Maserati GranTurismo 2017: A touch of Italian grandiosity
Life on top
If the latest edition of the Maserati GranTurismo could be summed up in a proverb, it would be: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
It's been approximately a decade since this Italian torpedo first made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show and if it's anything like its German counterparts, we might have seen a slew of fancy technology driving the GranTurismo into a whole new automotive stratosphere.
But no, the GranTurismo is to remain grounded in traditions of race-bred performance and devastatingly good looks. And leather furnishings that you never want to get out of. It does not matter if someone, somewhere, perceives the GranTurismo as somewhat of an anachronism in the wake of semi-driverless cars and flying taxis — you'll still want a piece of it. Here's why.
Like its Italian brothers, Maserati has had a steep history in motor racing. Step into the swanky showroom lounge at Leng Kee Road and you'll be surrounded by portraits of GT racers, worn proudly like badges of honour. Best symbolising this motorsports legacy is the top of the line GranTurismo, first road homologated back in 1947 when it was still known as the A6 1500 GT Pininfarina.
Enough with the history lesson; the only drift you need to be catching here is that the racing DNA places a lot of speed and power in your hands, which could only mean it comes with great responsibility — we're sure this is one you wouldn't mind.
NEED FOR SPEED
Ferrari had a hand in developing the 4.2-litre V8 engine under the bonnet of the GranTurismo, which produces a knockout 405 horsepower at 7,100 rpm. Paired with the ZF six-speed transmission, it accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds, or 4.7 seconds for the juiced up GranTurismo Sport. But that is when it is still 'tame'.
Ignite the 'Sport' button at your own risk.
For the better part of the day during my test drive, the rain did not show any signs of abating. Yet, the Maserati GranTurismo ignored the bad weather with good grip and smooth responses. The infotainment tech within may be threadbare, but you can be sure that the tech is right there where it matters.
PERFORMANCE OF A LIFETIME
The only thing more addictive than the technical performance are the sounds of the all-Italian, naturally aspirated engine. I've always enjoyed picking out the deep, classy rumble of a Maserati from a distance but now that I'm seated inside of a GranTurismo — with half a window rolled down, no less — it could only be described as an opera that might have had Pavarotti himself sitting up in attention.
In the last decade, the GranTurismo has only gotten subtle cosmetic changes. Presumably, there is no need for dramatic remodelling when there is enough drama to go around from front to back. The deep sitting stance and oval radiator grille, gleaming with the emblematic trident, remains a joy to behold. Adding to the coupe flair is a wide aerodynamic diffuser and side skirts, while not forgetting how the trifecta of air intake vents on each side of the bonnet lends a nice little touch.
It came to my attention that only the GranTurismo wears the trident badge a little differently — with red detailing. If that makes you feel like you belong to an exclusive club, wait till you enter the cabin. Almost everything is fashioned out of supple Alcantara leather with stitching that reflects the lines of the radiator grille. You'll find the same trident logo handcrafted on the seat hand rests, the gearshift paddles, and even the brake pedal.
If there was a downside, it would be that while the GranTurismo can comfortably seat four passengers, you have to first release the catch on the electronically assisted front sports seat to push the backrest down, before the seat itself automatically slides forward at snail's pace. You'd do well to arrange your pick-ups at places where you can actually wait, because your posse is going to take a while to access the rear seats.
About Nicholas Tse
Wordsmith by day, wannabe vigilante by night. Occasional speedster, 24/7 snazzy dresser. Aspiring best-selling novelist on weekends. The only things Nicholas loves more than the written word are fast cars, Nespresso machines and denim. Follow his adventures on Facebook and Instagram.
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