First ever four-seater Maserati drop-top has the looks and pace, but do the ingredients add up?
There’s more to building a great convertible than simply chopping off the roof. And Maserati has done a fantastic job distilling the style and driveability of the GranTurismo Coupe into a cabriolet bodystyle. Without a roof between your ears and the exhausts, the V8 engine makes some spectacular noises, especially with ‘Sport’ mode engaged. But despite an epic set of lungs the GranCabrio is more of a cruiser than a hardcore supercar. It can be hustled along at quite a pace, but it will always feels more at home on wide sweeping bends and long motorway cruises than atacking a mountain pass. And the best bit is that this sensational open-top experience can be enjoyed by four adults in complete comfort.
Maserati is making a grand entrance into the convertible market! This is the all-new GranCabrio, a third model to sit alongside the Quattroporte saloon and GranTurismo Coupe in Maserati’s line-up, and the first genuine four-seater drop-top to ever wear the trident badge.
In pictures the GranCabrio’s proportions appear well judged, but in the flesh it’s clear that this is another Pininfarina masterpiece. Maserati has done a fantastic job in retaining the Coupe’s slinky silhouette with the hood up, and creating a whole new elegant profile with it stowed.
There’s coupe-like levels of refinement in with the roof in place, but staying quiet isn’t one of the GranCabrio’s strong points. Open the cabin to the elements however and the 434bhp 4.7-litre V8 can be heard in all its glory. Push a button marked ‘Sport’ and the exhaust emits an even throatier roar.
The GranCabrio corners with a flatness and poise that would put most cars to shame, and the beautifully weighted steering is direct and responsive. But 1,980kg is sizeable chunk of weight to throw around, and it always feels more comfortable being driven at three-quarters of its abilities.
Maserati has done a fantastic job of stiffening the chassis to compensate for the lack of a roof, and all for only a 100kg penalty over the Coupe. While particularly bad surfaces have a habit of sending shockwaves through the chassis, the front and rear ends always feel like they are working together, inspiring confidence in bends.
The experience can be enjoyed by four adult passengers, too. Two six-footers fit easily behind one another, although bringing luggage for all four might prove tricky with such a miniscule 173-litre boot.
At just a few pounds under £100,000, the GranCabrio certainly isn’t cheap, but line it up against a style-led direct rival like the Aston DB9 Volante and there’s a significant saving to be had. Economics aside, a Maserati is a car you buy with your heart not your head, and with its supermodel good-looks and epic soundtrack the GranCabrio is certain to win many an admirer.
For a more extensive verdict get your copy of the mag, on sale Wednesday February 17
Rival: Aston Martin DB9 Volante/Jaguar XKR convertible
Maserati has made a shrewd move pricing the GranCabrio - it has the £100,000 drop-top market to itself. The 503bhp XKR is deceptively quick, and at under £80,000 represents a big saving. The V12 DB9 Volante is one of the most beautiful shapes on the road, but it comes with a £122,950 price tag. Unfortunately though, both feature more cramped 2+2 seating configurations.