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    Maserati GranTurismo Sport First Drive Review

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    Abhishek Nigam

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    Maserati GranTurismo [2015-2018] Exterior

    What is it?

    Why will I buy the GranTurismo Sport?

    It looks absolutely smashing and sounds brilliant.

    Why will I avoid the GranTurismo Sport?

    Dated interiors, lack of equipment

    Sportscars are a diverse bunch and you have one for every occasion. Some are made for precision driving while some are made to look like a million bucks. The Maserati GranTurismo that you see here aims to establish both. Before we elaborate on the looks, let me mention that the GT’s design is penned down by the famous design house, Pininfarina, and the result is simply smashing. What’s equally striking about the Maserati when you see it in the metal is how large it is.

    The big chrome gaping grille with the massive Maserati logo gives the car plenty of character while the radically designed bumper adds the sporty touches. The long bonnet, with its iconic ‘V’ shape, has three air intakes on each side, in the classic Maserati style. The aerodynamics and styling of the GranTurismo has been developed in tandem to minimise the airflow vortices that occur around the car. Radical side skirts then bring further drama to the car’s profile.

    At the rear, the triangular rear lights use 96 LEDs, and a wide aerodynamic diffuser opens out over the lower part of the bumper with those massive exhausts at either ends finishing up the rear. No matter how you try to describe the GT, one will always fall short of words. It’s a brilliant design and it looks like a million bucks.

    How is it on the inside?

    If the GT’s interiors could be described in one word, it would be ‘ancient’. Crawl into the cabin and the first thing that hits you is the extra-large steering wheel. The sporty seats hold you well and getting the right driving position hardly takes time thanks to the power adjustable seats. .

    The contours of the seats and the seatbacks have been designed to provide the torso and legs with plenty of support, especially during high speed cornering. The exotic leather all around with the red stitching feels nice. The steering wheel, although large, feels nice to hold with carbon fibre inserts on the top and bottom. Being an Italian sportscar you really can’t expect it to be practical. So getting two cup holders and door pockets counts as good storage in the cabin.

    The layout is straight from the nineties. You do get a 7-inch screen in the middle, but it’s not touch operated and below it are a barrage of buttons (which I must mention are extremely fidgety to use), heck you even get a dial pad to dial numbers.

    Getting to the rear seats is a bit of work, especially if you haven’t been working out and getting out burns even more calories. But once on the seat it’s pretty comfortable. This car can properly seat 4 people in comfort despite its sporty pretensions. In terms of equipment you get Bluetooth connectivity, navigation and plenty of leather. Oh and an analogue clock too! 

    The boot is 260 litres but you’re already carrying a space saver in the boot as baggage so whatever fits around it you can carry. As for safety, the GT gets Maserati Stability program, superb Brembo brakes airbags on the front, side and the windows.

    How does it drive?

    Under the hood is a naturally aspirated 4.7 litre V8, pushing out 460bhp and 520Nm of torque. Those are some massive numbers.

    Put in the rather cheap looking ignition key (nope there is no engine start button), twist it and the Maserati barks to life. Empty roads ahead, sport mode on, mashing the throttle evokes a thunderous roar from those massive pipes at the back. It’s the kind of aural symphony that any auto enthusiast would cry listening to. It really sounds that good. But sounding great and going fast are two different things.

    Yes the GranTurismo is quick but it’s not really supercar quick. It shoves you gently into the seat and before you know it, you’re into silly three digit speeds that you boast about with your friends later. You get standard and ICE mode to choose from which suddenly feel quite dull after sport which amplifies the sound, firms up the suspension, weighs up the steering and sharpens the throttle response.

    Even though the engine is a detuned Ferrari unit, there’s plenty of grunt from that glorious V8. It’s a car that makes you realise that going fast is a grand feeling that needs to be soaked in. The gearbox is uncomplicated too with no dual clutch gadgetry in there. Single clutch gearbox borrowed from the well-known Ferrari 612 Scaglietti works to the point and does not give reason to complain lest you get into ‘fast and furious’ mode.

    Coming from the Grand Tourer genre, the GranTurismo has to make for a decent daily drive, although that meaning changes dramatically for Indian conditions. Driving it around the potholed and speed breaker-ridden roads, the GranTurismo impressed us with its ride quality. The car was shod with optional 40 profile tyres as against the standard tyres which are 35 profile and rode surprisingly well in standard mode. But in the end, it’s still a low slung sportscar and if you aren’t careful, it will scrape those illegal speed bumps causing much pain and plenty of grimacing faces.

    Should I buy one?

    If you want an exotic car that seats four in comfort, turns heads and is still fast enough to scare the living daylights out of the co-passengers, the GranTurismo fits the bill to the tee. It also makes the most amazing noises that will wake up entire neighborhoods and cause a chaos in traffic. You should definitely buy this car for the senses. That said, one must also be able to overlook the ancient looking, average feeling interiors which does not even feature a reversing camera or a touch screen multimedia unit. At Rs. 2.2 crore ex-showroom Delhi that would be quite a costly overlook considering the multitude of modern machines available today.

    Where does it fit in?

    The Maserati GranTurismo goes up against some pretty potent competition like the Porsche 911 Turbo, Jaguar F-type R, Aston Martin V8 vantage S and the Audi R8 V10 Plus.  

    Photos: Kapil Angane
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