Maserati Granturismo

Wow! Indeed. Striking stuff isn’t it? From certain angles it’s truly sensational, particularly aspects like the taper of the nose, the A6GCS-style grille and the way the sills pinch and roll under the car to give a beautiful waisted look. But other details don’t work so well. Maserati is proud that the rear lights use the same LED technology that made the old 3200GT’s boomerang clusters possible. But why do these ones look so boring? In fact the back end looks remarkably like a new Mondeo’s. And the long 2.9m wheelbase needed to create four seats creates a very long-looking car. And is it the true four-seater Maserati claims? It is, although it’s never going to rival a Quattroporte for space and the seat squab is too low and therefore lacking in support so you wouldn’t want to be back there for hours. Six-footers will find headroom tight, and legroom too if they’re behind a driver of similar stature. But let’s get this in perspective: a Jag XK has zero rear room, a 911’s back seats are for kids only and even a 6-series isn’t as commodious. Only Merc’s bigger CL feels roomier. But when it comes to packaging four adults in elegant metalwork, the Maser’s in a class of one. And at £78,500 it’s even respectable value for money in the face of a six-figure Aston DB9 or Bentley GT. Space aside, what’s the cabin like? And does it feel like it will last? Let’s just say this is the best Maserati cabin we’ve yet come across. Perhaps not in terms of style – it’s quietly conservative, rather than Italian exotic in tone - but the materials, the leathers and plastics, and the feeling of solidity, is deeply impressive. And the satnav/audio system deserves special praise. Its 30GB hard drive allows you to save stacks of music and because the nav system doesn’t have to search on a disc for info, it’s the quickest we’ve used – great when you’ve missed your junction and need an alternative route. The old Coupé is dead and the Gran Sport version dies soon. Is this a replacement? No, it uses a totally different platform and is meant to be a softer, more grown-up car. Essentially it’s a Quattroporte saloon chopped by 126mm. Which bodes well for the driving experience, but isn’t so good for kerbweight. The QP’s excellent handling masks the fact that it’s a two-tonne car and even the Granturismo weighs 1880kg. Jag’s aluminium XK is over 200kg lighter than the steel GT and while Merc’s CL500 is 40kg heavier again, it still manages to embarrass the GT at the pumps, offering 23mpg on the combined cycle compared with 19.7mpg for the Italian.

Need to know: Maserati Granturismo How much? £78,500 Engine: 4244cc 32v V8, 400bhp @7100rpm, 339lb ft @ 4750rpm Transmission: Six-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive Performance (150bhp): 5.2sec 0-62mph, 177mph, 19.7mpg, 330g/km CO2 How heavy/made of? Steel How big (length/width/height in mm)? 4881/1847/1353mm


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