Few can do the achingly beautiful 2+2 coupé thing as well as Maserati and the newly launched Gran Turismo is no exception. If you’ve got R 1,7 million burning a hole in your pocket and a year or so of waiting list to kill, why not?
By Kyle Kock
Having wowed the crowds at this years Geneva Show, the Modena-based manufacturer has unleashed the Gran Turismo, a Pininfarina designed 2+2 coupé, on competitors such as Aston Martin and Jaguar. It features enough luxury to house the choosy billionaire and enough muscle to out sprint the pedigree sports cars.
Under that brawny hood can be found an engine based on the Quattroporte’s 4,2 litre V8. Mated with a new six-speed ZF automatic gearbox, this unit delivers more than 298 kW and 460 N.m of torque available at 7 100 r/min and 4 750 r/min respectively. The claimed 0-100 km/h figure for the automatic is 5,2 seconds, with a quarter mile coming up after just 13,4 seconds and an overall top speed of 287 km/h.
Anti-dive and Anti-squat systems ensure that the car stays firmly on the road. These prevent the front of the car from dipping under hard braking and the rear from dropping under acceleration, thanks to a suspension set up that ensures the most comfortable ride without taking away that “sporty” feeling.
The massive Brembo braking system features 330 mm ventilated disks and 4-piston callipers that bring this handsome beast to a stop from 100km/h in 35 metres aided, in no small part, by the Maserati Stability Program using EBD and ABS. There is also a nifty “Hill Holder” function that aids the driver whenever encountering hills by holding the brakes for a few seconds before the acceleration continues.
Translating all that power to the ground are 19-inch aluminium rims that are wrapped in 245 and 285 rubber, front and rear. A 20-inch version will also be available to those who cherish a little extra responsiveness and agility.
The interior sports generous proportions that guarantee even rear seated adults supreme comfort on those long Sunday afternoon drives. Tied with climate control vents to the rear and an extra set of cup holders, one can establish that the engineers haven’t left the rear bench occupants out of the equation. The primary material used inside the vehicle is Poltrona Frau leather and the customer is provided with a vast range of colour customising options.
Gadget-wise the Gran Turismo has a host of techno-geek favourable items like a six-speaker Bose sound system capable of reproducing the effect of concert halls. Satellite navigation works via a 7-inch TFT monitor and a 30 GB hard drive that holds the cartography. Optionally, audio files can be stored in Mp3 format on the hard drive and the Maserati Multi Media System also incorporates a USB socket that accommodates most music players.
Other features include parking sensors, cruise control, adaptive light control, automatic climate control, immobiliser and anti-theft system.
Want one? You’ll have to get your skates on though, as even at an asking price of between R 1,5 and R 1,7 million, local importers, Viglietti Motors in Cape Town and Johannesburg’s newly appointed Maserati dealership, Auto Nettuno, have found that demand has already outstripped supply.
The four units allocated for South Africa this year have already been sold and the allocation of Gran Turismos for 2008 are spoken for, too.