I’ll be honest here, cars like this usually don’t do a damn thing for me as generally I find them to be more show than go. This observation usually holds true for the people who buy them as well. Sure they’re beautiful machines and yes they propel you forward, but to me these cars are more about image and less about having a passion for driving. I have to say though that last week while I was attending the IMPA test days in PA, I had a chance to slip behind the wheel of the new 2011 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible and was pleasantly surprised when my initial impressions were proven completely wrong.
First off the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible is a beautiful car to look at. It’s soft lines and contours are very easy on the eyes and it exudes elegance from every angle. There is nothing gimmicky or false about it either, and from a styling perspective it simply welcomes to driver to climb in and take control. Secondly the car is a grand tourer in the truest sense. With room enough for four average sized adults, the Maserati’s interior is very nicely designed and cradles both the front and rear passengers in comfort and luxury.
Then there is the engine, ooooh the engine! Fire it up and you will be greeted with one of the greatest exhaust notes in all of motoring. Is that a big statement? Hell yeah, but I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t believe it. The 4.7-liter V8 pumps out 433 HP and 361 lb-ft of torque which helps sprint the GranTurismo Convertible to 60 mph in just under 6 seconds. Now, by today’s standards it may not be the fastest thing around, but understand that this is not what this car is about.
This car is about driving on a Sunday morning with the top down and the engine revving. It’s about enjoying the finer things in life and putting a big ole’ smile on your face when you turn the key. It’s also about making you feel like a total pimp when you pull up to a stop light. As I said, the styling is a bit understated, but this is all part of the Maserati’s charm. Most people don’t know what it is, so it forces them to ask questions and take notice of this amazing shape that just pulled up next to them.
The driving experience is wonderful as well as long as you understand that this is not a sports car, but a long distance magic carpet. Even with the top down the cabin remains quiet enough to have a conversation as the wind buffeting is that good. Keep the top down and roll the windows up and I swear that this thing has less wind noise than most hard top cars. The driving characteristics of the GranTurismo Convertible are also what you’d expect and the car does better than expected in all categories.
What I really liked about his car was that one, it made me giggle every time the exhaust baffles opened up and two, I wanted to keep driving it. Price wise the 2011 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible comes in at about $150,000 and honestly, it feels like every bit of it. I truly liked this car as it hit all the key points that a real grand tourer should. It’s elegant, performs beautifully and makes you feel wonderful whether your driving or just looking at it. I’ll tell ya’ something here, Maserati got this one right and it shows.