Published on January 2nd, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Maserati Gran Cabrio Driven…….Now You Can Buy Sex Appeal
This is the Maserati GranCabrio. Say it slowly….. like this……Ma…se…ra…ti. It’s the best way to pronounce it. This is a car manufacturer that comes with a long history and pedigree to match the top brands in the world. It is not just a car brand. It’s a lifestyle that can only be best described as pure class. We are given the keys to this car for a day and that is all it takes to give us the most stylish test drive of 2011.
The silhouette of the car is nothing short of breathtaking. It has a drag coefficient of 0.35 with the roof up, which increases by a mere trifle, to 0.39, with the top down. well proportioned and there is not an inch of the design that gets a negative mention from anyone lucky enough to get close to it. Low slung, crafted like a slippery dolphin with sensuous lines, this is a class act roadster.
It is the best looking car yet to feature a folding roof for sure; the GranCabrio is one of only a handful of soft-top convertibles that look as good with the roof up as it does with it down. The operation of the top itself is mesmerizing, and even with the roof stowed the GranCabrio still offers a decent boot for a weekend away.
Inside it is a mix of the best materials sourced from around the globe. The seats are the first thing one appreciates when getting behind the wheel: upholstered in ‘Poltrona Frau’ leather, they feel plush, naturally soft and just luxurious. More hands have crafted the precious woods that take pride of place in the Maserati GranCabrio’s cabin. The ‘Carbalho’ wood comes from Brazil. Maserati sought it out because it has inimitable credentials.
The Maserati GranCabrio is equipped with a hard disk of 30 GB and can store up to 180 hours of music obtained directly from CDs or downloaded as Mp3 files. You can also use your own player as an audio source, connecting it to the USB port located in the glove-box compartment. The functions used most frequently can be activated with the controls on the steering wheel, to avoid any driving distractions. In addition, the audio system, navigation system and telephone, where applicable, can be managed using voice commands: being able to “talk” to your car means having maximum safety. But the Maserati GranCabrio can also speak: it can read SMS messages and provide traffic information so that there is no need to even glance at the display. Also an iPod connection is available, allowing the owner to enjoy its favourite tunes through a state of the art hi-fi system developed by Maserati and Bose, a system that features no less than 12 speakers to recreate the atmosphere of a concert hall.
Under the sculpted bonnet of the GranCabrio is a V8 unit. It delivers a more than ample 440bhp of torque. Both those numbers are produced quite high up the V8’s rev range, and get the rev-counter needle in the sweet spot around 3-4,000rpm and the GranCabrio flies. Its responses are a bit tardier lower down the rev counter needle’s sweep, part of the problem being the rather lazy-to-shift ZF automatic gearbox that prefers a manual induced change. Without a doubt this GranCabrio is a well rounded car, being a capable and comfortable GT, a cool coupé and a riotous roadster all at the same time. There are compromises to be made for this all-round ability. It will also thrill you like a pure sportscar and still cosset you quite as brilliantly as a big luxury GT. It gets close on both counts, but doesn’t ever quite achieve greatness in either area.
There’s plenty of grip on offer, but with little feel and feedback through the steering wheel it’s unlikely you’ll push this GranCabrio hard for the hell of it. Even with its excellent weight distribution: 49% on the front axle and 51% on the rear, the GranCabrio does not offer Ferrari like spirits. Steering response is good and the way the GranCabrio changes direction is impressive given its weight, but it feels big on the road, particularly tight back roads. Much fuss has been made of Maseratis’ choice of its ZF supplied 6-speed automatic, but it’s not the quickest to kick down unless you take in manual mode. Change the setting to Sport and things improve to give the GranCabrio more life. The handling is largely neutral, though wet corners leave no doubt as to the rear-drive nature of the GranCabrio. The electronics act relatively unobtrusively to keep things tidy and there is never a moment when you feel overly worried.
Park the Maserati GranCabrio, stand back and look at it and suddenly an overwhelming sense of desire will overcome you as it is by far the sexists GT on sale. Add to its asking price of RM1.2million, it is not as far reaching as most of you will think. Remember, this asking price is very close to its immediate competitors from Germany and they just don’t offer a visual stimulus like the GranCabrio does with you behind the wheel.
Maserati Gran Cabrio Specifications
Power bhp at RPM:
450 @ 7000
Torque Nm at RPM:
490 @ 4750
Gearbox: 6-speed ZF semi-auto
Acceleration 0-60 mph s:
Top Speed km/h: