Isn’t this one of the most beautiful cars you have ever laid eyes on? It is the Maserati GranTurismo and ‘grand’ is the word for it in terms of sheer style, performance and luxury.
This large coupe is the latest from the Italian marque and symbolises the resurgence of this famous name in recent years. The recipe is a classic one – styling by Pininfarina, a V8 engine that sings up to 7,000 rpm and a bespoke leather interior with an exquisite finish.
Turn the key and blip the throttle to savor the music from those quadrophonic exhausts! If the lines do not make heads turn then the sound is bound to. This is truly a supercar, the latest in a long line of Italian thoroughbreds.
Under my right foot, I have 440bhp to unleash – enough to see 60mph come up around five seconds and to reach around 180mph should I be on a German autobahn. Yet this is such a cosseting, comfortable car that I can be just as content burbling along. But when I need the power to overtake, then is is there in abundance.
Unlike some so-called supercars, the Maserati is not a road-going race car. Instead, it is a relatively practical 2+2 coupe into which you can fit four adults. On the road it is well behaved and is a car you could use on a day to day basis, if you were lucky enough to afford one.
The six-speed ZF gearbox works either manually or automatically and copes well with all that power. You can let it get on with the job or take control using the large paddles. I particularly liked these as they are fitted to the steering column rather than to the wheel itself which can cause problems. The paddles are always in the same place so you can change gear, for example, in the middle of a hairpin without a minor panic.
The GranTurismo is so civilised to drive. It handles like a dream and puts down all its power without any drama. There is loads of grip from those big wheels and the steering feels taut and precise. Yet, despite is sporting pedigree this is a remarkably comfortable car to travel in.
That was the essence of the Grand Touring Cars of the past. They could gobble up with miles at relaxed high speeds, fast but not fussy. Just the job for a weekend in Monte Carlo or the Rivera.
Maserati has brought together the spirit of the big coupe tradition with all the modern trimmings and technology. A car that looks, sounds and goes just perfectly. While it is not cheap it is competitively priced for what it is and does.