In a recent article the boys at Motor Trend took a test spin in a new 2008 Maserati GranTurismo and the results were more than pretty but less than exilarating. The name Maserati commands classy flowing lines in a body that stem from a richly shaped history and a finely stitched Italian interior. In the fit and assembly and in its first glance appeal the GranTurismo lives up to its builders name. However, as pointed out in the test drive, the GranTurismo is turning its competitive focus away from the Porsche, Ferrari crowd and zeroing in on the Luxury BMW and Jaguar class who are inching in on Maserati’s territory.
Just like nearly all other sedans being designed the new GranTurismo is growing. The new shape is 14-inches longer and 2-inches wider than the previous body style. The size increases the accommodations of the interior cabin allowing for more passenger and leg room in the front and rear seats of the car. And how American of Motor Trend to remark on the soft ride, rear A/C vents and cup-holders. The GranTurismo even has room in its trunk for 2 sets of golf clubs they noted. All combined these are not the common concerns of a Porches driver as much as they are a Luxury sport driver. But with that said it seems that have not stripped all of the sport out of the GranTurismo.
The heart of the 2008 GranTurismo is still the same 400-hp 4.2 liter engine that propelled its slightly smaller predecessor along the road. It seems the larger dimensions and 4150 pound curb weight did not trigger a desire to design a stronger V-8 to better motivate the GranTurismo. In its normal guise the car cruises with luxury refinement, a pleasing ride and a gentle, low rpm shift. But when the Sport mode (yep, just a button) is engaged the GranTurismo hunkers down for a competent, stiffer-tuned drive with up-shifts occurring now at 7000-rpm.
The aggressive rumbling of the Sport mode may be insufficient for the assertive driving a Porsche driver, yet it seems to be just enough for the shape of Maserati class drivers. For some drivers it is not about how fast you get there but in the style with which you arrive. Maserati’s glamour shines bright for everyone to see and with all 1500 of the 2007 models being sold out it seems that those who covet the shiniest things, and have the greens to get one, have taken notice.