While there are many types of cars in the world which offers a multitude of driving rewards, there is nothing like the feeling of driving a cabriolet, on a warm sunny day, with breeze rustling your hair and fresh air enveloping you and taking you to a dream land. Often the convertibles are preferred by wide strata of customers since they offer versatility and practicality and a dash of panache when going topless.
An added benefit of going the top down way is that, you get to enjoy the sonorous performance the engine is putting up – down under the hood – and in a marque like Maserati that is known for the musical symphony it’s engines produce, this in itself is a compelling reason to sign the dotted line. The GranCabrio offers something irresistible – the drop dead gorgeous design which is hallmark of Italian supercars, tarmac scorching performance and handling, lavish interiors – a package which embodies all that is said about the Italian Flair.
The Maserati GrandCabrio is essentially a drop top GranCabrio, and that is telling a lot in a very short sentence. The car has the same hunkered down stance, the curves which are at right places, the accents and embellishments that add the character and manage to look fabulous irrespective of the fact that the top is up or down.
The front fascia is familiar – the center stage is taken by the iconic oval grill with the trident at the center, flanked by aggressive air intake scoops and decorated by the sculptured headlights. The fender spots the porthole like air intakes, the beltline is taught and muscular and the overall style is more of a coupe, when the top is up. This is achieved by the forward sloping design of the soft-top roof.
Maserati believes that a convertible needs the soft-top made of cloth, and have taken extra pains to give a perfect soft-top made of top-notch cloth material. Usually the convertible counterparts of coupes are heavier since the convertible material and the mechanism add lot of weight, but it is remarkable that in GranCabrio, the soft-top and its operating system do not lead to any significant weight gain.
The GranCabrio features a remote roof retracting option and by pressing a button on the key fob, you can retract the roof from afar. The top can be operated when the car is in motion, up to a speed of 20mph and it takes only 28 seconds to finish the retract.
When the top is down, the coupe-like silhouette is transformed into a graceful and lithe convertible body line, which is accented by the short front and rear overhang and long bonnet with the powerful V bulge and the character lines that are finished in wind tunnel to reduce the turbulence when the car goes top down. The LED tail lights have 96 individual elements and the integrated rear diffuser adds to the character of the car, when viewed from rear.
The 20-inch rims with spokes resembling the Maserati Trident, the chrome embellishments on the side (noticeably around the side air intakes and door handles) and the third break light at the rear – all these add to the dynamic yet graceful design of the GranCabrio.
Those who like the styling to be sportier can opt for the MC trim, which adds dollops of sporty character to an already sporty design. The appearance is aggressive in nature, and the full width black spoiler adds character to the front fascia while the tail gets more sporty design and bottom is designed to aid airflow under the car.
GranCabrio is a genuine four-seater convertible and can seat four adults in comfort. The interior is roomy and offers more room than the peers. As with any other Maserati, the interior is hand-stitched and finished with exquisite detail. There are acres of high quality wood and leather and the atmosphere is of a sporty elegance.
The dashboard features the familiar V-shaped strip and houses the touchscreen that controls the multimedia and navigation, among other things. The multi-function steering wheel houses controls for multimedia, telephony and speed and the dashboard layout is driver centric – all the control buttons are laid out for easy access by the driver.
The car features an intelligent climate control system that recognizes if the top is up or down and adjusts automatically the air circulation and temperature settings. The soft-top, with three layers of material, offers excellent sound proofing when the top is down. It is noticeable that the usual turbulences associated with convertibles are next to absent in the GranCabrio.
Engine and Handling
The standard GranCabrio features a 4.6-liter 90 degree V8, which churns out 450bhp of power and 510Nm torque while on the other hand, the top of the line MC editions churns out a maximum power of 460bhp along with 520Nm torque. The engine is mated to the ZF sourced 6-speed automatic gearbox with hydraulic torque converter and multiple operating modes. The engine is designed with an eye to reduce friction and features innovations such as Diamond Like Coating (DLC) on tappets and camshaft lobes.
The GranCabrio features computer controlled ‘Sport SkyHook’ suspension with aluminum dampers which aids the handling and gives the car sporty credentials. The brakes are specially developed by Brembo and feature the dual cast technology that offers better performance and weight savings.
In spite of being a convertible, the car gains only 100kgs of weight and gains a torsion wall which helps the stiffness and handling. The Maserati Stability Program (MSP) makes sure that the car remains stable under spirited driving and challenging conditions. When the sport mode is enabled, the MSP is evoked and the trigger threshold is moved upwards and the system works more on breaks and conserver the engine power so that the power is available for driving.
The MSP ensures that the GranCabrio drives like no other car in the segment – the driving pleasure and control can rival even some hardcore sports cars.