Maserati GranTurismo unveiled

Published: 08 March 2007

So, one of the show’s biggest stars then?

Absolutely. The world debut of the new Maserati GranTurismo was one of the show’s most eagerly awaited moments. The name goes back to Maserati’s road car roots, an A6 Gran Turismo being unveiled in 1947 at Geneva as the company’s first-ever road car. Styled by Pininfarina, the new car is far more aggressive than the Coupe it replaces without sacrificing the brand’s trademark elegance. A huge concaved grille dominates the front end – something clearly inspired by the Quattroporte – while muscular creases define the rear. Two coupes were displayed on the stand though a Spyder will follow later.

How about the technical spec?

The GranTurismo uses the same 4.2-litre V8 as found in the Quattroporte – and forms the basis of the Alfa 8C’s 4.7-litre V8 – mated to the large saloon’s much improved ZF automatic transmission. This remains the only transmission confirmed so far, a contributory factor being the US market which is expected to take 40 percent of all cars. However, expect a Duoselect semi-auto to follow. Maximum power of 405bhp is achieved at 7100rpm, while the torque curve peaks at 4750rpm with 339lb ft, helping the Gran Turismo to 62mph in 5.2sec and on to around 175mph.

What’s it like inside?

It feels – and is – much more spacious than the previous generation coupé, the GranTurismo measuring 4881mm in length. Climb inside and there’s bags of headroom, and even rear-seat passengers are generously accommodated – making the Gran Turismo a tempting alternative to rivals like Jaguar’s XKR which struggles to squeeze even small adults in the back seats. The seats are assuredly supportive while being incredibly comfortable and the Poltrona Frau leather is incredibly soft, supple and tactile. Though delicate in appearance, Maserati claims that the leather will only improve with age. Whether or not that’s true, you can imagine spending a long time here in great comfort. There’s also an impressive-looking – we didn’t get to hear it above all the hubbub of motor show activity – Bose stereo system. One low point is a tacky plastic housing on the dash which combines the air vents and an analogue clock.

How much will the GranTurismo cost?

UK prices are expected to come in at just under £70,000. That’s competitive and should help Maserati reach its 2007 sales target of 7000 units. Britain will certainly be a key player in the Modena car maker’s future plans, the UK and the Germany being its most important markets after North America and Italy.

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator