After what’s felt like an eternity, the new Maserati GranTurismo has finally been driven. Metaphors are being laboured over and verdicts debated ahead of the first reviews, which is jolly exciting. Though the Grecale, Quattroporte and Ghibli haven’t given much cause for cheer in recent times, the GranTurismo promises much more. No, honest. There’s the MC20’s V6 engine, for starters, plus an intriguing EV flagship. And it feels like a new GT has been in the works for years - it’s gotta be good, right?
Maserati certainly reckons it’s another iconic Modenese grand tourer, as the launch edition celebrates 75 years of exactly those cars being made with the trident badge. Without the GTs, there really is no Maserati to speak of. And while there may be more exotic and revered models in the back catalogue, the significance of the most recent GranTurismo shouldn’t be underestimated. Yes, it probably remained on sale too long and the original 4.2-litre engine wasn’t really powerful enough, but with its looks, sound and driving experience, it arguably delivered everything that a modern Maserati should. There will be many out there, surely, who fondly remember the recent Maserati era that was just GranTurismo and the fifth-generation Quattroporte. What a stunning pair of four-seat cars.
Anyway, the previous GranTurismo was on sale for such a long time, launched in 2007 immediately after the final Gransports, that it was still out when Maserati’s 100th anniversary came around at the end of 2014. And continued on until 2019, according to Wikipedia. So nobody was ever short of an opportunity to buy one. Plenty for sale secondhand, too, with 40,000 sold over those 12 years.
The Centennial Edition was announced in April 2014. Available as both a coupe and GranCabrio, it was based on the more focused MC Stradale model, with standard ceramic brakes, the MC Race six-speed automated manual and the 460hp version of the 4.7-litre V8. What marked the special editions out - and on display here in spectacular style - were a couple of new triple-layer paint finishes, Magma Red and Inchiostro Blue, that aimed to ‘emphasise the sporting nature of the more extreme MC versions’. The red looks superb here, especially with the accents continued inside. Look really closely and you’ll see centenary centre caps for the wheels, too. The Centennial was not a drastic overhaul for a big anniversary - precious few special editions are - but a GranTurismo this good to look at was nothing if not appropriate for Maserati.
This example was registered in 2015 yet has covered just 8,000 miles since then. As such, everything remains pristine, from a stunning exterior to a rather less inspiring interior. Those that like buttons rather than screens should be happy in the driver’s seat, at least. Still, all that we loved about this GranTurismo era - those huge shift paddles, an ear-splitting 8,000rpm redline and rear seats that might actually get people in - are present and correct.
At £80k, this is one of the more expensive GranTurismos available; the only others that cost this much are from right at the end of the production run, as late as 2020 in some cases. There are mechanically similar Sports available for £50k, but then that’s missing the point. None of those cars is 100-unit special editions, none have this incredible paint, and none have quite so few miles. To look at this GranTurismo is to know its appeal - the sound would be the cherry on top. If a Maserati GT must have a V8, there can’t be any better. And imagine the renewed interest in the old ones if this new GranTurismo is as good we’re hoping…
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