2010 Maserati GranCabrio Review

By: Chris Fincham

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2010 Maserati GranCabrio 2010 Maserati GranCabrio 2010 Maserati GranCabrio
2010 Maserati GranCabrio 2010 Maserati GranCabrio 2010 Maserati GranCabrio
2010 Maserati GranCabrio 2010 Maserati GranCabrio 2010 Maserati GranCabrio
2010 Maserati GranCabrio 2010 Maserati GranCabrio 2010 Maserati GranCabrio

Sexy soft-top with space and performance to match

2010 Maserati GranCabrio Review
Driven: Maserati GranCabrio

 

2010 Maserati GranCabrio

Maserati has a proud tradition of beautiful roadsters, dating back to the 1950s with the A6G Frua Spyder and 3500 GT Vignale, and continuing the theme of drop-top stunners is the company’s first four seat convertible.

The Modena manufacturer claims "another styling masterpiece" with the GranCabrio, and they’re not wrong. You could admire its swooping, Pininfarina-styled, front three quarter angle for hours, although the rear with its Jaguar XF-style taillights is less alluring.

This is no look-at-moi, boulevard cruiser, though. As the soft-top version of the GranTurismo S coupe, it gets the stonking 4.7-litre, quad cam V8 engine (323kW/490Nm), mated to the responsive ZF six-speed automatic ’box.

Throw in the Skyhook electronic suspension with its continuously variable aluminium dampers, bespoke luxury interior and a full swag of safety features, and you have a mouth-watering package that blends looks and comfort with supercar performance.

Like the coupe, the GranCabrio is a big car at 4881mm long and 2056mm wide. The long snout and wide footprint make it a handful in peak hour traffic but add to the sense of occasion on the open road.

At just shy of two tonnes, the convertible weighs 100kg more than the coupe due to additional chassis bracing that Maserati claims endows it with class-leading structural rigidity, and the soft-top adds 65kg to the equation.

It’s a genuine four-seater, but interior space is not as generous as you might expect from a car of this size. While the two sculpted front seats provide excellent support and comfort up front, the rear pews offer limited legroom depending on front seat adjustment.

And the cavity for the folding fabric roof takes up much of the boot space, leaving room for not much more than a couple of compact bags or a small golf bag.

With the roof down – the soft-top lowers in 28 seconds while driving up to 30km/h – there’s little wind buffeting at highway speeds in the front seats. With the hood up the cabin is quiet and well sealed against the elements.

With 48/52 weight distribution, the GranCabrio is surprisingly nimble and fun to drive on twisty roads. It points accurately and grips tenaciously with minimal body roll. There’s no denying its considerable bulk, however, the big brakes combined with stability and traction control systems prove reassuringly effective when required.

Switch from ‘comfort’ to ‘sports’ mode and the ride remains firm but compliant, the stiffened suspension absorbing the worst of some ragged tarmac during our drive between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.

But most impressive of all is the high-revving, all-singing V8 which surges willingly to 7200rpm and provides brisk, no-fuss acceleration off the line.

In sports mode valves in the exhaust open up above 3000rpm for a deliciously raucous soundtrack ranging from a deep growl to throaty rasp to crackling high note from the four exhaust pipes.

Maserati plans to deliver just 45 of the GranCabrio Down Under in 2010, starting at $338,000 plus on-roads. Such is the price for this level of style, performance, panache and Italian automotive exclusivity.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

2010 Maserati GranCabrio

 

Body: two-door cabriolet

Weight: 1980kg

Engine: 4.7-litre V8

Power/torque: 323kW @ 7000rpm/490Nm @ 4750rpm

Transmission: six-speed auto

Drivetrain: Front engine, RWD

Performance: 0-100km/h – 5.3sec. Top speed – 283km/h

Price: from $338,000

 

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