According to one of Maserati’s future product plans, which we were told about at least five years ago, these Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrios that we’re driving would both be all-new cars from the tyres up. But they’re not, they’re mild facelifts. This, however, is no bad thing.
For starters under the bonnet there’s the same 4.7-litre V8 fitted to the car that’s been in production since 2007. It’s naturally aspirated and old fashioned in absolutely the right sort of way. The engine is built by Ferrari and is based on the motor used in the 360 Modena, which in turn was a development of the F355 engine. That carbon dates the powerplant back to 1994. The last GranTurismo’s (and Cabrio’s) 4.2-litre engine has been dropped simply because hardly anybody bought it.
The facelift includes the usual economically viable styling tweaks that are done to most cars mid-life whether they’re city runabouts or an exotic Italian grand tourer. The front grille is deeper and is based on the one fitted to the Alfieri concept car. There are two versions of both coupe and convertible: the standard Sport and the MC, which stands for Maserati Corse. You can tell them apart because the grilles have different trim and the bonnet on the latter is carbon fibre and includes a smattering of vents and air scoops. The headlamps have new lamp units inside but are otherwise barely changed. The result is a car that looks slightly different at both ends but still has presence and is unmistakably a Maserati.
Inside, the cars get a new infotainment system that’s presented on a 8.4in touchscreen. Apple Carplay and Android Auto are supported. Heating and cooling are controlled via a panel underneath with easy to use old fashioned buttons. There’s a wide choice of materials available both in upholstery and trim; from carbon fibre to walnut veneer. As it did before, the cabin feels special.
As does the whole car in fact. The engine is lovely, one of the few non-turbocharged engines left and is a throwback to days when even a big displacement engine had to be revved to extract its full performance. A six-speed torque converter gearbox in a world in which 8 and 9 ratios are the norm, sounds as though it belongs with overdrive and pre-selector gearboxes but it works well enough. Kickdown is usually enough to put the engine back into its powerband coming out of a corner but you can use the always-active paddles if you fancy it.
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