Every year at the New York International Auto Show, the Saratoga Automobile Museum sets up a display of some of the finest classic cars. This year, the theme was “Italian” – and while there was no Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale do drool over, the collection did not disappoint.
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.
Standing on the corner of 7th Ave. and 33rd St., I stared up at the blue sky while patiently waiting to cross and head west. The screeching brakes and boisterous honking of midday NYC overwhelmed my ears when from out of the din, I heard a singular engine accelerating through the last seconds of the green light; my breath caught, heart quickened, and my eyes immediately shot down to earth to glimpse the back end of a Maserati disappearing in traffic. Exhaled. Amongst the highest-end luxury brands jockeying for sales and notoriety, the iconic Italian brand stands apart.
While the sixth generation Quattroporte debuted this past January in Detroit, it had yet to be seen outside of COBO and on the ground in New York City. As New York International Auto Show had the city focused on all things automotive, Maserati of Manhattan held an exclusive unveiling of the 2014 Quattroporte for top clients and admirers alike. The reveal party kicked off as the sun set down over the two draped models in the Tribeca dealership. [Read more…]
Purchasing a new 2012 Maserati GranTurismo S base model will run you a little over $148,000, to start. Arguably, if you can afford to buy a new Maserati, you can afford to not worry about the depreciation that starts ticking as you drive away from the dealership. Packed with luxury amenities such as a Bose sound system, leather upholstery and wood and chrome accents, the sound of the V8 Ferrari engine leaves you weak-kneed. Add to that the elegant, liquid Pininfarina design, you just want to lick the car from front end to tail lights. [Read more…]
What can a manufacturer that doesn’t have any new product do for a big show? Simple, throw stickers on some old models and bring on the girls. For good measure, toss in a few Italian cars and there is a party waiting to happen!
Gallery of girls after the break.
It was 1967 and the first Canadian Grand Prix. At the time I was racing my Elva Mk 6 Climax. I had hoped to do some out of Province races but lack of money and vacation time stopped that.
However I was dominating my class in Ont. and seeing how far up I could get among the bigger cars. Two weeks before the GP there had been a money race at Harewood but most of the cars running in the Cdn. Championship were not there. I had just passed Mo Carter’s Camero for third overall when a front A arm broke. I eventually limped home 11th and just out of the money. Now I was really broke. About $1 in my pocket and the same in my bank account. At least I got paid on Thursday. I owed a bundle and even my gas credit card was almost maxed out. At the track I slept in my tow car.
Our Ã¢â‚¬Å“DrivenÃ¢â‚¬Â series highlights the several cars I was able to sample at IMPAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Spring Brake 2009 event. These short takes are summaries of my driving impressions of the cars on the roads surrounding Bear Mountain State Park in Rockland County, New York.
Any auto enthusiast has to be pleased to see Maserati back in good form, building desirable cars again. For me, driving the new Quattroporte S cleansed me of my last Maserati driving experience. The last Maserati I had driven was a Biturbo E-the engine idled at 3,000rpm, the dash was lit up like a Christmas tree with all the warning lights, the paint quality was appalling and I was afraid to touch anything inside for fear of it falling apart.
Those dark days of Maserati history are thankfully long behind us now, and the Quattroporte S is living proof. In person, the car is stunning to look at, the Pininfarina styling both sexy and elegant from any angle. Walking around the car, I was asking myself if any four door sedan had the right too look so seductive?
Some guys have all the fun!
Dave Maher, Alex Roy’s sidekick is on the trip of a lifetime. Day one, visit the Maserati factory for a guided tour. Day two will include both Ferrari and Lamborghini. The ultra lucky Maher tells the tale at Gumball 144 headquarters.
Dave, I’m sure that thousands will agree with me when I say: I hate you!