Maserati GranCabrio Trofeo review: Italian style with MC20 engine | CAR Magazine

Maserati GranCabrio Trofeo review: Italian style with MC20 engine

Published: 03 July 2024
Maserati GranCabrio Trofeo front tracking
  • At a glance
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5

By Piers Ward

CAR's deputy editor, word wrangler, historic racer

By Piers Ward

CAR's deputy editor, word wrangler, historic racer

► Convertible V6 petrol Maserati driven
► Pace and handling to match the best
► Also available as electric Folgore version

Peacocks of the world now have even more choice, as Maserati has launched two versions of the convertible GranCabrio – an all-electric Folgore and this V6 petrol version, the Trofeo.

The last-gen car was a sales hit for Maserati (over 40,000 were sold in its, admittedly long, lifetime) so the firm is back in the game with this version, playing in a rarefied pool with very few natural rivals for the Trofeo and even fewer for the Folgore. Maserati can trace its history with convertibles right back to its pre-war days, but this latest model is somewhat of a break as for the first time it’s offered with an electric option and also without a V8.

At a glance

Pros: Handling balance better than Folgore version, punchy V6, looks, top notch build quality

Cons: Gearbox too eager to change up in auto mode, V6 sounds better in the Ferrari 296 GTS

What’s new on the GranCabrio Trofeo?

Pretty much everything. Gone is the V8, replaced by the ‘Nettuno’ twin-turbo V6 from the Maserati MC20 that features the same Twin Combustion technology but without the supercar’s dry sump. That makes sense – you’re hardly going to be pulling the sort of G-force in a convertible that would warrant a dry sump.

All GranCabrios are four wheel-drive but on the Trofeo version, Maserati has deliberately sited the front diff in line with the engine to keep the mass of the V6 as far back as possible. Weight distribution is 48:52, front:rear, while it runs with 90 per cent of the torque going to the rear in standard driving.

Maserati GranCabrio Trofeo front tracking

The chassis is shared with the GranTurismo coupe and gains additional strengthening to compensate for the lack of roof. As such, the cabrio is 100kg heavier than the coupe.

Roof up or down, it looks utterly stunning, arguably the best of Maserati’s current offerings, with a long-nose, mid-cab stance that works so well on convertibles.

Incidentally, the petrol and electric versions have largely similar looks as Maserati has opted to keep a much more traditional front grille for both. A quick glance won’t tell you much but take longer and you’ll see that the Trofeo has more vents for better breathing. With a fabric folding roof that collapses in 15 seconds, there aren’t many packaging compromises so the looks aren’t spoiled by having to cram a roof into an awkward space. Boot space is improved from the last version but you’ll still need to pack carefully for a weekend away – it’s not as poor as the Jaguar F-Type but squishy bags are your best bet.

Maserati GranCabrio Trofeo in-car driving

What are the specs?

Despite giving away two cylinders to the rival Bentley Continental GTC, the Maserati can nearly match the Brit’s power output and gets oh-so-close to mirroring it to 62mph. The Trofeo’s raw figures are 535bhp and 3.6 seconds, both of which are more than enough to make it punchy on any journey. Although if you want the quickest Maserati, you’ll need the GranCabrio Folgore as it lops nearly a second off that 0-62mph time.

Fuel economy? As if that really concerns a Maserati buyer. If you really must know, it’s 26.7mpg – be prepared for sub-20 if you’re pressing on.

How does the GranCabrio Trofeo drive?

This is the better sports car of the GranCabrio duo. Because while the Folgore can waft well, it falls apart if you find a good set of corners.

The Trofeo does a much better job, managing to balance performance and comfort without having to compensate for all the extra mass of the Folgore’s batteries. It has superior body control and works over a wider range of the driver settings – switch it into Corsa for a twisty road by all means, but you can dial the separate suspension setting back to ‘S’ so it retains its comfort but doesn’t flop around. It’s a more agile car than the Folgore and reacts to inputs faster.

The eight-speed gearbox is very slushy in auto mode, changing up at the merest hint of an increase in speed, but the manual paddles save it. Corsa drive mode gives a hint more aggression from the exhaust note, even if it can’t match the zip of Ferrari’s 296 GTS.

What about the interior?

Quite simply a thing of beauty. Just as you’d expect from the outside looks, the Italians have nailed the mix of tech and luxury on the inside as well. Leather is everywhere, unlike in the Folgore, and the mix of materials and finishes is as good as any rivals’.

The touchscreen set-up is improved with a twin-screen approach that works well. The lower one controls all the climate and roof (although it’s a bit daft to have the roof control buried in a sub-menu) while the upper is your information screen with elements like the radio and nav.

One tip – avoid the orange effect in the carbon trim. It’s one more colour in a smorgasbord of finishes and isn’t needed. Keep it simple. Rear room isn’t limo-generous but you can get two mid-sized adults back there without too much drama. It’s not a place to spend hours but because the backs of the front seats are quite sculpted, there’s enough knee room to make a trip down the coast road bearable. It’s certainly an improvement on the 911 Cabrio, if not quite as good as the Bentley Conti GTC.

Before you buy (trims and rivals)

Like the GranCabrio Folgore, there’s only one trim. The Trofeo starts at £169,585 but it’s easy to build from there – four metallic colours are standard but if you want to up the wow factor, you’ll need the Fuoriserie paints and those can be up to £29,160.

Different roof colour options are also available, although only black is standard. The clever air scarf, pioneered by Mercedes-Benz, is standard but the air-conditioned seats (definitely recommended) are part of the comfort pack at £2210.

Unlike the Folgore, the Trofeo has more rivals. The Bentley Continental GTC is the obvious one, while the Porsche 911 Cabriolet and Mercedes SL could also be options if the rear seats aren’t vital. As a thing of style, it beats the 911 and it’s better to drive than the SL but the Bentley would give the Maserati more of a run.

Verdict: Maserati GranCabrio Trofeo

Another hit from Maserati, managing to blend the style and comfort of a long-legged cabriolet GT with the handling balance to keep things interesting in the corners.

It’s not an out-and-out sports car – you’ll want a Porsche 911 for that – but as a thing of beauty to absorb some vitamin D in, it’s up there with the very best.


Price when new: £16,585
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 2992 bi-turbo petrol V6, 535bhp, 479lb ft
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Performance: 3.6sec 0-62mph, 196mph, 26.7mpg, 228-240g/km
Weight / material: 1895kg
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4966/2113/1365

Photo Gallery

  • Maserati GranCabrio Trofeo front tracking
  • Maserati GranCabrio Trofeo rear action
  • Maserati GranCabrio Trofeo in-car driving
  • Maserati GranCabrio Trofeo front action
  • Maserati GranCabrio Trofeo rear action
  • Maserati GranCabrio Trofeo front static

By Piers Ward

CAR's deputy editor, word wrangler, historic racer