GranTurismo Convertible Sport
Ever thought of taking a sexy Italian lover? The Convertible Sport version of Maserati’s elegant GranTurismo coupe will run around with its top off all day long, and take you anywhere you want to go — fast. There’s more supple Italian leather inside than in a Prada bag factory, and the way it purrs in your ear will give you goose bumps.
By Matt Stone
THE BIG PICTURE
The “base” Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport is a lovely car, but dial up the Sport version and you get a racier look, sportier handling and more horsepower to back it up. Its hardly inexpensive at $146,300 all in, but if you are shopping a Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG, or Aston Martin Volante, you should also consider this handsome Italian stallion.
Some cars in this category are really “2+2s” that is to say that the rear seats are big enough just for the kids, or function as little more than upholstered package shelves. Not so the Maserati; it’s a full four-seater, with the rear cabin comfortably sized for two real adults. It’s a divine environment too; wrapped in yards of yummy Italian leather, choose from a large palette of colors and contrasting or custom stitching patterns. The front seats, particularly, are comfortable and supportive; they’ll hug tight when you’re really motoring through fast curves. The insulated, lined and heavily padded convertible top couldn’t be easier to live with; it has a glass rear window with defroster, and there are no latches or locks to fiddle with. It’s a one-touch operation; press the button, and the top deploys and hides neatly beneath its own built-in tonneau cover; no flimsy vinyl or plastic piece to install manually for a clean, buttoned look. Ditto for the return flight — hit the same button, and the top uncovers and springs out of its hiding place to close and latch fully and automatically.
Even though a near-$150,000 Italian thoroughbred automobile may not seem a typical choice for your every day car, the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport absolutely can be. As noted, it’s a full four seater, operating the top couldn’t be easier and there’s more than adequate trunk space too. With an automatic transmission, a full compliment of power accessories, and a docile nature when you’re not hard on the gas pedal, the Maser is as easy to drive as any Honda, but just a helluva lot more exciting. Consider it the friendly Italian exotic.
The Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport brims with all the passive and active safety gear you’d want. The passive stuff includes a solid chassis structure and plenty of airbags; the active hardware includes traction control, electronic stability programming, and the secure handling, strong brakes, and power you need to help you drive your way out of a bad situation.
GIZMOS AND TECH
Maseratis aren’t very “gizmatic” cars, but everything you really need is there, including a high-end audio and nav system, with Bluetooth of course. One trick bit of kit you may or may not care about is the “Skyhook” suspension system, which reads the road conditions and your driving style, constantly adjusting the shock absorbers to balance handling and keep the ride smooth, too. The ZF 6-speed automatic transmission has standard drive, Sport, and Manual modes, allowing you to use the racy steering-wheel-mounted paddleshifters if you really want to grab the car by the scruff and drive it like it has a manual transmission.
Of course, you can’t drive this Maserati with the top down all the time, but when the weather is fair and the sun shines, you’ll want to. Besides the wind in your hair aspect, keeping the top down gives you a full dose of the 444 horsepower V-8’s melodious warble. Make sure to hit the Sport button before you pull away from the curb, as it further tightens up the car’s handling, and opens up special baffles in the Maser’s mufflers to let out even more of the motor music. You may think you don’t care, but Maserati North America has commissioned studies, which conclude that women are highly responsive to the effects of sound, be it music, voice, or a high winding Italian powerplant. There’s nothing in the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport driving experience that will intimidate you; it’s challenging and fun to drive, but exhibits no finicky habits, as do some sports and exotic cars. If you wish, just drop the trans in gear and drive it like any rental car – no muss or fuss.
The term GranTurismo means, literally, Grand Touring, which is what this car does. The perfect car for when you’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there, and want to do so with speed, and in complete safety and comfort. The GTCS (GranTurismo Convertible Sport) responds to your every command with steering that does what you ask it to, strong (although not heavy) brakes, and lots of power. Plant your right Jimmy Choo to the floor and you’re up any on-ramp in seconds, and there’s lots of muscle in reserve for long hills and passing. You’ll enjoy carving up mountain roads courtesy of the Maser’s quick response and sharp handling, but not at the expense of a comfy ride, which is firm and well connected but never punishes.
A muscular bod, and the Italian V-8’s strong power and fruity exhaust notes.
Handsome, comfy leather lined cabin
Speed and style cost money; it’s expensive to buy, and to run, with EPA ratings of just 12 city and 21 highway.