles is the only transmission available. Standard features include alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, an electronically adjustable suspension, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, power-adjustable heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system and a Bose surround-sound stereo.

The GranTurismo S model gets a 4.7-liter V8 that pumps out 433 hp and 361 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automated manual transmission is standard, providing rapid shifts during aggressive driving but herky-jerky performance around town. The S also includes 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned (non-adjustable) suspension, a sport exhaust, Alcantara interior trim, digital tachometer and trim-specific styling cues. Maserati estimates 0-60-mph sprints of 5.1 seconds from the base car and 4.8 seconds from the S.

Inside the GranTurismo's large and inviting four-place cabin, the Maserati leaves its European rivals behind with a usefully proportioned rear-seat area, artfully rendered design touches and hand-stitched Italian leather everywhere you look. The interior can be custom-tailored in a choice of 10 colors with even more shades of stitching; a handful of different headliner and carpeting treatments; and numerous wood, lacquer or metal trim options. There are more personalization possibilities outside, where the GranTurismo's stunningly sculpted, Pininfarina-designed body is available in 19 different finishes and a half-dozen wheel treatments. With such a vast array of possible combinations, exclusivity is practically guaranteed.

On the road, the Maserati GranTurismo may not match the ultimate swiftness of some of its competitors, but its V8 delivers a resonant bark and enough high-rpm power to keep pace with all but the fastest automobiles in all the land. Weighing in at over 2 tons, this elegant 2+2 coupe trades ultimate cornering capability for a satisfying combination of near-sports car performance and long-legged touring comfort. The steering is precise, with responsiveness that belies the car's ample dimensions. Due to its grand touring nature, the absence of a traditional manual transmission isn't much of a problem -- the GranTurismo's competition is similarly limited, and the operation of both transmissions' manual modes is exemplary.

The Maserati GranTurismo may not be the quickest, best equipped or top-value choice in its segment, but that's hardly the point. It's a drop-dead-gorgeous GT that does everything well, and it goes about its business with an air of exclusivity and exuberance that few cars at any price point can match. For discriminating and well-heeled buyers looking for something a little different, that's worth more than all the hard numbers and logical considerations in the world.

Used Maserati GranTurismo Models

The Maserati GranTurismo was introduced for 2008 in base form only. The GranTurismo S dawned the following year.