New Maserati GranTurismo 2023 review
The all-new Maserati GranTurismo sacrifices two cylinders, but not its soul
It might look similar to the previous model, but Maserati’s new GranTurismo is streets ahead in every measurable way. The new coupé has a superb ride and handling balance, along with an impressive turn of speed. But with the sacrifice of two cylinders for the sake of a couple of turbochargers, some buyers may feel there has been a slight dampening of its appeal.
It’s perhaps the most major change in a car that, despite its familiar looks, is all new. The chassis is wider and longer than the old GT’s, yet it’s barely any heavier at 1,795kg.
Some may find the design a little less sophisticated than before, but it is certainly more aggressive, with carbon-fibre highlights and staggered 20 and 21-inch wheels.
Inside, Maserati has used the lush and aromatic leather you’d expect of an Italian GT, applied to a far more modern design. Dominating the dash are two touchscreens on a single angled panel familiar from other modern Maseratis. Overall the main digital interface works well, with a Porsche-like menu structure and quick connection to smartphone-mirroring software. The lower screen mainly controls the ventilation and heating, but can also set other elements, such as the seating position and interior lighting. Between the screens is a row of four buttons, with which you select the gear.
Press the slightly too-small starter button on the steering wheel and you can hear that Maserati has tried to channel pomp and circumstance into the engine. It starts with a quick flare of revs through the valved exhausts, before quickly settling into a surprisingly raucous idle that vibrates the interior far more than you might expect.
After a click of the ‘D’ button to select drive, though, very little is disappointing about the new GranTurismo. As soon as you release the brake, you can feel how much energy is coursing through the powertrain. At low speeds, the eight-speed automatic is quick-witted and well calibrated, effortlessly slipping between ratios and relying on the V6’s generous torque in a way that it never could with the old naturally aspirated V8. Twist the left-hand dial on the steering wheel and you can track through the driver modes, which include the default ‘GT’, plus ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Corsa’.
In both GT and Comfort modes, the ride is brilliant, only suffering slightly over sharp intrusions where the relatively low-profile front tyres can struggle to contain the transferred energy. At higher speeds, the standard air suspension has a wonderful flow with the road, feeling superbly damped with great control of both lateral and vertical movements. It does this without any of the float or shuddering that’s often associated with air-sprung systems, and creates a genuine connection to the road.
The steering has a quick ratio and is a little light on feel, but in combination with the fluid suspension, the set-up manages to create a GT that feels unusually light on its feet, with the package backed up by serious straight-line performance and impressive grip. In fact, dig deeper into the numbers and this impression of lightness is backed up by the actual kerbweight. Remember, we’re in a world where most grand tourers crack the two-tonne mark, a figure the new GranTurismo easily dips below.
Click the Maserati over to Sport or Corsa mode and everything takes an appreciable step up in response, too. The engine is now working to its full potential.
With 542bhp, there’s certainly no shortage of performance. The new car is much faster at every point than the previous GT, hitting 62mph in 3.5 seconds, which is faster even than the 671bhp Aston Martin DB12. And that’s when any perceived lack of theatre associated with the V6 melts away, because this is a superb engine.
Its appeal is in large part due to successful integration with the car’s very well calibrated all-wheel drive system. Compared with the Bentley Continental GT, it feels hundreds of kilograms lighter (which, of course, it is).
Despite its agility, the Maserati can still settle down to become a quite brilliant long-legged cruiser. At high speed it’s quiet, easy to see out of and supremely comfortable, which all adds up to create a superb high-performance GT. This genuinely is a very impressive car, and one that has a truly distinctive feel on the road.
At £160,000, it’s not cheap, but a Bentley Continental GT V8 S or Porsche 911 Turbo costs just as much. We needn’t have worried about the GT and its V6 engine, because it’s lighter in body and soul, and feels twice as alive. Next year will bring the all-electric Folgore and convertible versions, but it’s wonderful to know Maserati has the regular petrol coupé so right straight off the bat.
|Model:||Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo|
|Powertrain:||2.9-litre 6-cyl twin-turbo|
|Transmission:||8-speed automatic, all-wheel drive|