First Drive: Maserati GranTurismo

These are different model names but essentially they are the same car, one hardtop and one topless. This, however, is not a hello but more of a farewell, as this is likely t be the last incarnation of a model that has been around now for 10 years. The Pininfarina styled body has always been a pin-up, but at late middle-age in car terms, it was time to see the surgeon for a little ‘work’. The front and back have been restyled giving it a more shark-like appearance, the interior has been refreshed and the model offering has been simplified. Out has gone the single-clutch automated gearbox (which will not be missed by most), leaving the ZF 6 speed auto as the only option mated to a single engine offering across the board, the 454bhp 4.7-litre V8. The car is available in Sport or in the more aggressive MC (Maserati Corse) spec, with carbon bonnet and race-inspired exhaust.

In the original essence of the GT, the current cars offer comfort and luxury in a 2+2 configuration with a hefty engine upfront – the USP being the signature sound that comes from the back of anything with a Trident on the front.

The Maserati soundtrack is so much a part of this car that anyone with Prius playlist tastes should stop reading now. What’s impressive is the way they have built a car for conquering vast distances in style that produces an unavoidable noise that doesn’t grate. It is so gratifying that you find your hand hovering over the left paddle as soon as even the shortest tunnel is in sight. It’s frankly obligatory to knock it down a couple of cogs and listen to it sing. How they will manage to create this music without the glorious Ferrari-built, normally aspirated V8, which will presumably be set aside on the next model, is anyone’s guess, but for now, I’ll take that stirring shot in the arm. Inside are very comfortable seats and a new touchscreen system as seen in the Levante. Not class leading but definitely an upgrade.

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