This is the sharper, more focused version of the Grancabrio; equipped with more power, adaptive suspension, faster gear changes and added loudness.
The Sport is propelled by the same engine that resides beneath the elegantly long bonnet of the regular Grancabrio and Granturismo (the coupe) but has been tuned to serve up even more power.
The Ferrari-sourced 4.7 litre V8 transmits its 450 horses to the rear wheels through the standard car‘s ZF gearbox, which has also been ’breathed on‘ to reduce gear changes by half. All of this combines to permit a 0 to 62 time of 5.2 seconds.
At the risk of being accused of overstatement, this car is almost improbably beautiful and simultaneously aggressive. It‘s all elegant lines and perfectly placed bulges, not to mention a pair of the nicest hips in the business sitting low on 20-inch graphite wheels. Stand back, gaze at it for a second and you‘ll realise that it‘s a striking machine from any angle.
I‘d tested the coupe version, the Granturismo Sport last year and couldn‘t get enough of it but this car had added appeal; as the name would suggest, it‘s a soft top. And it was red.
Selecting Sport mode does many things that are beyond my understanding. The entire car becomes even more taut and lively by remapping induction, ignition, damping but most importantly, it gets louder.
Starting it from cold will give you a satisfying enough sound but as your hand inevitable strays to the Sport button, a relatively refined idle becomes a guttural growl, then a sharp bark when you dip the throttle. A cacophony of pops on the overrun will then widen your grin. All of this gets better when the Grancabrio is introduced to tarmac.
I got myself installed behind the ’wheel and into the supportive seats. The ride is refined and the cabin is surprisingly well insulated from road and wind but thankfully not the delights produced by induction and exhaust. It will cruise contentedly for as long as you want it to and you‘ll be perfectly comfortable.
However, you‘ll get the most out of this car on fast, clear A roads with the roof down. It was still a bit nippy so I had my seat heater on maximum.
Gearing down from almost any speed will produce blinding acceleration and at the first set of good bends, you‘ll experience the tremendous grip at all four corners.
Point the car in and you‘ll be rewarded with accuracy, apply some good throttle on the exit and you‘ll feel a touch of movement from the back wheels.
An intuitive traction system ensures that even the most ignorant of drivers can convince themselves that they have talent. If there‘s even the slightest hint of body-roll, the Grancabrio Sport will not bother telling you about it.
Run out of road and the huge discs and calipers will heave the big car down from the most impossible of speeds without any drama.
This is a superbly balanced car and Maserati has not achieved this by accident. A lot of attention has been given to things like mounting the gearbox at the rear, counter-balancing the mid-front positioned engine, lowering the suspension and stiffening the springs and dampers. All of this has been dialled into this sport-focused car but without the loss of any of its character or unquantifiable Italian flair.
I was left with the feeling that this was not simply a GT convertible and not quite a supercar but a fine blend of both. The Sport is blisteringly quick, accurate and sounds fantastic if it‘s a tool for a couple of hours of fun but is also impeccably behaved and supremely comfortable on longer hauls.
This is a car that any manufacturer would be proud of but isn‘t – because they haven‘t built it. However, Maserati has and I always expected it to be this good.