We’ve all been there, trying to finish a job which we swore we’d allocated the exact right amount of something for, only to realise as the end draws near that we may fall agonisingly short. From trying to make the remaining ketchup on your plate extend to the too-many chips you have left, to eking out the detergent to cover one final wash, it’s a pain we can all relate to. Spare a thought, then, for the paint Maserati paint department which, having bought a job lot of gloss paint 12 years ago, so nearly made it stretch to every last car. But not quite.
That last car is this, the GranTurismo Zeda. With Zeda meaning ‘Z’ in the dialect of Modena, Maserati’s home town, the one-off model marks the final day of GranTurismo and GranCabrio production, a diary date that, unbeknownst to us, has already come and gone. Said to tell the story of the dawn of a new era, Maserati claims the Zeda to be “a masterpiece in the complex use and juxtaposition of vastly differing effects.” Far from looking like a poorly primed, half-finished car, it in fact features surfaces which “change and become richer, shifting from a light satin finish to a burnished ‘metallurgic’ effect… becoming energetic, electric, it seems alive, it seems like a mirror.” Excellent.
The conclusion of this era of GranTurismo production is of course a noteworthy event for not only the marque itself, but fans of naturally aspirated V8s everywhere. With the plant currently undergoing renovation ahead of building a new generation of electrified Maserati GTs for 2020, the chances of seeing another powerplant as celebrated as the unencumbered Ferrari-derived V8 look slim. Even as the model grew increasingly long in the tooth, it was its combination of simple-yet-striking Pininfarina styling, genuine four seat practicality and the heavenly howl of that high-revving engine that kept buyers interested.
With 460hp delivered just 500rpm short of its 7,500rpm redline, and 384lb ft of torque available from 4,750rpm, the GranTurismo also offered the performance to match the panache - the MC Stradale being the purest expression of the GT’s driving potential. Since its debut at the 2007 Geneva show over 40,000 examples of the car have been sold (28,805 GranTurismos and 11,715 GranCabrios) helping to keep Maserati, a brand once unrivalled in its heritage and success, ticking over. Whatever comes next, it has some pretty big shoes to fill.