Maserati GranTurismo - Driven

One of the most evocative names in the car world is Maserati. The company has been through more ups and downs than most over the years, but in recent times has seen stability since becoming a part of the Fiat stable.

The revitalized Maserati company is enjoying sales success stronger than any time in the company's history. The big Quattroporte sedan launched a few years ago has been a big winner and the next, also successful offering was the GranTurismo Coupe and Cabrio. These share some underpinnings of the previous model Quattroporte, but on a shorter wheelbase.

Wearing swoopy bodywork penned by Italian master craftsmen at Pininfarina, the GranTurismo sets a striking pose on the road. With the traditional Maserati grille fronting the car, there's no doubt this is a special vehicle.

Maserati has developed a range of models based on this car, and they've been a great success for the Modenese company. Initially offered with a 4.2-litre engine, the GranTurismo now features a 4.7-litre V8 engine.

It may be surprising for a coupe, but inside there's actually room for four adults. The sculpted leather seats ensconce passengers beautifully and the headrests wear the embossed Maserati trident logo. In fact, attention to detail inside is one of the best features of this car. It's well laid out with comfort in mind as much as sportiness. And as you'd hope, it excels at both.

The mellifluous V8 engine is a gem, and it delivers plenty of performance from any speedů

The GranTurismo also provides exemplary on road behaviour, road noise is well muffled helping ensure the luxurious feel the car has, yet there's no doubting its sporting characteristics when you push the car a bit (or a lot!). The car's excellent 49/51 percent weight distribution helps. Maserati's Skyhook suspension system allows for the driver to select different settings.

The 2017 update with aggressively styled nose and beefier side treatment along with a few tech tweaks should keep sales ticking along until the replacement shows up - long after its due date.

You'd be an exceedingly demanding person not to be very satisfied with the balance of sportiness, comfort and exclusivity that this Italian masterpiece offers. The GranTurismo is coming to the end of its model life cycle and it has developed a strong and loyal following. By design, it's no longer up there with the leaders in the field - Aston Martin has more up to date offerings for example, but there's something irresistible about this Latin beauty for some people...

Engine type: 4.7 litre V8
Power: 324kW
Torque: 520Nm
Transmission: ZF 6-speed automatic
Performance: 0-100km/h 4.8 seconds
Price: $292,800 at time of review
Text - Paul Blank (copyright)