£99,920 - £126,025 Price range
Maserati has always built slightly bonkers, bohemian sports cars that look amazing but are just a bit too left-field for British car buyers. They don’t rot before your eyes anymore, but there is still a taint to them that is hard to pinpoint.
The GranCabrio follows this cliché to a tee; it’s fast, beautiful, and makes an excellent noise but doesn’t sell in any great quantity in the UK, despite ticking all the right boxes on paper and winning the hearts of motoring journalists who have driven it.
The interior is opulent, over-the-top, and seats four; what more do you need in a Grand Tourer? The rear seats are big enough to seat proper grown-ups in comfort, though they will need to limit the amount of luggage that they bring because the boot is quite small.
The reviewers also praise the attention to detail inside the Maserati, with perfectly stitched leather coating everything. The roof is triple-layered and opens in 28 seconds at speeds of up to 20mph. The only negative inside is the satellite navigation system, whose software is well past its best, and the buttons make it somewhat fiddly to use.
The pop-up roll bars will burst through the rear window if they are needed when the roof is raised. Reassuring to know, but best not to roll it in the first place…
Usually, a large four seat convertible will suffer for having its roof removed. Typically, chopping off the roof results in a lack of rigidity which causes shimmies and shakes over large bumps. The great news here is that the Maserati has all but banished this feeling, thanks to chassis strengthening, making it almost as rigid as the coupe.
The penalty though, is extra weight, and the coupe version is hardly a lightweight. There’s no denying that the GranCabrio is a big, heavy, rear-wheel drive sports car with very few electronic aids, which will be a blessing or a curse, depending on your disposition.
It’s not as tail-happy as the old model according to the experts, and displays real poise and unfussed by sweeping bends, adverse camber, or tight hairpins. It can swing into oversteer, but only when provoked by the driver, who will have had to switch the stability control off first.
It can’t disguise the substantial weight it carries around though – particularly when it comes to braking – but it’s a more involving drive than a Mercedes SL. The GranCabrio is still much better suited to cruising along the Italian riviera than hammering around a track.
The Maserati has a 4.7-litre V8 engine that develops 440hp and 361lb ft, so you’d expect it to be fast then, wouldn’t you? Well, you be right, but it’s only fast, never feral because the Maserati weighs quite a bit, which blunts performance and hurts fuel consumption; most owners will struggle to get more than 12mpg if they’re driving it hard.
Never mind, because the Maser sounds incredible on the open road; its wailing and burbling only amplified by the lack of roof. If you thrash the pants off it you’ll hit 62mph from rest in 5.4 seconds and go on to a top speed of 175mph – none of that artificially-limited 155mph nonsense for the Italians…
Well, it does look spectacular, and the attention to detail is amazing, but it has to be said that the options list is long and very expensive. The list price is competitive to similar rivals, and compared to the likes of the Aston Martin DB9 Volante and Bentley Continental GTC it does look well priced.
Servicing and general running costs will certainly be steep, but what else would you expect of a rare, Italian V8 GT car?
The Maserati GranCabrio is an achingly beautiful sports car that sounds wonderful – but in some ways it is outclassed in the company that it keeps. It gains a good wowscore, but rivals like the Bentley Continental GTC score even more highly.
It’s not that fast, is very thirsty, and has a slightly crude chassis. The experts like it a lot, but there is a huge difference between liking a car and actually buying one…