Culture / Cars

Maserati Reinvents the Iconic GranTurismo Into a Coupe For Today — Plenty of Fun and Clout Remain

Four Seats, But Still Two Doors With Brakes to Swoon Over

BY // 12.23.23

At Maserati, the coupe isn’t just another segment of vehicle to wax poetic behind. Granted, this slice of the market has diminished in the last decade, but for the Italian automaker, four-seater coupes have been a longstanding halo in its lauded heritage.

So instead of elegantly retiring the GranTurismo as it introduced new SUVs like the Grecale and a soon-to-be-revamped Levante, Maserati sought to reinvent this much-revered nameplate.

Sat low to the ground, the GranTurismo features the quintessential classic long, sweeping hood and short trunk lid -- an equation for pure elegant ecstasy in automotive design. (Courtesy Maserati)
Sat low to the ground, the GranTurismo features the quintessential classic long, sweeping hood and short trunk lid — an equation for pure elegant ecstasy in automotive design. (Courtesy Maserati)

Yes, the GranTurismo remains a coupe, and it still has four seats (no four doors here, folks), but just about every other surface and, of course, powertrain, has been reengineered and modernized. Starting with the front-mounted engine, which has been made smaller, and having all-wheel drive now standard, there are two powertrains available.

The classic GranTurismo brings with it a version of the twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 first seen in the MC20. Called Nettuno in Maserati-speak, this detuned version produces 490 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque in the Modena trim and bumps up to 550 and 479, respectively, in Trofeo edition (it takes 3.5 seconds to launch to 60 mph). Both are paired to a fabulous ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission (large, metal paddle shifters come standard), air suspension system and Brembo brakes.

Coupled with the extensive use of aluminum, the GranTurismo has shed some 130 pounds to 3,957 pounds. Despite its downsize in engine, this big, luxurious coupe still leaps with aplomb. Drive the GranTurismo Trofeo in Sport or Corsa modes — the latter of which deactivates traction control — and the couple responds instantaneously to inputs through its light, sharp steering. For those seeking an electric option, Maserati will soon launch the GranTurismo Folgore, powered by a 750-hp electric powertrain.

While some old school Maserati enthusiasts may miss the brutality of the predecessor’s naturally-aspirated V8, this new V6 — mounted almost entirely behind the front axle — is no lump of coals. Rather, it greatly improves handling by smoothing out the weight distribution without sacrificing throttle response. When it comes to that once-sweet exhaust note, however, my wish is for the Maserati Gods to bring back the previous generation’s outsized aural delight.

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While some old school Maserati enthusiasts may miss the brutality of the predecessor’s naturally-aspirated V8, this new V6 — mounted almost entirely behind the front axle — is no lump of coals. (Courtesy Maserati)

Switching to an adjustable air suspension system offers a welcome spread between comfort and performance. The ride is never harsh, and even at its firmest setting, there is virtually no body roll. Also much to be admired are its strong brakes. These are some of the best brakes I’ve ever experienced, which is to be expected when the rotors are the size of a large pizza.

Taking a step back to admire the GranTurismo’s sheetmetal, it’s more than evident this coupe’s grand touring aspirations live on. Sat low to the ground (pot holes, be damned!), it features the quintessential classic long, sweeping hood and short trunk lid — an equation for pure elegant ecstasy in automotive design. Naturally, up front, the vertical headlights mounted above an oval grille, complete with fender-mounted vents, make this unmistakable Maserati.

The historical Pininfarina passion Maserati once used to create its rolling works of art are still evident in the GranTurismo’s design cues accented by bulged wheel arches. On a side note, a standard carbon fiber spoiler would only further enhance the vehicle’s visual appeal.

The new GranTurismo offers an unrivaled mix of multiple vehicles in one. It's as docile a daily driver as one wants it to be, while on the other hand, it continues to command the cache and neck-turning awe that leaves many of its German rivals crying "bah humbug!" (Courtesy Maserati)
The new GranTurismo offers an unrivaled mix of multiple vehicles in one. It’s as docile a daily driver as one wants it to be, while on the other hand, it continues to command the cache and neck-turning awe that leaves many of its German rivals crying “bah humbug!” (Courtesy Maserati)

Despite its athletic prowess, the GranTurismo definitely doesn’t subscribe to the belief that all good things come in small packages. It stretches 195.2 inches long, 77 inches wide and 53.3 inches tall. In short — no pun intended — that’s some real road presence.

Maserati’s recent significant improvements in interface technology have not gone unnoticed, and the interior of the new GranTurismo is no exception. From behind the gorgeous steering wheel, the driver faces a non-traditional digital instrument cluster that straddles the steering column cover in an effort to achieve a “perfect viewing angle.”

Maserati GranTurismo Interiors (5)
As with all new-generation Maseratis, the center console is dominated by a panel that houses two screens — the upper unit displays the infotainment system and controls the exquisite Sonus Faber audio system, while the lower unit shows the climate control system’s settings, among other menus. (Courtesy Maserati)

The leather-wrapped surfaces feel great and the seats are properly plush and fabulously bolstered and perfect for hours-long road trips. The trunk is about 20 percent bigger than the original GranTurismo’s, now complete with an integrated pass-through into the rear seat back for those impromptu ski trips.

As with all new-generation Maseratis, the center console is dominated by a panel that houses two screens — the upper unit displays the infotainment system and controls the exquisite Sonus Faber audio system, while the lower unit shows the climate control system’s settings, among other menus. In addition to being user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing, the software also responds quickly to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Several intrinsic quirks remain, however, including volume buttons mounted, hidden, on the steering wheel.

My one gripe is the deletion of a proper shifter in favor of big, block-like buttons used to select a gear. While perfectly fine in the Grecale, it just feels out of place in a historically-important vehicle with undeniable racing lineage. For a vehicle and brand of this caliber, the lack of a tangible shifter in the GranTurismo is near sacrilegious.

21342-MaseratiGranTurismoTrofeoBluNobileRolexMonte-CarloMasters
Drive the GranTurismo Trofeo in Sport or Corsa modes — the latter of which deactivates traction control — and the couple responds instantaneously to inputs through its light, sharp steering. For those seeking an electric option, Maserati will soon launch the GranTurismo Folgore, powered by a 750-hp electric powertrain. (Courtesy Maserati)

All in all, the new GranTurismo offers an unrivaled mix of multiple vehicles in one. It’s as docile a daily driver as one wants it to be, while on the other hand, it continues to command the cache and neck-turning awe that leaves many of its German rivals crying “bah humbug!” While remaining thoroughly aspirational with plenty of clout to boot, Maserati is quickly evolving the notion that its Trident-embossed beauties are merely acquisitions of whimsy.

Pricing for the GranTurismo starts at $174,000 with that going up to $205,000 for the Trofeo trim.

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