Sitting in the shadows of its more-esteemed sister - or in this case, brother - brand has long been one of Maserati’s shortcomings. It’s not a fair tag to put on the Italian brand, but the fact is, Ferrari’s larger-than-life status in the industry has made it frustratingly difficult for Maserati to step out of the enormous shadow of the Prancing Horse.
But to say that Maserati isn’t trying is likewise a slap in the face of the Italian automaker. And to be completely on the up-and-up, if there’s a car that can definitely make the world stand up and take notice, the brand’s new 2012 GranCabrio Convertible Sport is that car. Scheduled to be unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the newest Maserati GranCabrio Convertible is nothing short of jaw-dropping.
The design of the car is stunning, the body color is resplendent, and the powertrain is by no means a slouch. All three things that are important to any supercar, Maserati hits right out of the park with the GranCabrio Convertible Sport.
Now we understand that a man’s taste is totally subjective, but in the case of the GranCabrio Convertible Sport, it makes the discussion completely moot.
UPDATE 08/02/11: After finding out just how much it will cost us to buy one of the babies, Maserati has now revealed an online configurator for the new model to tempt us even more with the growing number of options. Get your kicks by customizing the car’s exterior color, wheels, calipers, and the color of the soft top! In conjunction to the configurator, the company has also revealed the first presentation video for the new GranCabrio Sport. Enjoy!
Exterior and Interior
Aesthetically speaking, the Maserati GranCabrio Convertible Sport comes with some interesting new details that make it stand out from the rest of the supercar crowd. The new nose looks a lot sharper than the GranTurismo, thanks in large part to a large and distinctive black grille with the company’s iconic Trident logo with red accents. Meanwhile, the car’s headlights look darker and are complemented by white sidemarks. The front corner splitters, and the retouched side skirts are now colored in the same ‘Rosso Trionfale’ body color the GranCabrio Convertible Sport comes in. The car’s exterior is finished off with a set of redesigned 20’’ Trident-like Astro-design wheels and a pair of black oval exhaust tips. Just so you know, this particular ’Rosso Trionfale’ color holds special esteem for the Italian brand as it was the red national colors that were used by Maserati back in its racing heyday during the 50’s.
Inside, the GranCabrio Convertible Sport, the open-topped cabin has a new set of M-design seats that come in two leather colors: Bianco Pregiato and Grigio Chrono. You’ll also find a number of features that should come as boons for anybody interested in the car, including longer Trofeo-design gear-shift paddles and drilled aluminium pedals.
Don’t be surprised that this Maserati has the type of powerful juice running inside its system that would make its sister company proud.
Powered by the brand’s all-alloy 4.6-liter V8 engine that produces 450 horsepower and 376 lb/ft of torque and mated to a ZF six-speed automatic transmission, the GranCabrio Convertible Sport is one supercar that nobody should mess with. The drivetrain comes with Maserati’s very own Friction Reduction Program, which allows the car’s engine to be more reactive to the driver’s inputs while also cutting down fuel consumption by six percent. It may not look as much at first glance, but six percent for a car as powerful as the GranCabrio Convertible Sport goes a long way in the long run. As for the top speed, the GranCabrio Convertible Sport peaks at 177 mph.
Initially, we thought that the new Maserati GranCabrio Convertible Sport would retail for somewhere around $150,000 after basing it on the $136,000 price tag of the standard GranCabrio. As it turns out, we were almost right, except that the car will be a bit cheaper. According to Maserati, the GranCabrio Convertible Sport will sell for £102,615 on the British market and for $142,800 on the US market.
Between a Maserati GranCabrio Convertible Sport and an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, what would you choose? To be honest, you can’t go wrong with picking one over the other.
Performance numbers are right about the same: the V8 Vantage has a 4.7-liter V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower, which is right about the same as the 4.6-liter V8 engine for the GranCabrio Convertible Sport that nets 450 horsepower.
In terms of design, the 2012 model of the GranCabrio Convertible looks so stunningly epic that we’re actually having a hard time in choosing which model to go for. Ask us this question for past Maserati models and we wouldn’t even blink before saying we’d take the Aston Martin, but with the 2012 Maserati GranCabrio Converible Sport, the choice is painstakingly difficult.
But if we’re picking one right now, we’re going to buck our trend and choose the GranCabrio Sport because of how completely dashing this car looks compared to some of its older models.
Exterior design looks sharp
’Rosso Trionfale’ body color looks bloody awesome
Not a lot of interior goodies
Still can’t shake off Ferrari’s ’little brother’ stigma
Aston Martin V8 Vantage is a tough competitor