Maserati GranTurismo S

The stunning Italian coupe is celebrating its birthday with a host of sporty upgrades.

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The S sounds harder and goes faster than the standard car, without sacrificing much in the way of comfort. It also looks the part, thanks to a range of well judged styling tweaks, and has one of the fastest-shifting gearboxes around. At £89,900 it’s pricey, but this hugely desirable sports coupé doesn’t disappoint.

If the latest Lamborghini is one of the world’s ultimate supercars, local rival Maserati produces one of the best luxury coupés. The gorgeous GranTurismo has been on sale for a year now, and to mark its first anniversary, the company has launched a new S version.

It costs a hefty £11,250 more than the standard car, but extra power, a hi-tech automated gearbox and various styling tweaks show where the money has been spent.

On the outside, bespoke 20-inch alloy wheels are the most obvious change, but the S also comes with black headlamp surrounds, new side skirts and a pronounced lip added to the bootlid. Twin oval exhausts also give a clue to the extra performance available, while new seats covered in leather and Alcantara feature inside.

The biggest changes are reserved for the engine and gearbox. Under the bonnet there’s a new 4.7-litre V8 instead of the 4.2-litre unit found in the standard car. It produces 434bhp – a 35bhp increase – and an impressive 490Nm of torque.

That’s enough to blast the S from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and to a top speed of 183mph, making this the fastest mainstream production model Maserati has ever made.

The firm’s clever automated manual is the only gearbox option which is available, and this has been improved, too. Choose Sport mode, and the paddleshift set-up can swap ratios in 100 milliseconds. This setting also sharpens throttle response and opens a bypass valve in the exhaust, which gives the S a much louder bark to match its fiercer bite. As a result, the car drives and sounds like a proper sports GT.

The racy new soundtrack and pulsating power delivery, plus suspension that has been lowered by 10 per cent, make it even better on the road than before.

Ride comfort is still acceptable, and with the Sport mode disengaged, the engine note is as subdued as it is in the standard car – so the GranTurismo’s long-distance ability remains intact.

Flaws are few, but the worst offenders are the numb steering and hard seats. Then there’s the price. The new S isn’t cheap, but this charismatic model is set to become the automatic choice for buyers who want a manual version of Maserati’s coupé masterpiece.

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