Last year at the IMPA Test Days I had the opportunity to drive the 2011 Maserati GranTurismo convertible, a car which completely caught me off guard. At first I was expecting a driving experience that was similar to that of a BMW or Porsche, what I got though was something that was so much more. Most German automobiles, even the cabriolets, have a somewhat stoic feeling to them. They always work wonderfully but at days end they just don’t ignite the soul. The Maserati GranTurismo was different, as not only did it make all your correct parts tingle, but it did so with a exhaust note that was simply spectacular. It’s now one year later and Maserati is getting ready to release its new GrandCabrio Sport to the public, a car that should deliver everything the GranTurismo did and more.
From a performance standpoint the tweaking isn’t as substantial as you may think. In fact the spec sheet really isn’t that much different from the previous model. Power is up just 10 hp with a torque increase of 14 lb-ft, bringing the numbers up to 450 hp and 376.2 lb-ft of torque. Top speed has also increase by, get this… 1 mph to 177 mph. Maserati claims the real improvements to the car come by way of the upgraded ZF six-speed automatic transmission from the Quattroporte Sport GT S. There is also new engine mapping dubbed by Maserati as; “Maserati’s Friction Reduction Program”. This is said to reduce overall fuel consumption by as much as 6%.
Other updates include a black grille, redesigned side skirts, new front corner splitter and smoked headlamps. There is also some new red paint called, “Rosso Trionfale” that is reminiscent of the colors used by Maserati racing in the 1950’s. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to have some seat time in the new GrandCabrio Sport when it makes its way to U.S. shores. Until then, I’d be very happy to just tool around in the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible that I had the pleasure of driving last year.