Maserati GranTurismo 2012 s

Maserati GranTurismo Sport Review

Rating: 8.0
$288,800 $364,900 Mrlp
  • Fuel Economy
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S becomes Sport among other changes in an update for Italian brand's sexy coupe.
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The new Maserati GranTurismo Sport replaces the GranTurismo S - one of the best-looking coupes on the market - and sits in between the entry level GranTurismo and race-inspired GranTurismo MC Stradale.

From the outside, the raucous Maserati GranTurismo Sport is differentiated by darker alloy wheels, two exhausts instead of four and new brakes. The new front end takes its styling from the GranTurismo MC Stradale, which gives better access to engine and brake cooling.

LED running lights are also now fitted to make the GranTurismo Sport stand out from the crowd – like it had any trouble doing that without them.

Aside from a $20,000 price difference, the GranTurismo Sport also picks up an extra 36kW of power and 60Nm of torque over the GranTurismo. Powered by a 4.7-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine, the GranTurismo Sport produces 338kW and 520Nm.

The added power kick reduces the 0-100km/h time from 5.2 seconds in the GranTurismo to 4.8 seconds in the GranTurismo Sport.

Two gearboxes are available. There’s the six-speed automatic MC Auto Shift or the six-speed robotised manual MC Shift gearbox. The pick of the two is the six-speed automatic MC Auto Shift as it now comes with a manual mode that includes blips on down shifts and eliminates kickdowns.

These MC Auto Shift changes allow upshifts to be far smoother with more driver control. Cruising around town is also less jittery and rough as it is in the MC Shift gearbox. Fuel consumption is rated at 14.3L/100km for the GranTurismo Sport MC Auto Shift and 15.5L/100km for the GranTurismo Sport MC Shift.

Starting from $288,800 for the GranTurismo, the GranTurismo Sport costs $308,000 with the MC Auto Shift or $345,000 for the MC Shift robotised manual gearbox. Punters after even more speed can pay $364,900 for the GranTurismo MC Stradale.

Tipping the scales at 1880kg, the GranTurismo Sport is far from light. But, light and responsive steering with very accurate feel helps the GranTurismo Sport when cornering. Body roll is almost non existent and traction in the dry is amazing and a little surprising when the car’s weight is taken into account.

Aptly, if you hit the Sport button, the Skyhook dampers firm up, the steering and throttle become sharper and the GranTurismo Sport takes on a whole new demeanour. Mash the throttle and the already loud exhaust note becomes even more manic and vocal, in fact it becomes highly addictive and makes Sport mode the default for V8 purists.

On the open road, the stiffer springs and dampers don’t hamper the ride. Despite being stiffer than ever before, the balance between ride comfort and handling has been perfectly struck.

The interior is classic Maserati. Some of the finer details such as the climate controls and switchgear are a bit plain, but the leather finishes and chunky steering wheel are enough to get the pulse racing.

The satellite navigation is still disappointing and needs more work before it can be classed as reliable and completely functional.

New sports seats allow for 20mm of extra leg room in the rear. Despite the extra 20mm, the rear seats are still quite cramped, so don’t expect to ferry around rear seat passengers over long distances. This is in contrast to the Porsche 911 or Jaguar XK, where carrying rear seat passengers is virtually impossible.

The new Maserati GranTurismo Sport isn’t as accomplished or agile as a Porsche 911, but it makes up for it with a beautiful design, stunning engine note and plenty of character.

The updated GranTurismo doesn’t go too far from the norm, which is certainly a good thing. What it does do is refresh an already impressive sports car.

If it was our money, we’d be buying the MC Shift Auto gearbox, which matches the car’s demeanour perfectly.