Possibly the most beautiful new car out there, but not comfortable enough for a GT

What is it?

Maserati’s new distance-mashing grand tourer; a four-seat 400bhp coupé, based on the Quattroporte platform.

What’s it like?

Beauty. Passion. Soul. These are just three of the millions of clichés trotted out every time someone drives an even vaguely sporty Italian car. An appalling driving position, iffy build quality and patchy reliability are the flipside of the Italian automotive stereotype.

The question is, does the new Maserati GT conform to these hackneyed phrases, or does it keep the good and dispense with the bad?

It’s certainly beautiful. Heart-stoppingly, pant-wettingly gorgeous, from the 250F-inspired grille to the sexy, sinuous flow of bodywork-over-wheelarch. If only the front and rear lights were less angular, there would be no-one in the Autocar office who could find a single criticism of its looks.

So that’s looks licked, and probably passion too. Soul is ticked off the first time you open the V8 up along a stretch of open A-road. Its pace doesn’t blow you away – the 1880kg Maser is a heavy beast and not blessed with endless reserves of torque – but it’s fast enough and the yowl it emits as you close in on the 7000rpm red line is literally spine tingling.

Unfortunately, the stereotyping continues to be accurate when you get to the driving position which, unless you are of entirely average height and shape, forces you into an unnaturally reclined angle. It’s also got oddly hard seats for something that purports to be a grand tourer.

However, ride and refinement is thoroughly befitting of Maserati's touring brief, even on UK roads. It doesn't have the suppleness of an XKR, but it's never harsh and always feels planted.

Patchy reliability we cannot comment upon, but the Granturismo certainly has build quality sorted – this feels as well put together as a near-£80k car should.

Should I buy one?

Depends what you want. Problem is, this car suffers from a bit of an identity problem. It looks and rides like a genteel-but-rapid grand tourer, and yet it holds on to gears too long for a cruiser. Its super-darty steering is good for turn-in, but this translates into nervousness at high motorway speeds.

The engine is magnificent, however, and it looks utterly sensational. If those are the things that really count for you, then the Granturismo is a winner. In the end, an Italian acquaintance summed up the Maserati for me. “It’s not a car, it’s art,” he told me.

And that’s the point. It might not go around corners as well as a Porsche 911, but it would surely outhandle the Mona Lisa down your favourite B-road.

Matt Rigby

Join the debate

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Franco64 28 June 2008

Re: Maserati Granturismo

RichardHo wrote:
I've seen the car in the flesh and I must say it's a really beautiful and excellently proportioned car.

Good post- there are some cars that look great in photos and even videos, but disappoint in the flesh. And there are those that don't look good in pics, but in the flesh, look great.

I have seen a Quattroporte in the metal in a dark colour and if I had the money, I would buy it on looks alone. Everything about it makes a statement and those curves and lines look stunnning. Much better than the photos would indicate. If the Granturismo has a similar effect, then I see what you mean.


RichardHo wrote:
This Maser GT moves you when you see it in the flesh - it did move me and I've ordered one !

Good on you for seeing the car, falling for it and ordering one. Would be interested to know if you were thinking of buying it anyway and seeing it in real life clinched it, or you just fell for it spontaneously.

I bought my first two cars pretty much on seeing them, but that's another story...

Peter Nunn 29 May 2008

Re: Maserati Granturismo

Stunningly beautiful car with real soul, but to me it's the Volvo rear lights that are the killer. Oh for the original Giugiaro-penned boomerang back lights.....

Matt Rigby 19 December 2007

Re: Maserati Granturismo

Interesting that quite a few of you don't think it looks quite right, especially the lights... The silver car in the pictures really doesn't show off those incredibly sexy haunches, however.