by: Mike Ginsca
An engine by Ferrari, styling by Pininfarina, and 100 years of heritage. Put those ingredients together and you get the modern day Maserati.
Performance – The engine is built alongside other Ferrari engines in the same factory in Maranello, Italy. Unfortunately the 4.7L V8 in this Maserati is nowhere near as powerful as other Ferrari engines as it only produces 433hp and 361 lb-ft of torque. I’m not saying that it isn’t a lot, it’s just that it’s not as much as other Ferrari V8s that are being produced such as the 560hp Ferrari 458 or even the 454hp California. However, one very good thing about this engine is the exotic noise that it makes especially when you roll off from a stop. The noise is like an orgasm for your ears. On the move, the engine can be subdued when the car is in normal “D” mode or the engine can feel responsive and like a caged animal when the car is in Sport mode. However the “caged animal” under the hood doesn’t quite have the same punch as the more powerful and lighter Aston Martin DB9. If the GranTurismo had another 40hp then I think it would have no problem keeping up with the DB9 but unfortunately in Italy nothing is allowed to be faster than a Ferrari so I think they purposely kept the engine’s power low to ensure that a Maserati will not be faster than a Ferrari.
One place that Maserati wasn’t restricted by “Italian law” was the design of the suspension. This Maserati utilizes Skyhook suspension which I don’t really know what it means but what I can say is that it works brilliantly. On city streets, the shocks easily absorb bumps in the roads and when you want to have some fun in the mountains, they provide excellent feedback to the driver about what the front wheels are doing.
Comfort – In addition to providing good handling, the suspension also delivers an exceptionally good ride. I felt perfectly comfortable and didn’t cringe when driving over a bump on some of the worse Vancouver city streets. Unfortunately the seats did feel a bit hard and they did not offer any support whatsoever when taking fast corners.
The design of the interior is what one would expect from a premium Italian auto manufacturer. The design of the dashboard and center console is simple but it looks elegant. If I were to buy this car, I would have absolutely no problem enjoying my time inside this car and drooling over the trident logo on the steering wheel.
Odds and Ends – The elegant styling continues to the exterior of this Maserati. Pininfarina has been styling cars for decades and almost everything they design goes down into the history books as a timeless piece of art. There are however one or two little details that irritate me. For example, the side vents look like they came off of a Buick and it wasn’t a pretty Buick either.
This was the first proper Italian supercar that I’ve driven in my life and it did not disappoint. Sure it feels a little slower than it should be and the seats are not quite as comfortable as they should be but once you see the trident logo directly in front of you on the steering wheel and you hear the exotic soundtrack of the V8, all is forgotten and you just enjoy the drive of the Maserati.
Thank you to Autoform Performance Inc. for providing the vehicle.
Editor at large and gearhead. Can drive anything on 4 or 2 wheels... sometimes 3 wheels too.