The long-awaited Maserati GranTurismo, designed by Pininfarina, made its worldwide debut at the Geneva Motorshow in 2007. A muscularly-styled two-door coupe, it is designed to be suitable for everyday use, with excellent handling, a very sporty feel and a thrilling drive whilst still able to seat four people comfortably on long journeys.
The chassis positions the engine behind the front axle, allowing an excellent weight distribution of 49% on the front and 51% at the rear to be achieved. Double-wishbone suspension is fitted at all four corners, with special attention paid to the control of squat and dive. Maserati's own 'Skyhook' electronically controlled suspension is available as an option. This works together with the ESP and automatic transmission to constantly control the damping. All these features, combined with an exceptionally rigid, boxed-steel monocoque endow the GranTurismo with excellent handling and control.
It is a large car, at 4881mm long and with a wheel base of 2,942 mm, which allows for pleanty of room inside. The rear seats have been designed to accommodate two adults comfortably, whilst the range of materials, leather, woods and colour combinations available make the interior a welcoming place to be. According to Maserati, the key words that describe the interior style are: "modernity, elegance, craftsmanship, sportiness and liveability". The whole interior space is divided longitudinally by the central transmission tunnel which distributes the available space between the occupants on the left and right sides. Poltrona Frau leather is used throughout and a BOSE sound system is fitted as standard.
The heart of the GranTurismo is a 4244cc 90° V8 engine. It is a compact and light unit, with the cylinder block and heads in aluminium and silicon alloy. It has 32 valves actioned by twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank with variable phase intake cams. It produces 405bhp and maximum torque of 460 Nm at 4,750 rpm (of which 75% is produced at 2,500rpm). This gives the GranTurismo a declared maximum speed of 285 km/h, and a 0-62mph acceleration time of 5.2 seconds.
A self-adapting automatic gearbox is fitted as standard, and gear changes can be made right up until 7100 rpm - a record for such transmissions. The drive-by-wire, electronically controlled accelerator ensures an instant reaction to the slightest touch.
For those who require more, there is the Sport button. This causes the gearshift computer to cut 40 percent from the gearshift times, so they are sharper and more urgent, and the Skyhook suspension changes its philosophy from supreme ride control to supreme body control, to provide better handling and grip.
The Active safety of the Maserati GranTurismo is enhanced by the Maserati Stability Programme (MSP), a form of ESP or VDC, working using the ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and engine control. In terms of brakes, all the hardware is supplied by Brembo and consists of four self-ventilating discs and four-piston brake callipers. These provide excellent stopping figures (35 metres from 100km/h to a standstill, with an average deceleration of 1.24 g). They are also highly resistant to fade. The Electric Park Brake (EPB), located on the central tunnel, replaces the traditional handbrake. It is engaged automatically whenever the engine is switched off and is deactivated automatically when the accelerator pedal is pressed. EPB is also designed to act on all four wheels in an emergency without compromising stability, until the switch is released.
Night-time visibility is enhanced by the use of bi-xenon headlights which produce more powerful and natural-looking beams of light than conventional lighting technology. The GranTurismo is also fitted with rotating headlights, where the beam follows the turning of the steering wheel. The Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is a standard feature which constantly monitors the tyre pressure from inside the tyre and advises the driver when either the pressure dips below optimal levels or a tyre is punctured.
The passive safety of the car is based on the GranTurismo’s passenger safety cell, which is strong and rigid and includes with six airbags that are designed to work in conjunction with the occupant’s seatbelts. There are driver and passenger two-stage front airbags, two more in the doors for side-impact protection and another two integrated into the sides of the seats. If the GranTurismo is involved in a collision, four sensors designed to measure the intensity of the impact send their information to a central computer, which determines whether or not the airbags need to be activated to protect the occupants. If the computer decides that the driver and the passengers need the extra protection from the airbags, it triggers the inflation of those airbags. The degree of inflation is carefully calibrated to help provide the appropriate level of protection for the front-seat occupants. An extensive series of simulations and internal crash tests confirmed that the GranTurismo and its airbags also meet the strictest U.S safety standards.
Besides the airbags, the front- and rear-seat belts are equipped with the latest pre-tensioners and load force limiters to help keep all four occupants well restrained. Isofix brackets are fitted to the rear seats to ensure that child car seats can be properly secured.
Engine 4244cc (92x79.8mm) quad-cam all alloy VVT V8 with 405bhp @ 7,100rpm
fuel consumption (urban / extra-urban / combined) : 12.9mpg / 29.9mpg / 19.2mpg
CO2 emissions : 345g/km
Suspension front : independent with double wishbones and optional 'Skyhook' adaptive damping
rear : independent with double wishbones and optional 'Skyhook' adaptive damping
wheels : 19" front and rear, 20" optional
Brakes front : ventilated discs
rear : ventilated discs
Transmission Six-speed automatic Kerb weight 1880kg Dimensions wheelbase : 2942mm
length / width / height (mm) : 4881 / 1847 / 1353
model max speed 0-62mph 0-400m 0-1000m GranTurismo 177 mph 5.2 sec 13.4 sec 23.9 sec
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