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Maserati GT 2007 Review

Do not mistake this for a GranSport replacement. That was the message from Maserati this week as it launched what will surely prove to be the most beautiful new car of the year. The beguiling GranTurismo coupe will sit between the would-be Porsche 911-rivalling GranSport and the Quattroporte exotic/executive saloon.

At least that's what Maserati says. Having experienced the versatility of this superb grand tourer in the Italian Alps, we'd say the newcomer upstages both. Its to-die-for design may belie it, but the newcomer is essentially a derivative of the saloon though with two fewer doors and 110kg less strain on the scales. Despite that it's a still thumping 1880kg.

The GranTurismo also shares the saloon's drivetrain, namely the same delicious Ferrari-derived 4.2-litre V8 married to a six-speed ZF automatic transmission with sport mode and manual function via paddle shifters or the gearstick.

Positioned as a rival for everything from Bentley's Continental GT, BMW's 650i, Jaguar's XKR and the Mercedes-Benz CL 500, the GranTurismo will be priced between $290,000-$300,000.

The precise price will be announced when the Maser stops traffic at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney in October.

Local deliveries begin in the same month, most of the 2007 allocation having been pre-sold. Australian spec cars receive as standard 20-inch rims, Skyhook adaptive suspension, Bose upgraded stereo and comfort front seats.

That operatic 295kW/460Nm V8 lacks low-down torque but gets the GranTurismo to 100km/h from standing in a claimed 5.2 seconds - a time which would necessitate use of the sport mode. Almost as impressively, the big GT can go from that speed to zero in 35m. The newcomer might not be intended to supplant the older coupe, but it's tough to imagine it not taking customers.

Seating four adults in luxurious comfort, the GranTurismo is almost 4.9m long, with minimal overhangs on a wheelbase that's been reduced by 123cm from the Quattroporte, but retains a useful 260-litre boot capacity.

Capable of relaxed and comfortable daily use, the coupe comes into its own when presented with a challenging road. It's a superbly balanced (weight distribution is 49:51) and confidence-inspiring handler.

A bewildering array of cosmetic options, including 19 possible exterior colours, 10 shades of leather upholstery with various stitching and trim options (even the Brembo brakes come in a choice of five colours), ensure that no two GranSports will be precisely the same.

Australia is Maserati's ninth-biggest market. The GranTurismo is expected to thrust local sales of the feted marque past 200 next year.






Maserati Granturismo

Price: $290,000-$300,000 (est)

Economy: 14.3L/100km combined

Engine: 4.2L V8, 295kW, 460Nm, 0-100km/h 5.2 secs

Verdict: Weepingly beautiful, the GranTursimo is at home on the freeway and the B-road.


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(base) 4.2L, PULP, 6 SP SEQ $42,100 – 53,900 2007 Maserati Granturismo 2007 (base) Pricing and Specs
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