A New Italian Beauty from Modena

The Trident has made its points, again.

Meet the Maserati GranTurismo.

Grand touring cars combine power with roadability, strength with elegance, assurance with grace. They meet the road with the panache of a race car and the dependability of the family car. They’re long distance and short-trip to the market, regal as well as every day. They can show it off on the track, the autobahn — or to the in-laws, due in on the 5:15 at the airport with all of their baggage.

The new four-seater from the great Italian automaker delivers all of these qualities: 405 horsepower from a 4.2 liter Ferrari-derive power train from Maranello, Italy; extraordinary weight distribution (49 percent front and 51 percent rear); Pininfarina styling; and on-board luxury equal to that available on any vehicle in the world.

“For styling and power, craftsmanship and elegance, this new Maserati will be a significant factor in the luxury performance car market,” says Chris Pauken, sales consultant with Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati-Aston Martin, 6825 E. McDowell Road. “For price/value, it simply can’t be equaled.”

Unveiled at the Geneva International Auto Show in March (following the January debut of the Quattroporte Automatic), the GranTurismo appeared first in the United States at April’s New York International Auto Show and appeared in pre-production trim at the Meadowbrook and Pebble Beach Concours. Everywhere it drove in, it moved enthusiasts.

The all-new car replaces the Coupe, available in the United States from 2002 to 2006. The Modena, Italy-based company expects that buyers will see the GranTurismo as a worthy option against the very popular Bentley Continental GT, especially as it is lighter (at 4,147 pounds curb weight) and is priced lower, at $114,650 base price.

As a lineup of products, the GranTurismo parks neatly between the company’s GranSport and the flagship Quattroporte and should help continue the company’s climb back into the U.S. market. Under Ferrari’s ownership from 1997 through 2004, Fiat, which owns Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Lancia, took the wheel in 2005. 

The GT follows the tradition of the great Maserati A6 1500 GT of 1947, designed by Pinin Farina himself; just 58 of these were built. Later, the Maserati A6 GCS of 1953–55 expanded this heritage — a race car that won the Italian Mille Miglia. These cars demonstrated that a racing engine could show its stuff with restraint and class on the highways and streets as well.

Indeed, take this car out into the foothills and beyond. The GranTurismo should accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.1 seconds and top out at 177 mph — if that will do for your next Arizona highways outing. The eight-cylinder engine (it’s in a traditional 90 V) produces its maximum output of 405 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and peak torque of 339 pound feet at 4,750 rpm.

“The GranTurismo was tested in hot weather in Spain and South Africa, in cold weather, in Scandinavia, on winding roads in Greece, even on race circuits such as the Nürburgring in Germany: At every venue, it met and surpassed expectations,” Pauken notes.

The six-speed ZF automatic transmission, available in BMWs, is strong, silent, and smooth. Steering-wheel paddle shifters are standard. The gearbox connects with an adaptive control system: This adjusts shifting mode to the individual style and driving conditions. The standard Skyhook adaptive suspension (double wishbone) also makes changes based on road feel. The car knows you, and the car knows the road.

“Drivers will be extremely pleased with the effortless of this transmission and the ride — which provides a perfect balance of road feel and road heal,” Pauken notes. “Maserati drivers expect both the thrill of the race and ease of transportation — and the GranTurismo delivers both experiences in good measure.”

Standard are 19-inch alloy “V-style” wheels, which can be ordered in two styles. Three optional 20-inch wheels are available, including a polished “Birdcage” design. The perforated brake discs, 13 inches front and rear, are painted black from the factory, but you can order them in five colors as well, including titanium. All cars are metallic paint in wonderfully named colors such as Blue Nettuno, Bordeaux Pontevecchio and Grigio Alfieri, but you can specify pearlescent paint as well to finish this very fine car.

Of course, Maserati buyers buy craftsmanship as much as they expect performance. New for this year is an 11-speaker Bose surround-sound system with 100 hours of storage capacity; that’s a lot of Beethoven, for sure. Other standard equipment includes a multi-media system with a 30-gigabyte hard-drive navigation; rear park sensors; a home-link system and alarm system; heated front seats with memory; twin dual exhausts; bi-xenon headlights; an adaptive light-control system; and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Because Maserati has extended the distance between the front and rear wheels, interior legroom is excellent, even for four adults. Poltrona Frau leather — in 10 available colors — provides a luxurious environment, with various stitching styles available. The Maserati Trident is embossed on each of the four seats. To complement the standard rosewood, Tanganyika or walnut briarwood interior the steering wheel and gear shift are standard in black leather, but you can specify other colors.

“The GranTurismo is a hand-built car, and because of that you can personalize it with such items as contrasting stitching on the seats,” Pauken explains. Many companies, for instance, limit the number of interior colors available with an exterior color. This is not the case with Maserati, which builds only a fraction of the cars other companies, such as BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

“The new GranTurismo is an unsurpassed driving experience,” Pauken says. “This is a car that will turn heads, without gaudiness, without self-proclamation. It is what it is and always has been: a Maserati.”

Scottsdale Maserati

480.421.3801; www.scottsdaleferrari.com